All times are Finnish time (Eastern European Time, UTC/GMT +2). Please note that the program is subject to change. Participants will receive Zoom links to all sessions closer to the event. Registration starts in October.

December 9, 2020


Opening (streamed and recorded)


Keynotes become available as recordings





Transnational Expressions of Identity

Chair: Emily Burns

Emily Burns, Auburn University

Performing Innocence: US Culture and Race in Fin-de-siècle Paris

Johanna Rastas, University of Turku

Displaying identity in American colonists’ correspondence to Britain 1765-1777

Yury Akimov, Saint-Petersburg State University

“In Free America we remembered who we are”: Conversion movement among the Rusyn Immigrants in USA and Canada at the late 19th – early 20th century

Mark Brandon

“The Last Great Biological Reserve of the White Race”: An American Immigrant’s Racial Understanding of the Soviet Union

Master Narratives and Counter-Narratives in North American Literature and Popular Culture

Chair: Nana Arjopalo

Bent Sørensen, Aalborg University

Contesting Masculinities in Country and Western Song Lyrics in 1965

Howard Sklar, University of Helsinki

Rewriting the Narrative of the Jewish Immigrant Experience

Mark Shackleton, University of Helsinki

Re-Visioning the Bible: Thomas King's Green Grass, Running Water and Tomson Highway's Kiss of the Fur Queen



Experiencing Blackness

Chair: Outi Hakola

Matt Moran, University of Oulu

“Tangled Limbs: The Transcultural Counterwitness and Complex Implication in Claudia Rankine’s and John Lucas’s ‘Situations’”

Irina Novikova, University of Latvia

Confessions of living in ‘black skin’ – Crossing a ‘color border’ in John H. Griffin’s Black Like Me

Katharina King, Albert-Ludwigs University

Mapping America – Narratives of Black Female Subjectivity in the Federal Writers' Project







Borderland Developments

Chair: Janne Lahti

Michel Beaulieu, Lakehead University

"But there is another source of Liberty and Vitality in our country”:  St-Laurent and Regional Development

Michael Gunther, Georgia Gwinnett College

“Bewildering North American Borderlands: A Comparative Study of Pehr Kalm and Jean Louis Berlandier”

Aleksi Huhta, University of Helsinki

"Let the Grand Duchy be transferred to Canada”: The Plan to Settle Canada’s Western Borderlands with Finns in 1899





Indigenous Missions

Chair: Rani-Henrik Andersson

Susan Gray, Arizona State University

“Through a Glass Darkly”: The Making and Unmaking of Native Space in the Diaries of George Nelson Smith, 1849-79

Josh Reid, University of Washington

Native Hawaiian Missionaries: Indigenous Explorers of the Nineteenth-Century Pacific

Jeffrey Utzinger, Concordia University Texas

George Copway (Kahgegagahbowh) Playing Indian in the United Kingdom



Culture and Myths

Chair: Patrick Miller

John Gilkeson, Jr., Arizona State University

"Myth-and-Symbol" in Retrospect: Thoughts toward a History of the American Studies Movement

Barbara Mossberg, University of Oregon

The “Genius” of American Kind-ness

Frida Stranne, Halmstad University

The American Nightmare





THURSDAY, December 10, 2020




Ethnic Representations

Chair: Thomas Cobb

Nana Arjopalo, University of Turku

The separate yet simultaneous lives of the call-center survivalist: North American neoimperialism in Bharati Mukherjee’s Miss New India

Kristina Aurylaite, Vytautas Magnus University

Decolonial Gestures in a Contemporary Settler State: Indigenous Canadian Writers’ Unsettling Poetic Experiments

Bo Pettersson, University of Helsinki

Reflexive Identities: A Literary Ethnography of the Postwar Bay Area

Joanna Antoniak, Nicolaus Copernicus University

Forgotten bloodlines in diasporic fiction – the representation of women in Chinese-Canadian family narratives on the example of Disappearing Moon Café

Rights, Activism, and
Homeland Security

Chair: Outi Hakola

Mia Pohtola, University of Helsinki

"The Sickness Label" as a Form of Exclusion: The Effectiveness of Different Activist Tactics in the Removal of Homosexuality Diagnosis from DSM-II in the Early 1970s

Mona Raeisian, Philipps-Universität Marburg

Fat, Desperate and Dangerous: A Critique of Overweight Female Bodies in American Police Procedural Television

Mila Seppälä, University of Turku

Catching the Narrative: Youth Activism and Gun Policy







Immigrant Experiences

Chair: Aleksi Huhta

Mátyas Bánhegyi/Judit Nagy, Budapest Business School University of Applied Sciences/Károli Gáspár University

Voluntary Inclusion and Exclusion among Korean Canadians

Peter Krats, University of Western Ontario

SISU, SAUNA AND SCHISMS ?? : A Historiographical Overview of Kanadan Suomalaisten [Finnish Canadian] History

Henry Oinas-Kukkonen, University of Oulu

Port Axel, AK - An Exceptional Finnish Settlement Plan



Memory Projects:  Lessons from the Long Civil Rights Movement

Chair: Mikko Saikku

Cheryl Greenberg, Trinity College

Activism and Memory in a Small Place

Patrick Miller, Northeastern Illinois University

Racism, Resistance, and The Equal Justice Initiative

Elliott Gorn, Loyola University

Thomas Pickens Brady and the Memory of Segregation

Richard Schein, University of Kentucky

Traces of the past: re-assembling the national archive





Interplay of Politics and Culture

Chair: Scott Buchanan

Mark Stoll, Texas Tech University

Free Market Economics in Environmental History: The American Experience

Olli Saukko, University of Helsinki

Religious perspectives on the culture wars of the Obama years

Vincent Boucher, University of Quebec at Montreal

Fencing the Canada-US border? The Evolution of Debates on Security at the Northern Border


Cultural Expressions

Chair: Nina Öhman

Jeffrey Meikle, University of Texas, Austin

"Underground": The Bizarro American Imaginary of Tom Waits

Susan Lindholm, Södertörn University

Conscious and Queer – the representations of Swedish Hip-hop artist Silvana Imam in US media

Thomas Cobb

Hollywood film and Walter Mead’s kaleidoscope: cinematic allegories of the Trump years




Poetry evening with Barbara Mossberg



December 11, 2020




American Studies
Lightning Round

Chair: Saara Kekki

Christen Bryson, Sorbonne Nouvelle

“The Viking and Les Bois: National History Writ Small in Postwar University Yearbooks”

Susanna Mäkinen, University of Turku

A negro man or "my servant Dick": Referring to fugitives in runaway slave notices

Auli Saarsalmi-Paalasmaa, University of Helsinki

Ellen White, Seventh-day Adventist “prophetess of health”, and the question of the College of Medical Evangelists in 1900-1910

Viktor Pal, University of Helsinki

Pour Me a Cold One: A Cold War History of Beverage Containers

Aino Kirjonen, University of Helsinki

Gendered Civilization –  Construction of Gender and Class through Education in Harvard University and Radcliffe College in turn of the 20th Century





Landscapes of Mind and Memory

Chair: Inna Sukhenko

Evelyn Burg, LaGuardia Community College CUNY

“Many Men Have Many Minds”: Reading identity in Melville’s Confidence Man

Roman Kushnir, University of Jyväskylä

Landscape in Constructing Finnish Canadian Identities in Two Female Immigrant Novels

Elizabeth Oakes, University of Helsinki

The Absence of Madness: Altered States in James Tiptree, Jr.’s Short Fiction


Marlene Broemer, Finlandia University

Crime and Culture: Comparison of Canadian and Nordic Crime Fiction



Gender Fragility

Chair: Jane Weiss

Susana Maria Jiménez Placer, University of Santiago de Compostela

Bodies in the Making: Tomboys and their Mammies in the Jim Crow South

Tuula Kolehmainen, University of Helsinki

(Re)constructing Male Vulnerability: Gloria Naylor’s Brewster Novels


Nancy Berke, LaGuardia College CUNY

Lola Ridge, Mina Loy, and the Poetics of Anarchist-Feminism



Shapes of Violence

Chair: Anna Koivusalo

Olli Siitonen, University of Helsinki

Narratives of violence: American soldiers and experiences of killing in the Vietnam War

Lawrence McDonnell, Iowa State University

Bringing Battle Back In: Civil War Soldiers and the Class Politics of Combat

Frederick Wasser, Brooklyn College CUNY

Spielberg and Terrorism(s): Munich and War of the Worlds





Colonial Connections and Conventions

Chair: Janne Lahti

Angela Hudson, Texas A&M University

South by Southwest: The Apache “Prisoners of War”

Robert Nelson, University of Windsor

‘A Model for German Settler Colonialism: Max Sering, Homesteading, and the North American Frontier in 1883’

Karl Hele, Mount Allison University

“In accordance with a long established rule”: Defining Indian Status Along the Canadian-United States Borderlands at Bawating,c.1814-1951





East Meets West:
Transnational Encounters

Chair: Aleksi Huhta

Alina Amvrosova, Moscow State University

How did Teddy Roosevelt's understanding of American identity shape US-Russian relations

Tomoko Tsuchiya, Japan Women’s University

Multicultural/Multiracial Families with the Idea of the Democratic Nation at the Beginning of the Cold War




Meet the Keynotes, Chair: Mikko Saikku


Conference closing


Musical Performance by Alan Winkler