Personal profile

Personal Statement

I'm a feminist cultural studies scholar and specialize in critical studies of postcolonial and postsocialist Europe. My expertise includes global perspectives on gender, race, and sexuality, visual and art activism, transnational feminism, and the intersections between postcolonial and postsocialist feminist theorising and practice.

I joined Strathclyde as Chancellor's Fellow and Senior Lecturer in Interdisciplinary Gender Studies in 2022. I have previously held positions at Linköping University, Sweden (Postdoc and Assistant Professor in Gender Studies) and University of Bergen, Norway (Postdoctoral researcher in Gender Studies). I have been a Visiting Scholar at the University of California Santa Cruz, USA and at the University of Western Cape, South Africa.

My monograph Whirling Stories: Postsocialist Feminist Imaginaries and the Visual Arts (2013) offers an account of 3-year long (auto)ethnographic engagement with the work of Anna-Stina Treumund, Estonia’s first artist to put queer feminist and lesbian sexuality centre-stage.

My postdoctoral work, funded by the Swedish Research Council, examined intersections of gender, nation and war in Estonian media discourses, parliamentary debates and state-commissioned art projects in relation to the ISAF-mission in Afghanistan. The collaborative project, which resulted in a jointly researched book Gendering Military Sacrifice: A Feminist Comparative Analysis (2019, Routledge) edited by Cecilia Åse and Maria Wendt, combined in-depth contextual analysis of parliamentary debates, media narratives and artistic representations with cross-country comparisons of six European national contexts to identify national differences and similarities in justifying war deaths of European soldiers.

I'm the lead editor of the volume Postcolonial and Postsocialist Dialogues: Intersections, Opacities, Challenges in Feminist Theorizing and Practice (2021, Routledge). Growing out of the work with the network I established together with co-editors Madina Tlostanova and Suruchi Thapar-Björkert, the book brings together scholars, activists and artists from a variety of disciplinary, geographical and historical specializations to conceptualize the resonances and dissonances between the postcolonial and the postsocialist in transnational feminist scholarship and activism. Apart from developing new ways of thinking about gender, sexuality, trans and queer identities, race, migration, diasporas, indigeneity, and disability, this volume tackles theorizing from non-dominant locations beyond complicity and advocates for a politics of “deep coalitions” against racial capitalism.

Together with Nina Lykke, Petra Bakos, Swati Arora and Kharnita Mohamed, I co-edited the volume Pluriversal Conversations on Transnational Feminism: And Words Collide from a Place (2023, Routledge) which focuses on transnational feminisms in conversation with intersectional and decolonial approaches. The collaborative research, editorial and pedagogical work in the project cuts across boundaries between academic and affective-creative writing that engage more personal, poetic, and narrative ways of transgressing methodological nationalisms.

I have served as the Co-Director of the National Research School for Gender Studies in Norway and led the interdisciplinary and interfaculty research group Foundational Questions in Gender and Sexuality Research at the University of Bergen.

As of May 2022, I'm the co-editor of European Journal of Women’s Studies (SAGE) together with madeleine kennedy-macfoy.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

Master of Arts, Central European University

Doctor of Philosophy, Linköping University

Bachelor of Arts, University of Tartu

Keywords

  • Gender Studies
  • Postcolonialism
  • Postsocialism
  • Transnational Feminisms
  • Sexuality
  • Race
  • Intersectionality
  • Visual culture
  • Visual arts
  • Cultural Studies
  • Critical Military Studies
  • Nationalism

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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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  • The weight of witnessing

    Koobak, R. & kennedy-macfoy, M., 23 Mar 2024, In: European Journal of Women's Studies. 31, 1, p. 3-5 3 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialpeer-review

    Open Access
  • Loving coalitions: seven texts on feminist resistance

    Kawesa, V., Knobblock, I., Vlachou, M., Koobak, R., Mehrabi, T., Tlostanova, M. & Lykke, N., 31 Dec 2023, In: Janus Unbound: Journal of Critical Studies. 3, 1, p. 28-63 36 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Open Access
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