Susanna Paasonen (born 1975, Helsinki) is a Finnish feminist scholar. She is a Professor of Media Studies at the University of Turku, and was a visiting scholar at MIT in 2016. She gained her PhD from the University of Turku in 2002; her dissertation was on gender and the popularization of the internet, which was later published through Peter Lang. After holding positions at the universities of Tampere, Jyväskylä and Helsinki, Paasonen was appointed Professor of Media Studies at the University of Turku on 1 August 2011, and publishes on internet research, media theory, sexuality, pornography and affect.
On Monday, April 4th, Paasonen gave a lecture at Brown University on the politics and culture of online porn. In the essay, "Glimmers of the forbidden fruit: Reminiscing pornography, conceptualizing the archive," written along with Katariina Kyrölä, Paasonen traces the evolution of the "porn stash" from a physical collection to a digital one, and in doing so, examines cyberporn as a site of identity formation. She and Kyrölä suggest that pornography occasions the accumulation of a somatic archive, which are "not merely reservoirs of extra-cognitive sensation but also knowingly curated, reflected upon and reworked: they are simultaneously material and semiotic, intimate and culturally specific, affective and open to representation." In her lecture at Brown, Paasonen suggested that digital pornography must not be understood as something that creeps into society from the outside, but rather as something that already exists in contemporary culture. She writes, "Encounters with pornography therefore become incorporated as carnal capacity-- as what we can imagine our bodies enjoying and being capable of, or not enjoying and being capable of." Paasonen argues, therefore, that interactions with pornography, therefore, can contribute to the development of an individual's sexual identity.
The Finnish Academy of Science awarded her the Jutikkala Prize of €15,000 14 October 2011. In the same year Paasonen published the book, Carnal Resonance: Affect and Online Pornography, through MIT Press.