Reading Circle

Norm critical reading circle

What is norm criticality? How can one read pictures and texts from the norm critical -point of view? Join with us to the norm critical reading circle and find out!

We can choose languages used in discussions depending on who is present. Main languages of the persons hosting the event are Finnish and English.

The idea of the norm critical reading circle is to discuss about the texts/pictures that from some point of view cover a norm critical approach. (Please notice that in the norm critical reading circle we follow the principles for safer spaces!)

What would you like to discuss about? Suggest themes and/or reading materials! Materials can be, for example, comics(trips), podcasts, blog texts, picture(s), videos or interactive exercise.
Contact information:


The earlier themes and materials of the reading circle have been:

14.1 2016 Reading circle: Stigmatised forms of nondisability

We want to welcome you to the second session of our two part reading circle on compulsory able-bodiedness. In this session, we will read a text by the Finnish researcher Elina Vaahtera who has critically developed ideas of compulsory able-bodiedness, building on the work of Robert McRuer. (In the first session we read a text by McRuer, but it is possible to participate even if you missed the first session)

The session will be held in Kallion kirjasto (ryhmätyötila Otso) on the 14th of January 2016 from 18:00 to 20:00.
Text: Elina Vaahtera: Compulsory able-bodiedness and the stigmatised forms of nondisability (19 pages)
Available at: (navigate to 1-2/2012 and give your e-mail to be able to download for free)
-A text about incoherencies of the idea of able-bodiedness exemplified by an analysis of Finnish discourses on swimming ability

29.1.2014 What is norm criticality?

Älä oleta. Normikriittinen käsikirja yhdenvertaisuudesta, syrjinnän vastustamisesta ja vapaudesta olla oma itsensä”; chapters 3 and 5. (in Finnish)

BRYT! Ett metodmaterial om normer i allmänhet och heteronormen i synnerhet pages 6 – 22 (in Swedish)

BREAK THE NORM! Methods for studying norms in general and heteronorm in particular pages 4 – 12 (in English)

19.2.2014 Norm critical comics (norms around relationships and family)

Suffragettien city. Johanna Rojola (toim.), especially pages 66 – 117. (in Finnish)

The authors have published their comics in Swedish originally, and some in English, too. You can check out for example comics by Karolina Bång from her blog:

The disappearence of the nuclear family (in English)

Du är den enda (in Swedish)

Alison Bechdel. Fun home: a family tragicomic. This comic is available in the city library ( (in English, Swedish and Finnish)

2.4.2014 Privileges attached to whiteness, Finnishness and relationship to colonialism

“Explaining white privilege to a broke white person…” (in English)

Feminismi, tasa-arvo ja suomalainen keskustelu (in Finnish)

8.5.2014 Transgender and social construction

Salamon, Gayle (2010): “Boys of the Lex. Transgender and Social Construction” in Assuming a Body: Transgender and Rhetorics of Materiality. USA: Columbia University Press. p 69 – 94. The book is electronically available from the Helsinki University Library: (in English)

9.6.2014 Whiteness, postcolonialism, Finnishness

Rastas, Anna (2012) “Reading History through Finnish Exceptionalism” in Whiteness and Postcolonialism in the Nordic Region: Exceptionalism, Migrant Others and National Identities. The book is electronically available from the Helsinki University Library: (in English)