Taija Kaarlenkaski profile picture
Cultural History and European and World History


+358 29 450 2743
+358 50 324 6852

Areas of expertise

Cultural research
human-animal relationships
dairy husbandry
new materialism


I have a background in folklore studies and human-animal studies. I received my PhD in Folklore Studies at the University of Eastern Finland, Joensuu campus, in 2012. In my doctoral dissertation, I investigated the construction of human-cow relationships in the material gathered by a public writing competition. I have specialized in my research in human-cattle relationships and the history of Finnish dairy husbandry. In my previous research project, funded by the Academy of Finland (2016-2019), I  examined the impacts of technologization and modernization on cattle husbandry and the concomitant human-animal relationships in Finland from the late 19th century until the 21st century. My previous publications may be found here: https://wiivi.uef.fi/crisyp/disp/_/fi/cr_redir_all/fet/fet/sea?direction=3&id=2699638


I am currently working in the Culture of Unsustainability research project (https://sites.utu.fi/unsus/en/), in which I will continue my research on the contemporary technologized dairy farms, focusing on the multifaceted relations between humans, animals, and technology. Furthermore, I will examine the cultural, political, national and economic meanings related to milk and milk consumption in Finland. My theoretical interests include posthumanist and new materialist theories, as well as the application of gender studies perspectives on human-animal relations.


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Priorities for social science and humanities research on the challenges of moving beyond animal-based food systems (2021)

Humanities & social sciences communications
Morris C, Kaljonen M, Aavik K, Balazs B, Cole M, Coles B, Efstathiu S, Fallon T, Foden M, Giraud EH, Goodman M, Kershaw EH, Helliwell R, Hobson-West P, Hayry M, Jallinoja P, Jones M, Kaarlenkaski T, Laihonen M, Lahteenmaki-Uutela A, Kupsala S, Lonkila A, Martens L, McGlacken R, Mylan J, Niva M, Roe E, Twine R, Vinnari M, White R
(A1 Alkuperäisartikkeli tieteellisessä aikakauslehdessä)