HCAS Alumna Elisa Uusimäki wins the prestigious Nils Klim Prize

The prize is awarded annually by the Holberg Prize Board to a young Nordic researcher for exceptionally impressive research in the humanities, social sciences, law or theology

Elisa Uusimäki worked as Core Fellow at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies from September 2018 to December 2019, before receiving a permanent position at Aarhus University, Denmark. Currently she works as Associate Professor of Hebrew Biblical Studies at the Department of Theology, School of Culture and Society, at Aarhus University. She completed a PhD degree in theology at the University of Helsinki in 2013, after which she conducted postdoctoral research in Helsinki, Jerusalem, Groningen, as well as at Yale University and New York University in the United States.

The Nils Klim Prize Committee writes the following about Uusimäki's work:

"Uusimäki is an exceptionally accomplished and productive scholar of the literary and cultural history of Judaism in antiquity. In her wide-ranging research, she moves confidently between the Dead Sea Scrolls, early Jewish writings, and Hellenistic philosophy, combining the insights emerging from these varied sources in a highly original fashion.

Uusimäki has already published close to forty peer-reviewed articles, co-edited three books, and written two monographs: Turning Proverbs towards Torah: An Analysis of 4Q525 (2016) and Lived Wisdom in Jewish Antiquity: Studies in Exercise and Exemplarity (2021). She has received several awards and grants, including a recent European Research Council’s Starting Grant for the project “An Intersectional Analysis of Ancient Jewish Travel Narratives”.

Elisa Uusimäki is eminently accomplished in her academic area, relying on linguistic skills in several languages and philological as well as hermeneutic expertise as she delves into texts and matters that are highly relevant to our historical understanding of the ancient world. Her research topics and her ways of coming to grips with them also relate in significant ways to contemporary global concerns. She has worked in the areas of wisdom studies, descriptive ethics, and cultural interaction, addressing issues such as lived ancient religion, gender, intersectionality, social hierarchy, enslavement, and several aspects of mobility. Recently she has also turned her attention to women’s journeys, the impact of plagues, and travel-related anxieties.

Elisa Uusimäki’s research span is remarkable, and her combination of classical and contemporary approaches, as well as her numerous original contributions to scholarship, are impressive and exemplary. She is a most worthy recipient of the 2022 Nils Klim Prize."

The Nils Klim Prize is administered by the Holberg Prize secretariat at the University of Bergen, on behalf of the Norwegian Government.



HCAS Research Coordinator Kaisa Kaakinen, kaisa.kaakinen[AT]helsinki.fi