Redi Koobak is a feminist cultural studies scholar who specializes in critical studies of postcolonial and postsocialist Europe. Her expertise includes global perspectives on gender, race, and sexuality, visual and art activism, transnational feminism, and the intersections between postcolonial and postsocialist feminist theorizing and practice.
She holds an MA degree in Gender Studies from Central European University, Hungary and a PhD degree in Interdisciplinary Gender Studies from Linköping University, Sweden. In 2016-2018, Redi held a 2-year Assistant Professor position in Linköping University with focus on postcolonial and postsocialist feminisms and creative writing methodologies. In 2019-2022, she was a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Centre for Women’s and Gender Research, University of Bergen, Norway, working on a project focused on the impact of #MeToo on academia and feminist pedagogies. She has been a Visiting Scholar at the University of California Santa Cruz, USA and at the University of Western Cape, South Africa.
In her PhD dissertation Whirling Stories: Postsocialist Feminist Imaginaries and the Visual Arts (2013), Redi offered an account of 3-year long (auto)ethnographic engagement with the work of Anna-Stina Treumund, Estonia’s first artist to put queer feminist and lesbian sexuality centre-stage. Redi’s postdoctoral work, funded by the Swedish Research Council, examined intersections of gender, nation and war in Estonian media discourses, parliamentary debates and state-commissioned art projects in relation to the ISAF-mission in Afghanistan. The collaborative project, which resulted in a jointly researched book Gendering Military Sacrifice: A Feminist Comparative Analysis (2019, Routledge) edited by Cecilia Åse and Maria Wendt, combined in-depth contextual analysis of parliamentary debates, media narratives and artistic representations with cross-country comparisons of six European national contexts to identify national differences and similarities in justifying war deaths of European soldiers.
Redi Koobak is the lead editor of the volume Postcolonial and Postsocialist Dialogues: Intersections, Opacities, Challenges in Feminist Theorizing and Practice (2021, Routledge). Growing out of the work with the network she established together with co-editors Madina Tlostanova and Suruchi Thapar-Björkert, the book brings together scholars, activists and artists from a variety of disciplinary, geographical and historical specializations to conceptualize the resonances and dissonances between the postcolonial and the postsocialist in transnational feminist scholarship and activism. Apart from developing new ways of thinking about gender, sexuality, trans and queer identities, race, migration, diasporas, indigeneity, and disability, this volume tackles theorizing from non-dominant locations beyond complicity and advocates for a politics of “deep coalitions” against racial capitalism.
Together with Nina Lykke, Petra Bakos, Swati Arora and Kharnita Mohamed, Redi Koobak is co-editing the volume And Words Collide from a Place: Pluriversal Conversations on Transnational Feminism (forthcoming in 2023, Routledge) which focuses on transnational feminisms in conversation with intersectional and decolonial approaches. The book is an outcome of a 4-year close collaboration between Linköping University, University of Bergen, Central European University and University of the Western Cape, funded by the Swedish Foundation for International Cooperation in Research and Higher Education. The collaborative research, editorial and pedagogical work in the project cuts across boundaries between academic and affective-creative writing that engage more personal, poetic, and narrative ways of transgressing methodological nationalisms.
As of May 2022, Redi Koobak is the co-editor of European Journal of Women’s Studies (SAGE) together with madeleine kennedy-macfoy.
She currently works as Chancellor’s Fellow and Senior Lecturer in Interdisciplinary Gender Studies at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK.