Katve-Kaisa Kontturi profile picture
Docent, Faculty of Humanities
University Lecturer, Art History, Musicology and Media Studies


Arcanuminkuja 1

Areas of expertise

contemporary art
art-based research
new materialisms


I'm on leave of absence on from my teaching position (until 31 July, 2023) and currently work as a senior research fellow and co-director in the multidisciplinary research project "New Economies of Artistic Labour"(2019-2024, Kone Foundation).

I have worked at the University of Turku in several research and teaching positions since 2002, with lengthy periods of research abroad. In 2014–2017, I was a McKenzie Postdoctoral Fellow with the project ”Affective Fabrics of Contemporary Art: Stitching Global Relations” at the Victorian College of the Arts, The University of Melbourne, where I continue to supervise practice-led PhDs. My research also affiliates with SenseLab: A Laboratory for Thought in Motion (Concordia University, Montreal, Canada), where I spent a term as a visiting scholar in 2013–2014; I’m currently a member of SenseLab’s Australian Hub through my affiliation with The National Institute of Experimental Arts at the University of New South Wales, Sydney (CCAP: Contemporary Culture, Arts and Politics). Earlier, I have held visiting researcher positions in Gender Studies, The University of Sydney (2006), in History of Art at UC Berkeley (2006–2007), and at the Finnish African Cultural Institute of Villa Karo in Benin (2008).


I'm currently on research leave, and do not offer teaching. I, however, continue to supervise PhD students.

Recent intermediate level course units that I have coordinated and taught include e.g. Art and Politics, Contemporary Art Intensive, and Embroidering Varieties of Gender (dept. of Gender Studies). 

I often integrate practical components into my teaching, such as visits to museums and exhibitions, and bring actual works of art to my classes. I enjoy teaching methodologies and analysis. I have a teaching certificate (University of Turku, Adult Education) and have studied University-level Pedagogy at the Universities of Turku and Melbourne.


My areas of expertise include contemporary art, participatory research, arts-based and practice-led research, feminisms, activisms, (new) materialisms, and research methodologies. I’ve developed new materialist research especially in the fields of arts and humanities for over 15 years by way of research projects, publications and event organisation. In 2014–2018, I was a managing committee member and country coordinator for New Materialism COST IS1307 mobility action, and co-convened the network’s largest working group ”New Materialism Embracing the Creative Arts” that had over 60 members from 16 countries. The results have been published in several special issues including Cultural Studies Review (2015)Studies in Material Thinking (2017) and Ruukku: Studies in Artistic Research (2018)

Since September 2017, I have been a senior researcher in the project Localizing Feminist New Materialisms (Academy of Finland, 2017–2021), led by Dr Taru Leppänen (Gender Studies, University of Turku), where I study minor activisms of gender and art. As part of this project, I co-run a craftivism group for asylum seekers in Turku, and organise Feminist Colour-IN events with Dr Kim Donaldson. In December 2018, Kone Foundation granted me, Dr Milla Tiainen and our multidisciplinary research team a 4-year research grant to study ”Changing Economies of Artworking” in Finland.

My monograph Ways of Following: Art, Materiality, Collaboration (Open Humanities Press, 2018) continues my new materialist, art-based work and offers methodological insights on how to appreciate the materialities of art, and embraces new ways of being and thinking that they offer.


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