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Varpu Alasuutari

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

About me

I started working as a postdoc at Tampere University in fall 2021.


I mainly do research but have some teaching responsibilities as well. In spring 2022, I coordinate the online course "Perhe ja läheissuhteet sateenkaaren alla" (in Finnish). Starting from autumn 2022, I will grade the essays on Sexuality and Intimate Relations. I also supervise PhD and master students with topics that align with my research interests and expertise.

Fields of expertise

I am interested in the diversity of sexuality, gender, and relationships, as well as their history. In my current research, I explore the history of Christian queer activism in Finland from the perspective of affect theory. Previously I have studied LGBTQ+ people's experiences of grief, death, and friendship in difficult life situations. I have participated in founding the international Queer Death Studies Network and co-edited a special issue (in Finnish) on trans studies and intersex studies (Sukupuolentutkimus-Genusforskning 1/2017).

Research topics

I work in the project Affective Activism: Sites of Queer and Trans World-Making, funded by the Academy of Finland.

In this project, I study the early decades of Christian queer activism in Finland (1969-2002), the affective tensions between the church institution and homosexuality, and the feelings and hopes of people involved in the activism.

Research fields

Gender Studies, Queer Studies, Trans Studies

Selected publications

Juvonen, Tuula; Alasuutari, Varpu; Kähkönen, Lotta & Tainio, Luca (2022). Syrjäytettyjen tunteet aktivismissa. Published 8.2.2022. 

Alasuutari, Varpu & Heinonen, Anna (2021). Diverse Intimacies: On Friendship, Communal Living, and Non-Monogamy. The Research Network of Singlehood Studies Blog. Published 3.12.2021.  

Alasuutari, Varpu (2021). Tied Together by Death: Post-Mortem Forms of Affective Intimacy in LGBTQ People’s Stories of Partner Loss. NORA: Nordic Journal of Feminist and Gender Research, 29:3, 203-215. DOI:  

Alasuutari, Varpu; Whitestone, Stephenson Brooks; Goret, Laura Hansen; Jaworski, Katrina; Doletskaya, Olga & Zubillaga-Pow, Jun (2021). What Do We Talk About When We Talk About Queer Death? / 2 LGBTQ+ Necropolitics. Whatever. A Transdisciplinary Journal of Queer Theories and Studies, 4, 599–630.  

Alasuutari, Varpu (2020). Death at the End of the Rainbow: Rethinking Queer Kinship, Rituals of Remembrance and the Finnish Culture of Death. Annales Universitatis Turkuensis B 513. Turku: University of Turku. 

Alasuutari, Varpu (2020). Queer-ystävyys perheenä ja tukiverkostona. In Lahti, Annukka; Aarnio, Kia; Moring, Anna & Kerppola-Pesu, Jenni (eds.) Perhe- ja läheissuhteet sateenkaaren alla. Helsinki: Gaudeamus, 167–181.

Alasuutari, Varpu (2018). Queerit perheet ja läheisen kuolema. In Eerola, Petteri & Pirskanen, Henna (eds.), Perhe ja tunteet. Helsinki: Gaudeamus, 185–201.

Alasuutari, Varpu; Kondelin, Sade; Tainio, Luca; Toriseva, Roosa & Vähäpassi, Valo (eds.) (2017). Special Issue: Transtutkimus ja intersukupuolisuuden tutkimus. Sukupuolentutkimus-Genusforskning 30(1).