Workshop 5 (FULL)

7th European Congress of Qualitative Inquiry
University of Helsinki, 10-12 January 2024, Helsinki, Finland
A Sauna Study – Experimenting with body permeabilities

NB! The workshop is fully booked.

Workshop time: 5 pm–9 pm

The aim of this workshop is to radically situate the participants in the mid-wintery Nordic atmosphere of Helsinki city while living through methodologies and methodological practices of knowing, sensing, and becoming. A sauna is an inherent part of Finnish culture and is commonly part of any gathering, be it a research seminar, family event, celebration, or transition in personal life. The Sauna is a place for purification, relaxation, rituals, myths, and beliefs. It also offers unique experiences of engaging with drastic temperature and humidity changes. 

In the workshop, we ask what the sauna does to a researcher’s bodymind? How is the researcher's bodymind affected and becoming by the heat, steam, and water of different temperatures? How do we sense the porosity and adaptability of our bodies in the flux of these contrast-rich conditions – warming up, sweating, cooling, steaming, drying, getting wet? What kinds of connections, intra-actions, and states of knowing and becoming are activated in these circumstances?

The Sauna Study will include experiments with writing and storytelling, as well as bodily and sensory exercises. These allow associations with sensory methodologies, hydrofeminism, transcorporeal theories, personal embodied memories, stories of intergenerational exchange, cultural traditions and more. 

The workshop invites the participants to spend an evening together in a sauna located on the seashore of central Helsinki.  There will be various sauna turns according to gender identification and an option of swimming in the icy sea. The sauna turn will be followed by a discussion and a social gathering. An evening snack and 1–2 drinks are included in the price of the workshop. More detailed instructions will be sent to the registered participants. Places for the workshop are limited and will be reserved in the order of registration. 


Workshop Facilitators

Dr. Riikka Hohti has examined topics such as child-animal relations, museum pedagogies, feminist care ethics, and materiality and temporality in classrooms. Her work has always included an interest in methodologies, such as developing post-qualitative, narrative and multispecies approaches. She is the founder of the Education Beyond the Human / Helsinki network. Currently, Riikka divides her research time between leading the Atmospheres project (Antroposeenin lapset, Kone Foundation 2022-2025) at the University of Helsinki, and working as a postdoctoral researcher in the AniMate research group, University of Oulu. From September 2023 on, she will be working as a Finnish Academy Research Fellow at Tampere University focusing on more-than-human figurations and the politics of childhood. 

Mirka Koro (Ph.D., University of Helsinki) is a Professor of qualitative research at the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, Arizona State University. Her scholarship operates at the intersection of qualitative inquiry, methodologies, philosophy, experimentalism, and socio-cultural critique. She has published in various qualitative, methodological, and educational journals. She is also the author of Reconceptualizing qualitative research: Methodologies without methodology (2016), Knowledge production in material spaces: Disturbing conferences and composing events (2022) and co-editor of Disrupting data in qualitative inquiry: Entanglements with the Post-Critical and Post-Anthropocentric (2017) and Intra-Public intellectualism: Critical qualitative inquiry in the Academy (2021).

Henrika Ylirisku (DA, Doctor of Arts) is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Helsinki. Henrika’s work intersects arts and art education, environmental education and multispecies research. Lately, she has published on the theoretical groundings of environmental art education, multispecies forest relations, and on challenging anthropocentrism. Likewise, she has written about post-qualitative research and teaching beyond disciplinary borders. Henrika has developed movement-based research practices inspired by the working methods of environmental and performance artists.