Anna-Elena Pääkkölä
Photo: Serena Solomon

Current research 

All of my research belongs to the field of cultural musicology, especially gender and queer studies. My interests include global and Finnish popular music, classical music, opera and musicals, film music and audiovisual popular music performances.
My current research project is concerned with the theme of Finnishness in the popular culture of 2010s Finland. I am interested in the idea of spatial listening, where the spatiality aspects of musical track conjure up images, and how these images represent traditional or ideal notions of Finnishness. Additional interests include the study of how fatness is represented in Finnish popular music, an article on Tom of Finland The Musical, and audiovisual texts concerning Finnish Neo-Nazis.
My doctoral dissertation Sound Kinks: Sadomasochistic Erotica in Audiovisual Music Performances combines cultural musicology and audiovisual analysis, and applies queer theory to sadomasochism while exploring the relationship between both of these concepts and music. The case studies included in the research address uses of popular music in music videos, opera, popular music and film music. I study sadomasochistic imagery, eroticism and performances in the mainstream media. I additionally comment on the position of gender roles in visual culture with reference to theory on camp performativity. I argue that sadomasochistic erotica is dependent on the juxtaposition of extremes, neosurrealist fantasy, and ambivalence between the visible and invisible. I have presented papers on this subject in Oslo, Vienna, London and New York, as well as Finnish seminars and symposia.
My earlier work history includes a position as substitute music teacher at Kuhmo comprehensive school, working in various musical projects, as a piano teacher and singing coach, and as a choir leader. I worked as symposium secretary for the Finnish Musicological Society’s anniversary symposium in 2011, and as secretary of the Finnish Musicological Society during 2011 – 2012. I additionally worked as a board member of the Finnish Ethnomusicological Society. I do volunteer work at Turku Girls’ House and write a blog about popular culture phenomena. Popular singing and dancing are among my most heartfelt hobbies. I’m currently working on a solo music project under the pseudonym ALANA, I do solo gigs and perform with the band Slow Floe. I also play a number of musical instruments, among the most cherished and also the newest to me being the Finnish kantele.