Dr. Miranda Niittynen

Sessional or Contract

Phone Number: 
+1 (807) 343-8625
Office Location: 
RB 2016
Academic Qualifications: 

PhD Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies, University of Western Ontario 2018

MA Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies, University of Western Ontario 2011

HBA Philosophy and History (Minor in Women's Studies), Lakehead University 2010

Previous Teaching/Work: 

Teaching Areas: Decolonial art and arts-based activism; Feminist theory and qualitative research methods; Sexuality studies and queer theory; 2SLGBTQI* histories and activisms; Museum studies; Human-animal studies and rights; Critical disability studies; Trauma theory and art therapy methods

Current Courses (Undergraduate/Graduate):

Spring 2022

Gender and Women's Studies: Representing Disability

Winter 2022

Gender and Women's Studies: Queer Activisms

Visual Arts: Renaissance to Contemporary

Visual Arts: History of 20th and 21st Century Canadian Art

Fall 2021

Gender and Women's Studies: Human Rights and the Museum

Visual Arts: Prehistory to the Middle Ages

Social Justice Studies: Disability, Illness, Art

Previous Courses Taught (Undergraduate):

Gender and Women's Studies: Gender, Bodies and Sexuality

Gender and Women's Studies: Extraordinary Bodies: Disability, Race, and Gender

Gender and Women's Studies / Media, Film, and Communications: Gender, Popular Culture and Counter-Culture

Gender and Women's Studies: Queer Visual Culture

Gender and Women's Studies: Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies

Gender and Women's Studies: Queer Ecologies

Gender and Women's Studies: Guerrillas and Craftivists: Feminist Art and the Body

Gender and Women's Studies: Queer Play: Unconventional Activism and Experimental Art

Gender and Women's Studies / Anthropology: Feminist Perspective in Ethnography

Philosophy: Film and Contemporary Philosophy

Visual Arts / Gender and Women's Studies: Critical Studies in Feminist Visual Culture

Visual Arts: Theories and Methods of Art Therapy

 Visual Arts: Prehistory to the Middle Ages

Visual Arts: Renaissance to Contemporary

Visual Arts: History of 20th and 21st Century Canadian Art

 Previous Courses Taught (Graduate):

Social Justice Studies: Social Justice and Creative Therapies

Social Justice Studies: Extraordinary Bodies: Disability, Race, and Gender

Social Justice Studies: Theories and Practices of Art and Social Justice

Research Interests: 

The museumification and exploitation of postmortem racialized, sexualized, and disabled bodies on display; history of 'freak' shows and human zoos; creative and anti-conventional feminist ethnographies; feminist eco-art and queer ecologies; queer theory in performance art, drag performance, and dance; the critical and playful portrayal of sexuality and disability in avant-garde film; and other unconventional styles of art and activism that can be used as a tool for social transformation and political action.

Her research focuses primarily on the ways that taxonomies of species difference were historically, and are currently, used to dehumanize human groups in museum displays and ethnographic exhibits. Looking to the contemporary art gallery, she analyzes how taxidermy sculpture operates as a medium to convey critiques of ontology, colonialism, racism, ableism, and postmortem human and animal bodily rights violations.

Niittynen, M. "Apocalyptic Time: Vegan Taxidermy, the Remains of Dolly the Sheep, and Bio-Engineered Art(ificiality) in the Time of Mass Species Extinction." Green Letters: Studies in Ecocriticism (2022): 1-16.


Niittynen, M. “Interspecies Blendings and Resurrections: Material Histories of Disability and Race in Taxidermy Art.” Canadian Journal of Disability Studies 9.2 (2020): 103-138.


Niittynen, M. “Animal Magic: Sculpting Queer Encounters through Rogue Taxidermy Art.” Gender Forum 55 (2015): 10-25.


Niittynen, M. “Giving Ethnographic Accounts: A Critical Feminist Window.” Word Hoard 4 (2015): 9-20.

Niittynen, M. “Queering Animal Acts.” Reviews in Cultural Theory 6.2 (2016): n.p.

Niittynen, M. “Capitulate to Swine, An Argument for Animal Rights.” Elizabeth Buset: Swine. Thunder Bay Art Gallery, 2017.

Niittynen, M. “The Head that Sticks: Racial Erasure, Gender Roles and Taxidermy Mounts.” Society & Animals: Journal of Human-Animal Studies (forthcoming, 2022).

Niittynen, M. and Stevens, V. “Introduction: Sensing through Affect Theory and Animal Studies.” Special Edition: Perceptual Encounters: ‘Sensing’ the Field of Human-Animal Studies (Eds. Miranda Niittynen and Valerie Stevens). Society & Animals: Journal of Human-Animal Studies (forthcoming, 2022).

Niittynen, M. "Preserving the Dead: Nonhuman Animals, AIDS Activism, and the Queer Archive." Gender and Sexuality in Critical Animal Studies. Ed. Amber George. Toronto: Canadian Scholars' Press (forthcoming, 2022). 

Miranda has also been invited by the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh to write a critical race analysis of the historical exhibit, "Lion Attacking a Dromedary" (forthcoming 2023).

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