Dr. Miranda Niittynen

Sessional or Contract

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

PhD Women's Studies & Feminist Research, University of Western Ontario 2018

MA Women's Studies & Feminist Research, 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; LGBTQI2 histories and activisms; Human-animal studies and rights; Critical disability studies; Art therapy

Current Courses:

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

Women's Studies: Queer Visual Culture

Visual Arts: Theories and Methods of Art Therapy

Visual Arts: Art History: Renaissance to Contemporary

Previous Courses Taught:

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

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

Women's Studies: Queer Ecologies

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

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

Women's Studies / Anthropology: Feminist Perspective in Ethnography

Philosophy: Film and Contemporary Philosophy

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

 Visual Arts: Prehistory to the Middle Ages

Visual Arts: Renaissance to Contemporary

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

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. “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, 2021).

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, 2021).

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, 2021). 

Niittynen, M. "Apocalyptic Time: Vegan Taxidermy, Bio-engineerd Art(ificiality), and the Extinct Animal." Special Edition: Animal Futurity: A Speculative Exploration of the Future of Human-Animal Relations (Eds. Giulia Champion and Nora Castle). (forthcoming, 2022).