Dr. Saara Särmä is a feminist, an activist, an artist and a researcher. She’s interested in politics of visuality and image circulation, feminist academic activism, and laughter in world politics. Saara is the creator of “Congrats, you have an all male panel!” and co-founder of the Feminist Think Tank Hattu, which has empowered numerous women in Schools of Daring and Cursing Soirées. Her doctoral dissertation in International Relations (University of Tampere, 2014) focused on internet parody images and developed a unique and innovative art-based collage methodology for studying world politics, which her postdoctoral project (at Tampere University 2019-2022) Making Meaning out of Meme-making expands. Recently, she worked at Finnish National Defence University researching Hybrid Terrorizing. In her artistic work, Saara is engaged in several projects aiming at countering the effects of hatemail and online misogyny. She is committed to making both academia and the world kinder and better places.
2020. “Collaging as an empowering art-based method for IR” in Strausz Erzsebet, Shine Choi, & Anna Selmeczi (eds.) Critical Methods in Studying World Politics: Creativity and Transformation. New York: Routledge, Interventions series.
2019 with Anni Kangas, Daria Krivonos, and Inna Perheentupa “Smashing containers, queering the international through collaging”. International Feminist Journal of Politics 21(3), pp. 355–382.
2018. “Collaging Iranian missiles - Digital security spectacles and visual online parodies” in Vuori, Juha & Rune Saugmann Anderssen (eds.) Visual Security Studies - Sights and Spectacles of Insecurity and War. New York: Routledge, New Security series, pp. 150-171.
2017. “Nuclear wannabes and the worldly relevance of artistic methods” in a forum “A Bridge too far”? On the scholarly impact of worldly relevance for International Relations edited by Andrew Hom. International Studies Review 19(4): 692-721.
2016. “Congrats, you have an all male panel! A personal narrative” International Feminist Journal of Politics 18(3), pp. 470-476.
2016. “Collaging Internet Parody Images – An Art-Inspired Methodology For Studying Visual World Politics” in Hamilton Caitlin & Laura J. Shepherd (eds) Understanding Popular Culture and World Politics in the Digital Age. London: Routledge, pp. 175-188.
2016 with Marjaana Jauhola. “Reflecting Realities and Creating Utopias - Early Career Feminists (Un)Doing International Relations in Finland” in Thwaites, Rachel & Amy Pressland (eds.) (2016). Being an Early Career: Global Perspectives, Experiences, and Challenges. London: Palgrave, pp. 141-165.
2014. Doctoral dissertation Junk feminism and nuclear wannabes - collaging parodies of Iran and North Korea. Acta Universitatis Tamperensis: 1961. Tampere University Press.
2012. “Feminist interdisciplinarity and gendered parodies of nuclear Iran” in Aalto Pami, Sami Moisio & Vilho Harle (eds) Global and Regional Problems: towards an Interdisciplinary Study. Aldershot: Ashgate, pp. 151-170.