Alumni of the Month, March 2022: Ann Phoenix and Kirsi Tirri

As part of its 20th Anniversary celebrations, HCAS has launched an Alumni Gallery featuring two alumni every month. This month's HCAS alumni are Ann Phoenix and Kirsi Tirri.
Ann Phoenix

Currently, I’m Professor of Psychosocial studies at the Thomas Coram Research Unit, Social Research Institute, UCL Institute of Education. My research focuses on the ways in which psychological experiences and social processes are linked and intersectional. It includes racialised and gendered identities, mixed-parentage, masculinities, consumption, motherhood, families, migration and transnational families.   

I was privileged to be the Jane and Aatos Erkko Visiting Professor from 2016-8. The Collegium provided me with opportunities to work in depth on my research in a collegial context where ideas were discussed and debated and international and national scholars were nurtured and supported. As a result, I was able to start and finish a book on previous research that was languishing amongst my everyday work responsibilities. [Environment in the Lives of Children and Families, 2017 (with Janet Boddy, Catherine Walker and Uma Vennan)]. I was also able to finish co-editing a book on a tangential, methodological area of my research [Working with paradata, marginalia and fieldnotes, 2017 (with Ros Edwards, John Goodwin and Henrietta O’Connor)]. I am most grateful, however, for the space, funding and support for conducting empirical research in Helsinki schools with a Finnish colleague, Marja Peltola. The project contributed to understanding of boys and masculinities and its open access Helsinki University Press book would not have been possible without the gift of time at the Collegium [Nuancing Young Masculinities, 2022 (with Marja Peltola)].   

Overall, my time at HCAS revitalised my work and thinking and enabled me to consolidate my research and think about future work. It also contributed to capacity building in Finnish academia and enabled me to make strong links with colleagues from around Finland. 

Kirsi Tirri

I am Kirsi Tirri, Professor of Education at the Faculty of Educational Sciences at the University of Helsinki. I am also a visiting Professor at St. John’s University in New York, US. 

I have been elected to serve in the Board of Academy of Finland for the years 2022-2024. My research interests include school pedagogy, moral and religious education, gifted education, teacher education and cross-cultural studies. I have supervised 30 doctoral dissertations in education and theology and my students represent 11 different nationalities. My fellowship at the Helsinki Collegium was a wonderful break from many of my usual duties as a professor. I enjoyed the international and multidisciplinary academic atmosphere of the Collegium and I developed wonderful contacts with the other fellows, especially with the Estonian ones. I had time to write a monograph in Finnish in addition to journal articles in English. Moreover, the hospitality of the Collegium with research assistants, travel support and wonderful food and drinks made me feel privileged and valued in my work. Two years at the Helsinki Collegium gave me motivation to continue my work in research and teaching and support young talented researchers for the future!