During the past decade, we have witnessed a surge of racism and neo-nationalist movements all over Europe and the US. Although roots of these movements can be traced back to the earlier European and colonial history, their current forceful emergence represents an abrupt divergence from the path of increasing social, political, and civic recognition of sexual, gender, “racial” or ethnic diversity that took place globally in the late 1990s and early 2000s. EU-wide economic tensions, growing social inequality, and austerity politics have provided a breeding ground for the rising intolerance, even violence towards those who are regarded as “the other.” At the same time, increasing negative human influence on the world is more significant than ever before. Climate change, sixth global mass extinction, deforestation, pollution, intensive animal farming, extensive land-use, ever-increasing consumption of natural resources, and human population growth have all already had – and will continue to have – serious consequences for the lives of humans, for all our planet’s nonhuman life forms, and for the entire Earth system.
This social, cultural, and ecological, globally critical situation compels the talk of Professor Karkulehto that seriously asks, if there is any hope left, especially for human race. During the talk, it will be considered, how we humans should rethink and reconfigure ourselves, our living conditions, and our aims, life values, and ethics, in order to survive.
Sanna Karkulehto is Professor of Literature in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland. She is Adjunct in Gender Studies at the University of Lapland in Literature and Culture Studies at the University of Oulu, Finland. Karkulehto has also served as Lecturer of Film Studies at the University of Oulu and she has paid several research visits to, e.g., University of Seattle, WA and Rice University in Houston, TX, USA; University of Melbourne, Australia; and Utrecht University, Netherlands.
Karkulehto’s most recent books include co-edited Reconfiguring Human, Nonhuman and Posthuman in Literature and Culture (Routledge 2019) and Gender, Violence and Affect (Palgrave, forthcoming in 2020). She is the founding co-editor (2005–2008) of SQS: Journal of Queer Studies and currently the editor of Wisdom Letters. She is the chair (together with Dr. Tuija Saresma) of the Association of Gender Studies in Finland (SUNS). She holds a European Post Graduate Certificate in Audiovisual Production (EAVE).