Julian Honkasalo


    Research areas

  • 615 History and Archaeology - history of psychiatry, history of the prison institution, eugenics, racial hygiene, reproductive justice, ableism, transgender history, oral history
  • 6160 Other humanities - gender studies, transgender studies , critical masculinity studies, trans history
  • 611 Philosophy - biopolitics, racialization, Hannah Arendt, Michel Foucault, power
  • 517 Political science - Hannah Arendt, Human rights, totalitarianism, resistance, activism and agency

Description of research and teaching

My research project "Unfit for Citizenship: Eugenics and the Pathologization of Gender Nonconformity" advances and reconstructs earlier scholarly literature on 20th century eugenic discourses by examining the phenomenon of gender reassignment -related sterilization legislation in Scandinavian countries from a queer-theoretical and historical perspective. The research project aims to understand and answer the following questions: 1) how do certain forms of embodiment and gender expression come to be viewed as legitimately subjected to state-sanctioned sterilization? 2) What do various moral, psychiatric and political techniques around gender non-conforming embodiment and subjectivity reveal about a society, the nation-state, and notions of citizenship?

I am interested in biopolitics, social and political constructions of the fit and able-bodied citizen, dynamics of racialization as well as feminist disability studies, transgender reproductive justice, self-determination and theorization of resistance. My research approach and interests are multidisciplinary and stem from personal interests in human rights activism.

My latest publication can be downloaded and read at:

"Unfit for Parenthood? Compulsory Sterilization and Transgender Reproductive Justice in Finland"

My research project is funded by Kone Foundation and is carried out at the University of Helsinki, Department of Gender Studies.


Teaching experience

  • SPT-375 Introduction to feminist trans- and disability studies (in Finnish). Gender Studies, University of Helsinki, fall 2018.

  • SPT-373 Feminist research on violence (in Finnish). Gender Studies, University of Helsinki, spring 2018.

  • Introduction to Feminist Thought and Action. Teaching Assistant for Prof. Ann Snitov, gender studies, The New School, USA. Fall, 2015.

  • WNA310 Feminist Interpretations of Hannah Arendt. Gender Studies, University of Helsinki, Spring 2014.

  • FFI220 The history of the mind-body problem. Department of Theoretical Philosophy, University of Helsinki, spring, 2008.

  • The History of the Philosophy of Mathematics (in Swedish). Department of Philosophy, University of Helsinki, fall 2007.




Education information


  • Ph.D in political theory, Department of Political Science, The New School for Social Research, USA, 2017. Advisor: Prof. Andreas Kalyvas.
  • Ph.D in gender studies, Department of Philosophy, History, Culture and Art Studies, University of Helsinki, 2016. Advisor: Prof. Tuija Pulkkinen.
  • MA in political science, Department of Political Science, The New School for Social Research (USA) 2010. Advisor: Prof. Andreas Kalyvas.
  • MA in philosophy, Department of Philosophy, University of Helsinki, Finland, 2006. Advisor: doc. Martina Reuter.

Highlighted publications

  1. Accepted/In press

    In the shadow of eugenics: transgender sterilization legislation and the struggle for self-determination

    Honkasalo, J. N. N., 2019, (Accepted/In press) The Emergence of Trans: Essays on Health, Culture and the Politics of Everyday Life. London & New York: Routledge

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review

  2. When boys will not be boys: American eugenics and the formation of gender nonconformity as psychopathology

    Honkasalo, J., 30 Nov 2016, In : Norma: International Journal for Masculinity Studies. 11, 4, p. 270–286 17 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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