Alumni of the Month, February 2022: Hanna Snellman and Elisa Uusimäki

As part of its 20th Anniversary celebrations, HCAS has launched an Alumni Gallery featuring two alumni every month. This month's HCAS alumni are Hanna Snellman and Elisa Uusimäki, who share news about their current research and reflect on the impact the Collegium has had for their career paths.
Hanna Snellman

Currently I am Vice-Rector at the University of Helsinki. My portfolio includes academic and international affairs in addition to chairing several councils, boards and committees. Among them is also chairing the Board of the HCAS, a great pleasure to me as alumna of HCAS. 

In 2008, I was Collegium Research Fellow at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies. My research dealt with Finnish immigrant women in different contexts. My publications based on that research has dealt with Finnish-American cookbooks and museum oral history collections on Finnish migrants. With the latter, I have written about transnational death, nostalgia and documentation project as performance. 

Working at the HCAS was crucial for my academic career. The people I met still are the backbone of my academic network. I wonder whether I would have even become a full professor without the Collegium experience. While I was at the Collegium, I was appointed as Professor of Ethnology at the University of Jyväskylä. In 2012, I started as Professor of European Ethnology at the University of Helsinki. I have also been the Dean of the Faculty of Arts, University of Helsinki. 

Elisa Uusimäki

I work as associate professor in Hebrew Bible and Ancient Judaism in the School of Culture and Society at Aarhus University, Denmark. My area of research is history of religion in the ancient eastern Mediterranean, and I specifically study the literary and cultural history of Judaism in the Persian, Hellenistic, and Roman periods. I have published on topics such as wisdom and descriptive ethics, lived ancient religion, cultural interaction and travel, gender and intersectionality, and the early reception history of the Hebrew Bible. 

The time I spent at HCAS has been decisive for my career development, as it helped me to secure a permanent position in academia. Furthermore, I currently serve as the Principal Investigator of the ERC funded project “An Intersectional Analysis of Ancient Jewish Travel Narratives” (Feb 2021 – Jan 2026), and I wrote the application for this project during my time at HCAS. I am convinced that it would not have been successful without all the feedback I received from a number of colleagues working in different disciplines!