Support the North American Studies Program and Maple Leaf and Eagle Conference by donating to the account of the University of Helsinki Funds!

Bank Account (Nordea Bank): IBAN = FI15 1660 3001 0767 70 / BIC = NDEAFIHH
Recipient: University of Helsinki Funds
Message: Maple Leaf and Eagle Fund, name of the donor and contact information
Tuesday, 14 May 2024

11.00 am Registration desks opens inside the Topelia building (desk at A109, Unioninkatu 38).

Session 1: 12.00-2:00 pm
Opening ceremony at the Small Festive Hall (Fabianinkatu 33) at the Main Building.
Ceremony and Keynote Chairs: Mikko Saikku and Saara Kekki

•    Kaar­le Hä­me­ri, Chancellor, University of Helsinki
•    Jeanette Stovel, Ambassador, Embassy of Canada in Finland | Ambassade du Canada en Finlande 
•   Douglas Hickey, Ambassador, U.S Embassy in Finland 
•    Mikko Saikku, Chairman of the conference committee
•    Anne Brixius, Conference Director

American Keynote: Erika Lee, Harvard University and Cambridge University, “Echoes of the Past: The Centennial of the 1924 Immigration Act and Immigration Restriction in the US Today”.

Coffee Break at Topelia Unicafe: 2:00-3:00

Session 3: 3:30-5:00 pm

Room F211
Panel 1: The Bicentennial Chair in American Studies in Perspective
Chair: Allen Winkler

*Panel consists of former Bicentennial Professors*

Room A205 
Panel 2: Decoloniality and Decolonial Thinking (Hybrid)
Chair: Sonja Salminiitty

•    Benita Heiskanen, “Re-envisioning the Field of Transnational U.S.-Cuban Studies.” 
•    Sanskriti Chattopadhyay, “She Tells a Tale: Helen Cordero’s Haptic Negotiations with Decoloniality.”
•    Donald Luxton, “Negotiating Salvation:  Missionary and Indigenous Entanglements in British Columbia, 1858-1888.”

Graduate Student Reception from 5 to 6:30 pm at UniCafe Topelias, Unioninkatu 38. UniCafe is located within the Topelia building complex. 

Wednesday, 15 May 2024

10:00 am Registration Desk Opens (A109)

Session 4:  10:30-12:00 pm
Room F211
Panel 3: Music Session: North American Songs of Solidarity and Protest
Chair: Nina Öhman 

•    Daniel Cobb
•    Allen Winkler

Room A132
Panel 4: War Time Issues (Hybrid)
Chair: David Witwer
•    Kathy Hilliard, “Getting By and Getting Through:  Liminal Spaces and African American Economic Networks in the Civil War.” 
•    Charles Postel, “’Dear Mother’: Black Soldiers on the Home Front in WWII.” 
•    Robert Anzenberger, “U.S. Public Opinion and the Winter War.”

Room A205
Panel 5: Boarding Schools
Chair: Janne Lahti 
•    Vincent Veerbeek, “The History of the Carlisle Indian School Band Through an Indigenous Lens, 1880-1918.”
•    John Moe, “"I can do that:" The narratives of Ed White Pidgeon Stories about traditional American Indian culture, the language, basket making, the army, and the role of the government school for American Indian children in the Midwest during the 1930.”
•    Tina Parke-Sutherland, “It Takes a Child to Raze a Village: the Literature of Native American Boarding Schools.”

Room A206
Panel 6: Approaches to Historical and Modern Media 
Chair: Sonja Salminiitty

•    Mimi White, “Hallmark TV Goes Global: The Dancing Detective, A Deadly Tango.” 
•    Nadia Nava, “The U.S. Embargo in Cuban Transnational Media.”
•    Dana Weidman, “Rethinking Rethinking Nanook of the North".

Lunch at Topelia UniCafe 12:00-1:00 pm

Session 5:  1:00-2:30 pm

Room A206
Panel 7: Material Culture Matters
Chair: Mikko Saikku

•    Richard Schein, “Bourbon Landscapes.” 
•    Douglas Boyd, “Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey:  Using AI to Enhance Access to Archived Oral History.” 
•    Ian Patrick Danner, “Felt Entanglements in Art Education:  Materiality, Process and Affect of Fibers.”

Room A205
Panel 8: FASA Presents: Finns in America
Chair: Nina Öhman 

•    Finnish American Studies Association (FASA) Presentation 
•    Lotta Leiwo, “Settler Colonial Climate:  The Paradox of Finding ‘Finnish Weather’ in the United States.”
•    Meeri Kataja, “Reindeer Herding Projects in Alaska.”

Room F211
Panel 9: Exploring North America Through Writing (Hybrid)
Chair: Sonja Ross

•    Zsuzsanna Lénárt-Muszka, “Language and Belonging in Selected Stories by David Bezmozgis and Téa Mutonji.”
•    Maksim Pelmegov, “A Visit to the Exhibition of All Nations:  The Image of the United States in Vasily Sidorov’s Travel Writing.” 
•    Barbara Mossberg, “Fanfiction of Starlight Express: Its Not Nevermore-Thoreau’s ‘Thinking Like the Sun’ for Revolutionary Quantum Immortality.”

Coffee Break at Topelia Unicafe: 2:30-3:00pm

Session 6:  3:00-5:00 pm


Room A132
Panel 10: Canadian Culture and Literature (Hybrid)
Chair: Hanna Rask

•    Anne Healy, “Come From Away: Musical Theatre as a Purely Canadian Embodiment.”
•    Alice Salion, “Cultural Hybridity in Contemporary Anglophone Canadian Literature Involving Female Memoirs.”
•   Joanna Antoniak, “Queer Otherness—The Intersection of Migrant and Queer Experiences in Grace Lau’s Poetry.” 


Room A205
Panel 11: Crossing Borders, Changing Environments 
Chair: Janne Lahti

•    Nadine Menghin, “Literature and Conservation Biology Working Together: Perceptions of Nature as Recorded in Contemporary Nature Writing in Canada.”
•    Lawrence McDonnell, “Un-Americans: Creating an Ex-Confederate Community in Southern Ontario.” 
•    Alexandra Southgate, “’Truth and Openness’: Joint Canadian-U.S. Quaker Activism, 1950-1967.



Optional Event: Gallery Tour (Free of Charge): 5:30-6:30 pm 

Bettina Cirone: Aperture on New York City, 1960-1980

Kalasatama Olohuone Gallery

Hermannin rantatie 5, 00580 Helsinki
REDI kauppakeskus 2-kerros / REDI shopping mall, 2nd floor

For those interested on going on the guided group tour please sign up in advance at the registration desk. The tour group will leave at 5:30 pm from the Topelia building. 


Thursday, 16 May 2024

10.00 am Registration Desk Opens

Session 7:  10:30-12:00 pm

Room A205
Panel 12: Regulated Bodies
Chair: Lucia Triumbur

•    Niko Heikkilä, “Abortion Travels and the Strategies of the Surveillance in Texas.” 
•    Tuula Kolehmainen, “’I hear no men talking about it’: Male Comedians on Reproductive Justice.” 
•    Anne Bettina Pedersen, “The Trope of the Beautiful Dead White Girl/Woman.”


Room A132    
Panel 13: Mid-twentieth Century American Media’s Political Implications
Chair: David Witwer

•    Oscar Winberg, “In the Networks We Trust?:  Broadcasters, Congress, and the Struggle Over Televised News.”
•    Frederick Wasser, “America Fragmenting in the Sixties:  Rockwell Leaves The Saturday Evening Post.”
•    David Witwer, “The Riddle in the Middle of America’s Most Powerful Union:  The Journalists’ Search to Understand Jimmy Hoffa in the 1950s & 1960s.”

Room A206
Panel 14: Contemporary Controversies
Chair: Sonja Salminiitty

•    Roger L. Nichols, “Indigenous Rights and White Backlash in the USA".
•    Pekka Kolehmainen, “New Vitalism and the Political Logic of Antifeminism in the U.S. Radical Right."
•    Anne Brixius, “DeSantis and Dissent.” 
•    Mila Seppälä, “In Between Not-Failure and Not-Success: A Movement for Gun Reform.” 


Room F211
Panel 15: Institutions, Communities, and Families
Chair: Vincent Veerbeek

•    Hanna Rask, “Temporalities of Reconciliation and Structural Change in the Work of Transforming Child Welfare System for Indigenous Families in Ontario, Canada.” 
•    Minna Pajunen, “The Great Society Programs in North and South Dakota.” 
•    Paul Rosier, “Sustaining Indigeneity, Navigating Citizenship.”

Lunch at Topelia UniCafe 12:00-1:00 pm

Session 8: 1:00-2:30 pm

Room A206
Panel 16: Immigration Policies and Debates
Chair: Saara Kekki

•    Viktoria Sophie Lühr, “Dividing Openness—Continuation and Shifts in Quebec’s Immigration and Integration Debates in the 2010s.” 
•    Henry Oinas-Kukkonen, “The Unions and Divisions in the Alaska Refugee Resettlement Hearings in 1940.” 
•    Sebastian Letts, “The Asian Restriction Debate in the U.S. and Canada:  Community Negotiations.”

Room A132
Panel 17: Native American Identities and Land Holding (Hybrid)
Chair: Rani Henrik Andersson 

•    Josh Reid, “Constellations of Kin:  Strategies of Belonging for the Snohomish Indian Nation.”
•    Fantasia Painter, “’It will always be O’odham land’: Indigenous Lands & Rights at the U.S. -Mexican Border.”
•    Maurice Crandall, “’The Curious Case of Captain Smiley’: Apache Scout Veterans as Community Servants in the Early Twentieth Century.”

Room A205
Panel 18: Nature and Understanding (Hybrid)
Chair: Mikko Saikku

•    Sonja Ross, “Mother Earth Meets Biocracy:  Approximation and Critical Appraisal.”
•    Maria Cristina Manzano-Munguia, “Understanding Environmental Sustainability from Below:  Indigenous Grassroots Constructions.” 
•    Jane Weiss, “Si vas para el Bronx / Ve a la casita de Chema”: The Casita Gardens of Mott Haven and Melrose

Room F211
Panel 19: (Non)belonging (Hybrid)
Chair: Hanna Rask

•    Wilma Andersson, “’Was this, finally, the New World?’: Achieving the “American Dream” in Gish Jen’s Typical American.  
•    Zdravka Katinić, The “Span we call ‘between’” in Linda Hogan’s Solar Storms. 
•    Mona Raeisian, “The ‘They’ in the ‘We’: Framing American Identities in American Police Procedural Television.”  

Coffee Break at Topelia Unicafe: 2:30-3:00 pm

Session 9: 3:00-4:30 pm

Panel 20: Sound and Sign Technologies (Hybrid)
Chair: Nina Öhman 

•    Michelle Robinson, “Mixed Feelings: The Analog Space of Paulse with Sam Jay.”
•    John Meyers, “Reissuing Rap: Copyright, Sampling, and Ownership in the Digital Age.” 
•    Sheng-mei Ma, “Toronto Chinatown Bilingual Signage.”

Room A205
Panel 21: Critical Perspectives From and On American Writers
Chair: Saara Kekki

•    Nancy Berke, “Dimming the Electric Lights:  Reading North American Poetry and Visual Art of Modernist New York.”
•    James Diedrick, “A New England Yankee in Gladstone’s Court:  John Jay Chapman and the Limits of Liberalism.”
•    Ari Räisänen, “Expatriates of War:  Transnational Belonging and the Memory of War in the Writings of Elliott Ackerman.”

Room A132
Panel 22: American Politics (Hybrid)
Chair: Scott Buchanan

•    Thomas Cobb, “Why the Jacksonian School of Foreign Policy Will Matter in This Year’s Election.”
•    Mark Miller, “Agents of Partisan Polarization: State Attorneys General.”
•    Dalia Delgado Gonzalez, “Immigration Policy and Right Wing Populism in the United States.”
•    Scott Buchanan, “Political Alienation in the U.S. South: The Impact of Declining Civic Engagement on Voting.”

Room F211
Panel 23: Decolonizing Knowledge Through Collaborative Writing: Caribbean Carnival Music in West Indian Brooklyn (Hybrid)
Chair: Sonja Salminiitty

•    Ray Allen (in person)
•    Frank McIntosh (via Zoom)

6:00 pm City of Helsinki Reception, Old Court House, Aleksanterinkatu 20. 


Friday, 17 May 2024

9.30 am Registration Desk Opens 
Session 10: 10:00-11:30 pm

Room A132
Panel 24: Voice and Narration
Chair: Hanna Rask
•    Ausra Paulauskiene, “Un-forgotten Influence of Women Writers on 21st Century American Realist Novels.”
•    Nana Arjopalo, “’Tiny’s still on the roof?’: Women, Space and Place in Lucia Berlin’s Evening in Paradise.” 
•    Erika Marie Bsumek, “Unsettling Colonial Narratives:  Rose Daniels, Indentured Servitude, and Its Representation in Film and By Families.”

Room A205
Panel 25: Body, Space, and Place
Chair: Lucia Trimbur

•    David Rouff, “Reuniting American Chinese Lives and Bodies:  Recovering Subjectivities Through Urbanism, Foodways, and Belonging in Merced, California.” 
•    Hai Nguyen, “Asian American Athletes as Disruptors of the Gendered Stereotypes of Asian Americans.” 
•    Chloe Avril, “Transnational Historical Fiction.”  

Room A206
Panel 26: Indigenous Diplomacies (Hybrid)
Chair: Daniel M. Cobb

•    Frankie Bauer, “Cherokee Wampum & Osage Calumets: Early Nineteenth-Century Intertribal Diplomacy in the Western Territories.”
•    Daniel M. Cobb, “A Window into Wider Worlds: D’Arcy McNickle’s Diary as Transnational Tale”
•    Cathleen Clark, “‘It is a North American Movement’: Red Power as Indigenous Diplomacy.”

Lunch at Topelia UniCafe 11:30-12:30 pm

Session 11:  12:30-2:00 pm

Room F211
Panel 27: Revealing and Reclaiming Hidden Identities, Histories and Cultures: Case Studies in Self-Empowerment in North American Literature (Hybrid)
Chair: Minna Pajunen

•    Mark Shackleton, “Neither exclusively male nor exclusively female”: Fluid gender identities in Beth Brant’s and Tomson Highway’s Trickster Figures
•    Howard Sklar, “Jewish Identity as Hidden Presence in Jonathan Safran Foer’s Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close.”
•    Bo Pettersson, “Bridging Free Will and Determinism: Embodied Volition in John Williams’s Stoner.” 

Room A205
Panel 28: Riot Zone, 1919: Mapping Chicago’s Red Summer.
Chair: Patrick Miller

•    Elliott Gorn, "Rethinking the Chicago 1919 Race Riot: Geography and Ethnicity.
•    Sean Dinces, "The Spirit of Revolt: A Reappraisal of Black Veterans in Chicago's Red Summer."

Room A206
Panel 29: Native American Representation and Remains
Chair: Rani-Henrik Andersson
•    Rani-Henrik Andersson, “’The Crossing’: Toward Chumash Stewardship in Federal Lands and Waters.” 
•    Sonja Salminiitty, “Through Their Own Eyes: Native American-Run Museums in California” 
•    Paul Spickard, “Respecting the Ancestors: On Repatriating Indian Remains.”

Session 12: 2:00-3:30 pm

Room F211
Panel 30: Immigration and Domestic Policies in North America (Hybrid)
Chair: Thomas J. Cobb

•    Balázs Venkovits, “100 Years of Illegal Immigration in North America:  Restrictions, Control, and Illegals at the Border.”
•    Adela Winkler, “’We need to stop this export of death’: What Illegal Fentanyl Trade Means to American International and Domestic Policies.” 
•    Ernesto Dominguez Lopez, “The United States, the World—System, and the Evolution of Knowledge Capitalism.”

Room A206
Panel 31: Considerations of Literature’s Political Roles (Hybrid)
Chair: Nana Arjopalo

•    Inna Häkkinen, “Addressing Uncertainty in Fictionalizing U.S. Nuclear Energy Management Actors: Intermedial Ecocriticism Frames.”
•    Tisha Ulmer, “Or Does It Explode?: A Raisin in the Sun, Reparations, and Ruptures in Black America.”
•    Dirk van Rens, “’Crooked world, straight world, same rules’:  Crime, the City, and Post-Colonial Trauma in Colson Whitehead’s Harlem Shuffle and Crook Manifesto

Room A132
Panel 32: Memory, Place and the Writing of the Memoir  
Chair: Vincent Veerbeek

•   Cynthia Blakeley, “The Development of Narrative Identity in The Innermost House.”
•    Elliott Gorn, “Haunted by Waters.” 

Room A205 
Panel 33: Colonial Interfaces and Thresholds in the Colonization of Early North America. 
Chair: Emmanuelle Perez Tisserant 
•    Virginie Adane, “Empires Interfacing: Slavery, Intimacy & Community in Seventeenth-Century Schenectady” 
•    Benjamin Balloy, “Proxy Interactions: Managing co-presence in Cavalier de la Salle’s explorations of the Mississippi Valley in the 1680s”
•    Jonas Musco, “Distinction through Food Habits: A Threshold Dynamic in the Colonial Encounter between French and Native Americans in the Mississippi Valley (1670-1760)

Coffee at Topelia Unicafe 3:30-4:00 pm

Room F211
4:00-5:00 pm: Pehr Kalm Lecture, Boyd Cothran, York University, “Enclosing the Commons: The Proletarianization of Indigenous Labour and the Making of America’s National Parks”.
Keynote Chair: Rani-Henrik Andersson 

Closing of the 20th Maple Leaf and Eagle Conference

6:00 pm Optional Conference Dinner at Restaurant Savotta, Aleksanterinkatu 22.


FASA Information

FASA Board is organizing a presentation of Finnish American Studies Association at the Maple Leaf and Eagle Conference in North American Studies. 

See Panel 10. in the conference program.

The aim of FASA is to encourage and promote academic study of the United States and its civilization in Finland as well as to facilitate communication between those interested in such studies. FASA’s activities include, among others, organizing workshops, webinars, and panels, and providing conference grants. 

FASA offers non-members an opportunity to join and to learn about upcoming events and activities. 

For more information, visit

Photography exhibition 

Bettina Cirone: Aperture on New York City, 1960-1980

May 4–25, 2024

Location: Kalasataman Olohuone / REDI shopping centre 

Address: Hermannin rantatie 5, 00580 Helsinki. 

By metro: Kalasatama metrostation

Hours: 10am-7pm

Free entrance!

The exhibition is organized and curated by Sirpa Salenius in collaboration with Nina Öhman and Janne Lahti, Finnish Association for American Studies (FASA). For further information please contact: Sirpa Salenius, email: