CSGS Visiting Scholar: Leena-Maija Rossi

CSGS Visiting Scholar: fall 2012/spring 2013

Leena-Maija Rossi

Leena-Maija Rossi is a Principal Investigator in Gender Studies at University of Helsinki, and Adjunct Professor in Visual Culture at University of Turku, Finland. She is also member of the research project Abusive Sexuality and Sexual Violence in Contemporary Culture (2012-14, University of Jyväskylä). Currently she works as the Executive Director at the Finnish Cultural Institute in New York.

Current research:

My research background is in feminist theories, queer studies, and visual culture. Within the realm of queer studies I have been focused on critical research of heterosexuality, and recently my mind has been occupied by intersectionality of gender, sexuality, class and ethnicity, especially whiteness. During my time at CSGS, I will further my two latest projects:

Under the working title Imagined White People and Different Shades of Pale I will take a look at the parallel and intersecting norms of whiteness and heterosexuality through case studies of both Finnish and American media. My research questions include the following: How do media images and narratives produce the imagined nations of straight white people? What are the used signifiers of respectability? How are the outlines of sameness and difference drawn visually? How are differences within whiteness, different shades of pale, produced?

In my other project I will focus on contemporary North American television, and its audiovisual representations of gendered and sexualized violence in such popular series as True Blood (2008–), Cold Case (2003–), and Gilmore Girls (2000–2007). My aim is to discuss the ways in which representations of gendered and sexualized violence participate in the societal legitimation of violence as problem solution. I will analyze how violence is both treated critically and re-produced as an accepted mode of behaviour: how it is not only shown in its brutality, but also romanticized, and made an outright laudable mode of gendered and sexualized behavior.

Recent articles:

“Happy” and “unhappy” performatives of heterosexuality. Australian Feminist Studies. 1/2011. 9-23.

Bad Citations? Adapting the Theory of Gender Performativity. In Jillian St. Jacques (ed.), Adaptation Theories. Rotterdam: Jan van Eyck Press, 2011. 135-167.

Daughters of Privilege. Class, Gender, Sexuality, Affectivity and Gilmore Girls. In Marianne Liljeström & Susanna Paasonen (eds.) Disturbing Differences. Feminist Readings of Identity, Location and Power. London & New York: Routledge, 2010. 85-98.

How to Make (Visual) Trouble Inside a Hetero Factory? In Lena Martinsson & Eva Reimers (eds.) Norm Struggles. Cambridge Scholars Publisher, 2010. 83-95.

Licorice Boys and Female Coffee Beans. Representations of Colonial Complicity in Finnish Visual Culture. In Diana Mulinari et al. (eds.) Complying with Colonialism. Gender, Race and Ethnicity in the Nordic Region. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2009. 189-204.

You can email Leena-Maija Rossi at lmrossi(at)nyu.edu.