All times are Finnish (Eastern European) time. Please note that this program is subject to change.
Conference Program

09.00 Registration desk opens (Unioninkatu 40, 3rd floor)


10.00-12.00 Session I (Unioninkatu 40)


Room 4
Panel 1. Race, Environment, and Empire: American Studies Lighting Round I (hybrid)

Chair: Saara Kekki

  • Ernesto Dominguez Lopez – “Race, class, crisis, and right-wing populism in the 21st century United States”

  • Tuula Kolehmainen – “Distorted Mental and Physical Landscapes in Gayl Jones’ Eva’s Man (1976)”
  • Zsuzsanna Lenart-Muzka – “Against the Disfigurement of Black Girlhood: Rebellious Teenagers in Jesmyn Ward’s Salvage the Bones and Téa Mutonji’s Shut Up You’re Pretty”

  • Ari Räisänen – “War at the End of Empire: Structures of State Violence in Matt Gallagher’s Empire City”

  • Inna Sukhenko – “Profiling Solastalgia in U.S. Nuclear Fictional Writings”

  • Coyote Shook – “St. Adjutor of Vernon, Florida”

  • Eileen Chung – “De-Centering the United States in Asian American Studies”


Room 7
Panel 2. North American Politics and Power

Chair: Mikko Saikku

  • Scott Buchanan – “Woodrow Wilson and the American Presidency”

  • Thomas Cobb – “Militarism or populism? Defining the Jacksonian school of foreign policy after Trump”

  • Ibrahim Berrada & Paul Coleman – “Populism and Education: A Canadian-American Case Study”


Room 8
Panel 3. The American South (hybrid)

Chair: Mark Hersey

  • Lawrence McDonnell & Kathleen Hilliard – “Vanishing Matilda: Getting Away with Murder in the Old South”

  • Atte Arffman & Antero Holmila – “Race, Environment and Crisis: Hurricane Camille and the Politics of Southern Segregation”

  • Brian Dempsey & Will Jacks – “An Island of Trees Called Old Hickory: History and Memory in the Mississippi Delta.”


Room 18
Panel 4. In the Spirit of Woody Guthrie: Imagined Landscapes of Democracy in Folk Music (hybrid)

Chair: Nina Öhman

  • Jari Käkelä – “The Various Apparitions of Tom Joad: From Meditations on Social Justice to Rage Against the Erosion of the American Dream”

  • Howard Sklar – “Shared Grief and Collective Outrage in Dylan’s “The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll”

  • Bent Sørensen – “Bob Dylan’s Shadow Kingdom: The Early Songs as a Re-negotiation of Protest Songs and US History”


12.00-13.00 Lunch


13.15-15.15 Opening of the Conference


Festive Hall (Unioninkatu 34)
American Keynote
  • Madeline Hsu - Race and Immigration in the Construction of U.S. Democracy


15.30-16.00 Coffee (Unioninkatu 40)

16.00-17.30 SESSION II (Unioninkatu 40)

Room 4
Panel 5. Landscapes and Agency: American Studies Lighting Round 2 (hybrid)

Chair: Saara Kekki

  • Victor Monnin – “State Geologist and Bystander to Genocide: William H. Brewer’s Fieldtrip Across California and the Destruction of Native Californians (1860-1864)”

  • Sababa Monjur – ““You Were Made To Be Workers and Test Subjects:” Reconstruction of Agency and Identity in Larissa Lai’s The Tiger Flu”

  • Wilma Andersson – “Notions of Mental Illness and Idiocy in Maxine Hong Kingston’s "The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood among Ghosts" (1976)”

  • Jane Weiss – ““Try Again”: Political Engagement in the Lowell Offering”

  • Angela Silver – Agents of Inscription: Women's Writing as Counter Monument at Place des Montréalaises”

  • Adam Arenson – “Crossing the Border after the Underground Railroad: The Emancipation Generation of African North Americans in the United States and Canada, 1860s-1930s”


Room 7
Panel 6. Violence and Memory

Chair: Cheryl Greenberg

  • Roger Nichols – “Changing Memories: Murderous Tom Quick and the Dakota Sioux Hangings”

  • Dave Tell – “Of Race and Rivers: Emmett Till, Topography, and Memory”

  • Dirk van Rens – ““In Another Country They Would Have Been Criminals, but This Was America”: Narrative Strategies and the Trauma of Slavery in Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad and Yaa Gyasi’s Homegoing


Room 8
Panel 7. Native American Identity and Colonization

Chair: Reetta Humalajoki

  • Jeffrey Utzinger – “The Forest “Appeared Alive with its Sons and Daughters”: Commodification of the Indian Body in Nineteenth-Century American Literature”

  • Susan Gray – “Indigenous Resistance, the Benevolent, Empire, and Federal Indian Policy: The Case of the Twinsburg Institute”

  • Vincent Veerbeek – “Marching Bands and the Evolution of Musical Networks at United States Off-Reservation Boarding Schools, 1879-1961”


Room 18
Panel 8. Women’s Agency (hybrid)

Chair: Auli Saarsalmi-Paalasmaa

  • Bo Pettersson – “American “Housewife Writers” as Precursors of Second Wave Feminism”

  • Aušra Paulauskienė – “How Catholic Is Freeman's "A New England Nun"?”

  • Aino Kirjonen – “Crossing Boundaries and Upholding Respectability: Female Students and Strategies of Resistance in American Higher Education in Turn of the 20th Century”


9.00 Registration desk open (Unioninkatu 40)

09.45-11.45 SESSION I (Unioninkatu 40)

Room 4
Panel 9. Cultures on the move

Chair: Nina Öhman

  • Ray Allen – “Transnational Connections: Harlem Calypso and Brooklyn Soca”

  • Paul Spickard – “The Bronze Buckaroo and the Chinese Nightingale: Herb Jeffries, Shirley Yamaguchi, and Shape Shifting Racial Identities”

  • Balazs Venkovits – “Immigration to North America in the 1920s: Changing Perceptions of Canada in Hungary”

  • Nina Öhman – "The enduring influence of Mahalia Jackson’s gospel music in Finland"

Room 7
Panel 10. Political Leadership

Chair: Scott Buchanan

  • Alan Draper – “What the 2020 Election Tells Us—Warns Us—to Expect in the Approaching 2022 Congressional Elections”

  • Robert Mason – “Discovering the “gender gap”: Hubert Humphrey, Richard Nixon, George Wallace, and electoral politics in 1968”

  • Mark Miller – State Attorneys General and their Political Lawsuits Against the Federal Government

Room 8
Panel 11. Archives and Museums

Chair: Janne Lahti

  • Sonja Salminiitty – “'Represent Us': A Sustainable Partnership Model for Indigenous Communities and Museums”

  • Mark Swiney – “Gilcrease Museum and Native American Indians Graves Protection”

  • Mark Brandon – “The Safest Guide and Savior: Science, Morality and Race in the 20th Century”

  • Richard Schein – “Traces of the Past: Re-Assembling the National Archive”


11.45-12.45 LUNCH


12.45-14.15 SESSION II (Unioninkatu 40)

Room 4
Panel 13. Encounters with Landscapes (hybrid)

Chair: Rani-Henrik Andersson

  • Donal Carbaugh – “How do we know a Landscape?”

  • Barbara Mossberg – ““Pigeons on the Grass Alas”--Is All American Literature Eco Lit?”

  • Mark van de Logt – “Lucky Man’s Land: The Black Hills and Sacred Geography in Arikara Oral Tradition”

Room 7
Panel 14. Environment & Ecology (hybrid)

Chair: Mark Hersey

  • Frances Karttunen (paper read by Mark Hersey) – “American Whale Hunting. What Was It All For?”

  • Karen Jones – “‘Only a mountain has lived long enough to listen objectively to the howl of the wolf’: Wolf conservation, environmental memory and sensory history in North America”

  • Małgorzata Poks – “The Work of Re-Minding and Re-story-ation: Non-Anthropocentric Animal Ethic in Linda Hogan’s Most Recent Works”

Room 8
Panel 15. Finnish American Connections

Chair: Aleksi Huhta

  • Roman Kushnir – “The Upper Midwest Landscape and Masculinity in a Selection of Finnish American Fiction”

  • Henry Oinas-Kukkonen – “Risto Ryti and the Question of an International Organization of the “Pure Finns” and New Finland in Alaska”

  • Paul Landsberg – “The U.S. Army, ex-Finnish Officers, and Constructing a Global Cold Region, 1947-1963”

Room 9
Panel 16. Colonial Gaze and Violence (online)

Chair: Kathleen Hilliard

  • Maria Hurtarte Leon – “Working-Through the Wound”

  • Joanna Antoniak – “Fatherhood and Trauma - the impact of internment trauma on Japanese-Canadian fatherhood in Kerri Sakamoto's "The Electrical Field"”

  • Judit Nagy & Matyas Banhegyi – “Representation of Comfort Women in Chang-rae Lee’s A Gesture Life and in Christina Park’s The Homes We Build on Ashes


14.15-14.45 COFFEE


14.45-16.15 SESSION III (Unioninkatu 40)

Room 4
Panel 17. Arts & Culture (hybrid)

Chair: Nina Öhman

  • Nathan Gibson – “Fin-A-Billy Music: Performing America and Rebelling in Finland”

  • Michel Beaulieu & Jenna Kirker - In Search of the “Chicago of the North”: The Evolution of the City of Thunder Bay, Ontario

  • Jamie Jelinski - “Chapman’s and the Wellington: Penny Arcades and Popular Visual Culture on One Block of Vancouver’s East Hasting’s Street, c. 1910-1936”
Room 8
Panel 18. Ideological Representations in (Media) Culture

Chair: Patrick Miller

  • Outi Hakola – “Racial and Ethnic Diversity in Audiovisual Representations of End-of-Life Care in the United States”

  • Mona Raeisian – “Urban Blues: Representation of Police Officers as Heroes in American Police Procedural Television”

  • Anni Calcara – “Seeing the Forest for the Trees: Implicit and Explicit Ideology in Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins’ Left Behind: A Novel of the Earth’s Last Days (1995)”

Room 9
Panel 19. Education and Conceptions of History (online)

Chair: Vincent Veerbeek

  • Peter Krats – “Not Just Failed Residential Schools: The Trials of Local Education at Atikameksheng Anishnawbek, 1870s-1930s”

  • Hanna Rask – “Shared history, shared responsibility? Indian Residential Schools and changing conceptions of Canadian history”

  • Nicholas Timmerman – “Indigenous Landscapes, American Colonization, and Public History in the Early American Republic”


16.15-16.30 BREAK


16.30-17.30 KEYNOTE 2 (Unioninkatu 40)

Room 4
Canadian Keynote (online)
  • L. K. Bertram - "Curse of the Viking? North American White Nationalism and Viking-Age Imagery"

18.00 Reception, City of Helsinki



9.00 INFO DESK (Unioninkatu 40)

10.00-12.00 SESSION I (Unioninkatu 40)

Room 2
Panel 23. Native American Activism (hybrid)

Chair: Janne Lahti

  • Margaret Connell-Szasz (paper read by Janne Lahti) – “Red Power versus DAPL: The Changing Face of North American Indigenous Movements”

  • Minna Pajunen – “Environmental Discourse and Agency Roles in Social Media Representations of Stand with Standing Rock Environmental Movement”

  • Reetta Humalajoki – “A Program of Pacification: Government Funding and Indigenous Organizations in Canada in the early 1970s”

  • Johanna Lederer – “Making Place for Indigeneity: Imaginations in Speculative Fiction and Activism”

Room 4
Panel 20. Re-Imagining Border Landscapes (hybrid)

Chair: Balász Venkovitz

  • Rani-Henrik Andersson – "National Parks as Indigenous Borderlands"
  • Nick Baxter-Moore & Munroe Eagles – ““Living with the Elephant/Mouse”: Canadian and American Perspectives on Selves, the Border and the Other”

  • Robert Nelson – “Dinner on the Detroit: Arab Foodways in a Canadian/American Borderland”

Room 7
Panel 21. Pedagogies of North American Studies

Chair: Barbara Mossberg

  • Nancy Berke – “Teaching North American Literary Protest”

  • Randolph Lewis – “Personal Matters: Memoir and Method in American Studies”

  • Mark Hersey – "Traces and Places: Landscape as Teaching Tool for American Studies"?
Room 8
Panel 22. Cinematic Reflections and Responses to Society

Chair: Cheryl Greenberg

  • Viktoria Sophie Lühr – “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Representations and Interpretations of Interculturalism in Québécois Cinema”

  • Michelle Robinson – “Millennial Authenticity: Remarks on the Cult of Realism in Contemporary North American Stand-Up Comedy”

  • Frederick Wasser – “Putney Swope, Race and Creative Advertising”

12.00-13.00 LUNCH


13.00-14.30 SESSION II (Unioninkatu 40)

Room 2
Panel 26. ‘Race, Racism, Historians and Popular Memory’

Chair: Paul Spickard

  • Patrick B. Miller - “Museums and Memorialization: Public History and Black Lives Matter”

  • Daniel Cobb - “Unreconciled: Indigenous Presents/Presence and Settler Colonial Memory”

  • Cheryl Greenberg - “Race, Racism and Universities: The Challenges for Historians Addressing Their Own Institutions”

Room 4
Panel 24. ‘Native Americans and the Making of World History’ (hybrid)

Chair: Emmanuelle Tisserant

  • Gunlög Fur - “Gender and Concurrent Claims of Authority in the Formation of 18th Century Delaware-European Encounters”

  • Sami Lakomäki - "‘We Have a Belt to Shew You’: Indigenous Archives and Global War”

  • Benjamin Madley and Natale Zappia - “Independence and Interdependence: The Colorado River War of 1781-1782 and Indigenous Liberation Struggles in Early America”

Room 7
Panel 25. Environment in Fiction

Chair: Mikko Saikku

  • Kimmo Ahonen & Simo Laakkonen – “Beginnings of Environmental Catastrophism: Anthropogenic Apocalypse in American Science Fiction Movies of the 1950s”

  • Randal Hall – “Algae and the Politics of Energy: Science Fiction in 1950s U.S. Environmental Thought”

  • Maria Holmgren Troy – “Living with the Virus: Octavia E. Butler’s Clay’s Ark and Nicola Griffith’s Ammonite

14.30-15.00 COFFEE + MUSICAL PERFORMANCE  by Allan Winkler & Daniel Cobb

15.00-16.30 SESSION III (Unioninkatu 40)

Room 2
Panel 26. ‘Human Migration and Network Analysis: Developing New Research Methods for the Study of Human Migration and Social Change’ (hybrid)

Chair: Rani-Henrik Andersson

  • Francis Flavin - "The Power of Social Network Analysis for Modeling Historical Communities" 

  • Saara Kekki - “Settler-Colonial Border Crossings: Four Island Communities in the Sault Ste. Marie Area”

  • Justin Gage - “Finnish Americanism and Indigenous Land on Sugar Island, Michigan”

Room 4
Panel 27. American Politics (hybrid)

Chair: Lawrence McDonnell

  • Marlene Broemer – “What are Canvassers, Who are they and Why do we Care?”

  • Dalia González Delgado – “US Immigration Policy in the 21st Century”

  • James Henson – “Pandemic Politics and Racial Differences in COVID-19 Attitudes & Behaviors in Texas”

Room 7
Panel 28. Cultural Diversity in Media

Chair: Outi Hakola

  • Charlotte Kaiser – “Queer Coming of Age in Québec: Class, Urban Spaces and Asexual Desire in Sarah préfère la course”

  • Mimi White – “The Hallmark Chronotope”

  • Misha Kavka – “The Netflix Teen-Chronotopia”

Room 9
Panel 29. Activism and Citizenship (hybrid)

Chair: Aleksi Huhta

  • John Gilkeson – “"Transcendence" and the "Politics of Pastoralism": The Impact of the Berkeley Free Speech Movement and the Counterculture on Henry Nash Smith and Leo Marx”

  • Niko Heikkilä – “Participatory Democracy and the SDS's Revolutionary Turn”

  • William Chafe – “The Black Struggle for Freedom from Reconstruction to Now”

16.45-18.00 Closing the Conference (Unioninkatu 40)

Room 4
Pehr Kalm Keynote
  • Anne Hyde – “A Deep History of Mixing Blood: Indigenous Strategies and Race Science in North America”

18.00 Reception by the University of Helsinki

Unioninkatu 33