Professor Elina Oinas

Elina Oinas is Professor in Sociology at the Swedish School of Social Science at the University of Helsinki, Finland.   

Professor Oinas' research deals with gender, feminisms and health. At the moment she works on two collaborative projects dealing with science, societal relevance, ideas of good health, feminism and body politics: one on feminisms and Gender Studies in comparative perspective in Ethiopia, South Africa and Finland, and another on a medical vaccine trial in Benin. The projects are brought together in the book she aims to write while in Clare Hall on different hopes and desires academics have in terms of being meaningful in the world, contrasting scholarship in Gender Studies and Biomedicine. She focuses on Finnish academics who work on projects in different locations in Africa. With this focus she hopes to highlight personal practices, difficulties, and politics of knowledge production regarding positionality, epistemology, decolonizing academia, whiteness and hope. The book is not only about ideals and hopes, however, as all the studied projects also have material, embodied elements.

Elina has been interested in how social sciences engage with human body, fluids and microbes since the 1990s, with empirical work on menstruation, HIV and most recently, diarrhea.   

Professor Oinas has previously worked in Gender Studies, Sociology and Development Studies for example at the University of Turku, Åbo Akademi, UC Berkeley, and the Nordic Africa Institute in Uppsala. Currently she is a member of the Executive Board of the International Sociological Association ISA.