Loyola University Chicago

Department of Philosophy

Full-Time Faculty

Johanna Oksala, PhD

Title/s:  Professor

Specialty Area: Political Philosophy

Office #:  Crown Center 331

Phone: 773-508-2378

Email: joksala@luc.edu

External Webpage: https://johannaoksala.com


Johanna Oksala is the Arthur J. Schmitt Professor of Philosophy. She joined Loyola University Chicago in August 2019. Before coming to LUC, Oksala taught at Pratt Institute of Art and Design (NY, USA), New School for Social Research (NY, USA), University of Helsinki (Finland), and University of Dundee (Scotland, UK).

Professor Oksala’s areas of expertise are political philosophy, feminist philosophy, environmental philosophy, Foucault, and phenomenology. She is the author of six monographs and over seventy journal articles and book chapters. Her work has been translated into ten languages. Oksala is on the editorial board of several academic journals, and she has given over a hundred conference papers and invited talks internationally.

Oksala’s books include: Foucault on Freedom (Cambridge UP, 2005), How to Read Foucault (Granta Books, 2007), Foucault, Politics, and Violence (Northwestern UP, 2012), Political Philosophy: All That Matters (Hodder and Stoughton, 2013), Feminist Experiences (Northwestern UP, 2016), and Feminism, Capitalism, and Ecology (Northwestern UP, 2023).

For further information on Professor Oksala’s academic experience and publications, see https://johannaoksala.com

Oksala’s most recent monograph, Feminism, Capitalism, and Ecology (2023) is a philosophical response that brings together feminist and ecological approaches to solving the global environmental crisis that the capitalist economic system has created. Its key contention is that, in the face of ecological catastrophe, neither feminists nor environmentalists have the option of merely supporting an environmental politics that would preserve an imagined nature somewhere outside capitalism. The political goal must be more radical: to challenge the capitalist economic system itself and the mechanisms by which it expropriates life on the planet.


PhD, University of Helsinki

Research Interests

Political philosophy, feminist philosophy, environmental philosophy, Foucault, phenomenology

Selected Publications


Feminism, Capitalism, and Ecology. Evanston, Illinois: Northwestern University Press, 2023.

Feminist Experiences: Foucauldian and Phenomenological Investigations. Evanston, Illinois: Northwestern University Press, 2016.

Political Philosophy: All That Matters. London: Hodder and Stoughton, 2013.

Foucault, Politics, and Violence. Evanston, Illinois: Northwestern University Press, 2012.

How to Read Foucault. London: Granta Books (Republished in USA, South-Korea, Japan, China, Turkey, and Brazil), 2007.

Foucault on Freedom. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005.

Recent articles and book chapters (2018–2023)

 “The Existential Threat of Climate Change: From Climate Anxiety to Post-Nihilist Politics.” Forthcoming in Environmental Philosophy, 2023.

“Neoliberal Subjectivation: Between Foucault and Marx.” Critical Inquiry, vol. 49, no 4, pp. 581-604, 2023.

“The method of critical phenomenology: Simone de Beauvoir as a phenomenologist.” European Journal of Philosophy, vol. 31, no. 1, pp. 137-150, 2023.

 “Beyond Neoliberal Realism: Foucault’s Late Politics.” Foucault’s Late Politics, a special issue of South Atlantic Quarterly, vol. 121, no. 4, pp. 655–673, 2022.

“Déconstruire le réel: la phénoménologie critique comme antinaturalisme. Entretien avec Johanna Oksala.” In Expériences vécues du genre et de la race. Pour une phénoménologie critique, edited by Mickaëlle Provost and Marie Garrau, pp.  201-208. Paris: Edition de Sorbonne, 2022.

“Feminism against Neoliberalism: Questioning the Political with Wendy Brown.” In Power, Neoliberalism, and the Reinvention of Politics: The Critical Theory of Wendy Brown, edited by Amy Allen and Eduardo Mendieta, pp. 101-120. Penn State University Press, 2022.

 “Feminism against Biocapitalism: Gestational Surrogacy and the Limits of the Labor Paradigm.” Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, vol. 44, no. 4, pp. 883-904, 2019.

Gutting, Gary and Oksala, Johanna: “Michel Foucault.” The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Summer 2018 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.). https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/sum2018/entries/foucault/, 2018.

“Feminism, Capitalism, and Ecology.” Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy, vol. 33, no. 2, pp. 216–234, 2018. (Translated into Portuguese and published in Brazil in 2020: https://www.e-publicacoes.uerj.br/index.php/Ekstasis/article/view/49382)