Sunniva Árja Tobiasen's picture
Kamilla Stølen

Sunniva Árja Tobiasen

PhD Candidate
  • E-mailSunniva.Tobiasen@uib.no
  • Visitor Address
    Parkveien 9
    Ida Bloms hus
    5007 Bergen
  • Postal Address
    Postboks 7805
    5020 Bergen

Sunniva is a PhD candidate at the Centre for Women's and Gender Research (SKOK). In their project, they explore sexuality and gender norms and more specifically how expectations about sexuality (compulsory sexuality) have a bodily dimension, with a particular focus on how being fat can affect a person’s experience of their own sexuality and gender.

Sunniva has a master's degree in interdisciplinary gender studies from the University of Oslo and a bachelor's degree in sociology from the University of Stavanger.

Sunniva has also been a research assistant for the research project EuroWARCHILD from 2021 to 2022, and as an extension of this work, they published a research article about Samí and Kven children born of war where they discuss the importance of including ethnicity and race as perspective in research on children born of war.

In their PhD project, Sunniva pays particularly close attention to which structures underlie our experience of who is considered sexual, whose sexuality is not questioned and who experiences being desexualized or hypersexualized.

What are the bodily frameworks for normative sexuality, how are they experienced by those who break these sexual body norms, and how does this affect the construction of fat people's sexuality? Through interviews with fat people, Sunniva will contribute knowledge about the bodily framework for a normative understanding of sexuality and gender. Sunniva will also emphasize language, as we do not use neutral language when we talk and write about body size. Also, how people talk about themselves and their experiences can tell us something about the normative framework for subject formation in relation to sexuality, gender and the body.

This project is unique in Norway, since critical fat studies has not yet been established as a research field, and since very little research on fat people is being done outside the scope of medical or health research in Norway. This is a project that seeks to establish critical fat studies in a Norwegian context as well as contribute to the international research environments that emphasize fat perspectives and fat people's own experiences in the context of gender and sexuality.

At SKOK, Sunniva is a member of the interdisciplinary and interfacultary research group Foundational Questions in Gender and Sexuality Research.

Sunniva is also a member of Queer Research Group at the University of Stavanger.

The last couple of years, Sunniva has actively communicated research about sexuality norms and asexuality in Norwegian media. They have also participated in several panels at Pride events.

Communication as PhD candidate at SKOK

Sunniva has taught at both bachelor and master level at the University of Oslo. They have taught classes in gender, sexuality, equality and diversity, as well as theory of science and academic writing.

At SKOK, Sunniva leads the seminar in the course KVIK100 Kjønnsforskinga sine tenkjemåtar (Introduction to Gender Studies)

Academic article
  • Show author(s) (2023). Samiske og kvenske krigsbarn – en diskusjon om betydningen av etnisitet. Nytt Norsk Tidsskrift. 30-40.
  • Show author(s) (2023). Queering Research - keynote.
  • Show author(s) (2023). Compulsory Sexuality and Asexuality .
Reader opinion piece
  • Show author(s) (2022). Children Born of War Should be More Than an Afterthought. PRIO Blogs.
  • Show author(s) (2023). «Dina» er berre 18 år, men trur at ho aldri kjem til å ha sex.
  • Show author(s) (2023). Når «Aisha» fortel om legningen sin, trur ikkje alle på ho.
  • Show author(s) (2023). Da Linnéa møtte kjæresten, ventet hun seks uker med å avsløre hemmeligheten hun bar på.
  • Show author(s) (2023). Augeblikket «Kristoffer» (24) skjønte at han ikkje var som «alle» andre.
  • Show author(s) (2021). Hva vil det egentlig si å være aseksuell?

More information in national current research information system (CRIStin)

Sunniva's PhD project has the working title Sizing Up Desirable Bodies- Examining the fat-bodied boundaries of sexuality and gender.