Alumni of the Month, May 2023

The May 2023 edition of the HCAS Alumni Gallery features Caroline Bassett and Panu Raatikainen
Caroline Bassett

I am currently Professor of Digital Humanities at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of Corpus Christi College. My time at HCAS as the Helsingin Sanomat Foundation Fellow was transformative. It was a perfect space to write in and I completed most of one monograph there as well as beginning work on another. Both books were deeply informed by discussions and conversations had during that year. I was also stimulated by the emerging digital humanities work at Helsinki; this had a direct influence on my decision to move from Sussex University, where I was based during my Fellowship time, to Cambridge, where I now direct the Cambridge Digital Humanities research centre. Looking back though, what was also very valuable was the interaction with members of the HCAS community working across a range of disciplines. We exchanged ideas over lunch and in the formal seminar spaces, but also in the forest while mushroom hunting, at galleries and in private homes, and most memorably in Kilpisjärvi, where a gaggle of philosophers, mathematicians, artists and cultural studies scholars, were convened by a Collegium fellow to consider the use value of refusal as a political or aesthetic response, in a weather station above the arctic circle. My current work on AI and limits relates back very directly to those conversations and that exchange.

Panu Raatikainen

I am currently a Professor of Philosophy and the Head of the Degree Programme of Philosophy at the Faculty of Social Sciences of the Tampere University.  

I was a Fellow at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies from its very start, in 2001–2005, with a project titled “Problems of Meaning and Understanding”. My time at the Collegium was truly pivotal to my development as a researcher in philosophy. It enabled me to broaden and deepen my philosophical interests and competence and do ever more ambitious research. The focus of my research also shifted: I had hitherto scrutinized mostly the philosophy of logic, but I then begun to concentrate more on the philosophy of language, the philosophy of mind, and the philosophy of the social sciences. I am still on that track. I have published over a hundred articles on these topics.  

After my time at the Collegium, I have worked in as an Academy Research Fellow (The Academy of Finland; 2005–2010), and as a University Lecturer at the University of Helsinki (2011–2013). In 2014, I started as a Tenure-track Associate Professor at the Tampere University. I was tenured to full professorship in 2021.