Meet our Keynote Speakers

HEPP2 is fortunate to have fascinating keynote speakers at the conference! Please meet: 

Bice Maiguashca (University of Exeter): "Resisting the populist hype: A feminist critique".

Silvio Waisbord (George Washington University): "Pandemic under populism: cultural wars and the collapse of the communication commons".

And our internal keynote speakers Katja Valaskivi and Johanna Sumiala (University of Helsinki): "Covid-19, QAnon and epistemic instability: the circulation of conspiracy theories in the hybrid media environment".

All three keynote sessions at our conference are public live events. Even though the sessions are public, you need a link to join them. Our registered participants will receive the links in the email invites. If you are not registered but would like to attend the keynote sessions, please contact Irina Grigor at

Bice Maiguashca is an Associate Professor in the Politics Department at Exeter University. Her research interests bring together the study of social movements, feminist theory and practice and left politics. Recent publications include ‘Resisting the Populist Hype: A Feminist Critique of a Globalising Concept’, Review of International Studies (2019); ‘Did Somebody Say Populism? Towards a Renewal and Reorientation of Populism Studies’, Journal of Ideologies, (2019) with Jonathan Dean; ‘Theorising Feminist Organising in and against Neoliberalism: Beyond Co-optation and Resistance?’, European Journal of Politics and Gender, (2018) with Catherine Eschle, and ‘Gender, Power and Left Politics: From Feminisation to Feministisation’, Politics and Gender (2018) with Jonathan Dean.

Silvio Waisbord is Director and Professor of the School of Media and Public Affairs at George Washington University. He is the author and editor of 18 books, including more recently Communication: A Post-Discipline and The Communication Manifesto, both published by Polity Press. He is the former Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Communication and the International Journal of Press/Politics. He has lectured and worked in more than 40 countries. He is a Fellow of the International Communication Association.  

Johanna Sumiala is an Associate Professor in Media and Communication Studies in the University of Helsinki. In recent years, her work has focused on the theoretical and empirical analysis of mediations of death in the contemporary hybrid media environment. Her research on media and communications is inspired by social theory and anthropology, especially ritual studies, and the study of religions. She is also interested in learning more about digital methods. Currently, Sumiala works on religion and populism. She is head of The Nordic Network of Religion, Media and Populism (NOREMPO). 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).

Katja Valaskivi is an Associate Professor at the University of Helsinki, where she teaches in religion, media and social change. Her research focuses on the circulation of ideas, worldviews, belief systems and meanings in the contemporary media environment. She currently heads research projects on media and terrorism, and politics of conspiracy theories, as well as circulation of extremism in the dark web and beyond. Her recent co-authored articles deal with the circulation of hate speech in 4chan after terror attacks (First Monday 2021), the news desk as an attention apparatus in terrorism news coverage (Journalism Practice 2020) and countermedia as an integral part of the hybrid media environment (New Media and Society, 2021). She is the author of Cool Nations. Media and the Social Imaginary of the Branded Country (2016) as well as co-author of Traces of Fukushima. Global Events, Networked Media and Circulating Affect (2019) and Hybrid Media Events. The Charlie Hebdo Attack and the Global Circulation of Terrorist Violence (2018).