Johanna Sumiala is Associate Professor at Media and Communication Studies in the University of Helsinki. In recent years her work has focused on theoretical and empirical analysis of mediations of death in the contemporary media environment. Her research on media and communications is inspired by social theory and anthropology, especially ritual studies. She is also interested in learning more about digital methods.
Prior to her visit in LSE, she was a visiting fellow in Austrian Science Academy, Vienna (2019), University of Kent, Canterbury (2013-2014), Örebro University, Sweden (2011) and Goldsmiths College, University of London (2007-2008).
Currently, Sumiala co-directs a research consortium Hybrid Terrorizing: Developing a New Model for the Study of Global Media Events of Terrorist Violence (2017-2021) in the University of Helsinki. The project is Funded by the Academy of Finland. Her previous reserach project Digital Youth in the Media City (2016-2018), was carried out in collaboration with researchers and artists in Helsinki and St. Petersburg. The project was funded by Kone Foundation.
Sumiala is author of several journal articles and books. Her most recent books include: Hybrid Media Events: The Charlie Hebdo Attacks and Global Circulation of Terrorist Violence (2018, Emerald, co-authored with K. Valaskivi, M. Tikka & J. Huhtamäki), and Media and Ritual. Death, Community and Everyday Life (2013, Routledge). She is now finalising a monograph titled Mediated Death (Polity, 2021)
Dr Sumiala will work at LSE with Professor Nick Couldry, Professor Myria Georgiou, Professor Lilie Chouliaraki and Professor Terhi Rantanen.