Anu Koivunen is Professor of Cinema Studies in the Department of Media Studies at Stockholm University. She received her PhD in 2003 at University of Turku, and is affiliated as adjunct professor (docent) at Universities of Helsinki and Tampere. She has written on Finnish cinema and television history and feminist film theory, contemporary documentaries, the new cultural imagination around Sweden Finns and mediated cultures of emotion. Currently she conducts research on the aesthetics of intimacy in 1960s Finnish and Swedish cinema. Koivunen participates actively in public debates as a columnist for Hufvudstadsbladet, as a blogger for The Finnish Association of Science Editors and Journalists and on Twitter (@anukoivunen).

”The national public spheres of radio and television”

This project investigates the role of radio and television in forming and reproducing national public spheres in Finland and Sweden, and especially the meanings of broadcasting for what Tony Judt termed the ”golden age of nation-states”. In focus is the drama production which historically has been of great importance for public service media, not only in Finland and Sweden, but also Great Britain, Denmark and Germany. Radio and TV dramas have embodied the vision of public service as a cultural institution, in addition to which they also have played a key role in winning the hearts and minds of audiences for supporting the economical and political legitimacy of public service media. Studying a selection of drama productions, media debates, programme charts and TV memories, Koivunen investigates how broadcasting companies, on the one hand, staged national, political and cultural public spheres (Folkhem, People’s Home, nation) while, on the other hand, mediated the place of the citizen in and in relation to the world beyond. In this way, the project excavates the role of broadcasting companies in staging, mediating and managing political antagonisms and compromises. The project analyses the meanings of drama productions for nation-building and democracy, offering a historical investigation into the similarities and differences between Swedish and Finnish political public spheres.

Contact information

Anu Koivunen
E-mail: anu.koivunen(at)


“The Promise of Touch: turns to affect in feminist film theory”. In Laura Mulvey & Anna Backmann Rogers (eds) Feminisms. The Key Debates Vol. 5. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press (forthcoming 2015).

“Hela folkets teater? Televisionsteatrarna i Finland från 1960-talet till 1980-talet Hela folkets teater? Televisionsteatrarna i Finland från 1960-talet till 1980-talet”. In: Juhani Wiio (ed.) Den finska televisionens milstolpar. Program och programproduktion under fem årtionden. Göteborg: Nordicom, 2014, 165–175.

“Uncanny motions: facing death, morphing life” in Discourse: Journal for Theoretical Studies in Media and Culture 35:2 (Spring 2013), 248–262.

“Talking Heads, Imagined Communities: Steam of Life and the Affective Politics of Intimate Documentary”, Journal of Scandinavian Cinema, 2:2, 2012, 97–112.

“Force of Affects, Weight of Histories in Love is a Treasure (2002). In: Carnal Aesthetics: Transgressive Body Imagery and Feminist Politics, edited by Bettina Papenburg and Marta Zarzycka. London: I.B. Tauris, 2012, 89–101.

“Party Apps and Other Citizenship Calls”, in Moving Data. The iPhone and My Media, edited by Pelle Snickars & Patrick Vonderau. Columbia University Press 2012, 223–237.

“An Affective Turn? Reimagining the subject of feminist theory”, in Marianne Liljeström & Susanna Paasonen (eds) Disturbing Differences: Working with Affect in Feminist Readings. London: Routledge 2010, 8-28.

“Confessions of a Free Woman: telling feminist stories in postfeminist media culture”, Journal of Aesthetics & Culture, Vol. 1, 2009 DOI: 10.3402/jac.v1i0.4644

“Soulfulness, Sichtbarkeit and the Sexual Politics of National Cinema”, in Tytti Soila (ed.): Stellar Encounters: Stardom in Popular European Cinema (London: John Libbey Publ, 2009.), 2009.)

“Do you remember Monrépos?: Melancholia, Modernity and Working-Class Masculinity in The Man Without a Past (Aki Kaurismäki 2002)” in Claire Thomsen (ed.) Northern Constellations.New Readings in Nordic Cinema. London, Norvik Press 2006, 133-148.

Performative Histories, Foundational Fictions. Gender and Sexuality in Niskavuori Films. Studia Fennica Historica. Finnish Literature Society, Helsinki, 2003. 425 s. Doctoral dissertation.