Alumni of the Month, May 2024

This month we feature Patricia Garcia and Timo Kaartinen as the HCAS Alumni of the Month!
Patricia Garcia

I am a senior researcher in Literary Theory and Comparative Literature at the Universidad de Alcalá in Spain. Currently, I lead a Ramón y Cajal project, supported by the Ministerio de Universidades and the European Social Fund, focusing on the representation of urban peripheries in contemporary European literature. Prior to this role, I served as an Associate Professor at the University of Nottingham, UK.

My research primarily explores two key areas: the supernatural in fiction and literary urban studies. During my time as a EURIAS fellow at HCAS in 2018-2019, I devolved into the intersection of these two areas. The result of this experiment was my second monograph, The Urban Fantastic in Nineteenth-Century European Literature: City Fissures (Palgrave, 2021).

My fellowship also allowed me to deepen my engagement with Finland-based scholars specializing in cultural urban studies. This collaboration yielded some exciting projects, including the co-edited volume Urban Mobilities in Literature and Art Activisms with Anna-Leena Toivanen (Palgrave, 2024), my contribution to The Routledge Companion to Literary Urban Studies (edited by Lieven Ameel, 2022), and the research network I chair, Fringe Urban Narratives ( My most recent articles feature in research journals such as Comparative Literature and Culture, Bulletin of Hispanic Studies, Canadian Review of Comparative Literature and Philosophy and Literature. I have also held the research fellowship at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study (2023-2024) and I am co-director of the Palgrave Series in Literary Urban Studies.

Timo Kaartinen

Professor of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Helsinki, Faculty of Social Sciences

My area is sociocultural and linguistic anthropology. My central research interests are concerned with memory practices, narratives, and social forms through which people deal with uncertainty and change. I have done ethnographic research in Indonesia since the 1990s. The land and resource conflicts curing Indonesia’s political transition in the early 2000s have also made me interested in problems of legal and environmental anthropology.

My two years at the Collegium were an opportunity to bring together research themes that had evolved during 15 years of teaching anthropology. It provided space to deepen my writing work and inspired two new projects that aim at deeper collaboration with my Indonesian research partners and colleagues. Discussions with linguists working at the Collegium led me to a project of minority language revitalization with the involvement of community members and several local universities in Indonesia. The Collegium also gave me access to leading scholars of the philosophy of religion and the anthropology of Christianity and encouraged me to develop a project on Indonesia’s Islamic higher education as an intersection of secular, religious, and everyday ethics.