Alumni of the Month, June 2024

Ritva Palmén and Xin Liu are the HCAS Alumni of the Month!
Ritva Palmén

I currently hold a fellowship from the Finnish Research Council, which supports my project on "Social Emotions in Medieval and Renaissance Intellectual History". Following my research period, I will begin my position as a university lecturer in systematic theology at the University of Eastern Finland. My ongoing project is a direct continuation of the research I carried out at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies as a core fellow from 2017 to 2020. My time at HCAS was transformative in many ways. I had the opportunity to examine my research hypothesis and establish my own line of research studying philosophical theories of emotions in history within a community of the most supportive, imaginative, and resourceful colleagues. 

Being a Finnish scholar, I found the international and multidisciplinary atmosphere to be academically outstanding and inspiring. The collaborations and networks I engaged in with my colleagues during my fellowship continue to be significant to me even today. The dedication of the HCAS staff to cultivating an optimal environment for independent thinking and research was evident through the provision of both tangible and intangible resources. The relationships and teamwork with the new fellows demonstrate how the alumni continue to have a solid and fruitful connection with the HCAS, proving the enduring fellowship bond.

Xin Liu

I am a Senior Lecturer in Gender Studies at Karlstad University and I will take up the position of collegium fellow at the Turku Institute for Advanced Studies (TIAS) in September 2024. My stay at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies as a Core Fellow (2021-2022) was important for developing my interest and expertise in interdisciplinary research. My current research projects lie at the intersection of feminist theory, environmental humanities, critical race studies, science and technology studies, social theory and digital media research.

The Collegium provided not only the time to focus on developing and conducting research but also a vibrant, engaging and supportive intellectual space. The weekly research seminars and reading groups are excellent opportunities to think with a group of researchers with expertise in a range of disciplines across the humanities and social sciences. Additionally, researchers in the Collegium exchange ideas by reading and commenting on each other’s texts, research proposals, and planning collaborative research activities. As a postdoc fellow, I particularly appreciated the opportunity to participate in the Collegium’s Internal Committee for Academic Affairs (ICAA) and to help organize the Collegium's annual Winter School for doctoral students in 2022. These experiences provided important insights into how to contribute to the wider academic community. 

During my time at the Collegium, I began developing two book projects. One is an anthology entitled “Digital Politics, Digital Histories, Digital Futures”, which I co-edited with Adi Kuntsman. This book was published by Emerald in 2023. The other is a monograph, also co-authored with Adi Kuntsman. The book is called “Digital Technologies, Smart Cities and the Environment: In the Ruins of Broken Promises” which will be published by Bristol University Press in 2024.