To explain why Rome succeeded in creating the ancient world’s largest empire, my project aims to take a long-term comparative perspective that is novel on the research landscape and better suited to overcoming the limitations of currently used sources and approaches. I employ archaeology—often the only contemporary ancient evidence as my primary research material—and look at the eight centuries (1000-200 BC) before the fully formed Roman Empire. I use a comparative sociological perspective to reveal key organizational and institutional differences between the various regional competitors that existed during Rome's rise to empire.
Franco De Angelis is Full Professor and Distinguished University Scholar in the Department of Ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern Studies at the University of British Columbia. In his teaching and research, he has developed cross-cultural, interdisciplinary methodologies that employ all types of evidence and various theoretical tools to help interpret them. His research has focused on expanding the narrow story we have traditionally told about the ancient Greeks by addressing their overlooked migrations, especially to Italy.
As the Arctic Sea ice recedes and extinction threatens plants and wildlife, the discipline of environmental aesthetics grows ever more relevant. In response to global climate change, a new debate arises concerning our aesthetic and moral attitudes to nature. To better understand the ideas articulated in the aesthetic debate, we must trace them back to their eighteenth-century roots. To this purpose, my project studies the unprecedented but rarely analysed impact of central ideas formulated by the third Earl of Shaftesbury. In the early eighteenth century, Shaftesbury developed his notion of disinterestedness and a non-dominating stance to the beauty of nature, and this resonates strongly in current aesthetic discourse. Thus, the project will modify aesthetic paradigms of research by facilitating both a deeper historical understanding of Shaftesbury’s view and the origins of environmental aesthetics. It will also develop new knowledge in environmental aesthetics that is of urgent relevance with respect to global climate change. The project builds on the most recent environmental aesthetic theory together with Shaftesbury’s understudied corpus. It also considers writings by the Cambridge Platonists, whose leading figure Ralph Cudworth influenced Shaftesbury’s account of disinterestedness and nature.
Karl Axelsson (Ph.D., Uppsala University) is Associate Professor (Docent) in Aesthetics at Södertörn University where he also teaches. He specializes in eighteenth-century aesthetic theory. He has published three books: The Sublime: Precursors and British Eighteenth-Century Conceptions (2007), Political Aesthetics: Addison and Shaftesbury on Taste, Morals and Society (2019), and Beyond Autonomy in Eighteenth-Century British and German Aesthetics (2021). Axelsson is also the Swedish translator of Shaftesbury’s The Moralists, A Philosophical Rhapsody (2022).
I am studying individual differences in child and adolescent development in Finland in collaboration with Finnish scholars, in parallel with collaborative studies we are conducting in nine other countries in Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas. This work is motivated by a two-part question: How does each of us become a unique individual, and in turn, what are the processes that promote or impede healthy individually distinct development? I also am striving to address a major gap in many disciplines—reliance on studying a handful of populations based on convenience. My specific objectives are 1) to address this two-part question using quantitative research on child, adolescent, and family development in Finland and 2) to connect those data with similar data from nine other countries. For Objective 1, I will examine changes over time within each of many individuals using statistical analyses, to test competing models of individual differences in educational, mental health, and behavioral health outcomes in childhood and adolescence. For Objective 2, I will initiate “data harmonization” work for studies in Finland and nine other countries, to a) analyze existing data and b) plan future data collection, to facilitate future integration of multinational studies.
Kirby Deater-Deckard (Ph.D., Univ of Virginia) is Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences at UMass Amherst and an elected Fellow of the Assoc for Psychological Science. He conducts collaborative behavioral, psychological and physiological quantitative research with funding from the National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation. His work focuses on family/parenting stress, and the development of stress reactivity and self-regulation from early childhood through adulthood. He is co-author of two textbooks on child development, and numerous empirical articles published in the psychology, psychiatry, and cognitive neuroscience fields.
A core use of human language is to describe facts about the world, using simple sentences such as “Abby is in the library.” However, we can also use complex expressions to convey sets of possible alternatives, as in “Abby is in the library or at the store.” My project will investigate the grammatical strategies employed by different human languages for describing and asking about different alternatives. In other words, I will study cross-linguistic variation in the use of question words, disjunctions, and related grammatical particles and the interpretational mechanisms that underly these uses and their variation.
Concretely, two subprojects are planned. First, I will investigate languages that have multiple disjunctors with contrasting range of use, such as Finnish “vai” versus “tai”. My preliminary work shows that such pairs of disjunctors in various languages of the world do not encode the same distinction. Second, I will investigate the use of question words (‘who’, ‘what’, etc.) to express non-interrogative, quantificational meanings, especially in combination with other grammatical particles. I aim to develop a compositional semantic theory that helps to explain the prevalence of such patterns and their cross-linguistic regularities.
I am a linguist broadly interested in how human languages express meaning. I investigate how we form sentences and map these structures to meaning, and the extent and shape of variation in these strategies across languages of the world. I combine formal linguistic theory, which allows us to make fine-grained predictions about grammatical behavior, with detailed empirical work on individual languages, including through original fieldwork. In particular, much of my work is based on the study of underdescribed languages of Southeast Asia.
The MOrTexts project will develop a framework for modelling understandings of oral and oral-derived texts as ‘things’ in the world with sometimes complex relations to agents, forces, objects, and places. ‘Materiality’ is liberated from the tyranny of science-based epistemologies to encompass vernacular materialities that may defy empirical testing, such as the idea that a verbal text is a supernaturally empowered artefact that only one person may possess at a time; that performance gives unseen reality to past or present events of which the actors may punish a performer’s errors; or that the communication of a text as knowledge requires physical contact. Scholarship has historically taken the ‘thingness’ of oral and oral-derived texts for granted, without connecting research on the variability of oral texts to beliefs about those texts and ways people talk about them as concrete 'things'. The MOrTexts project explores the dynamics of ways people think about and understand oral texts and things in the world, from living oral traditions to academic editing and publication.
I am a folklorist specializing in mythic discourse and verbal art, with interests in empirically grounded theory, methods, and interdisciplinarity. I have worked with traditions of non-modern Finno-Karelian cultures and of Viking and Medieval Scandinavia since the beginning of my career, developing long-term perspectives on cultural developments in the Circum-Baltic context. My interests have gradually extended to the reception of these traditions, cultural heritage construction, fieldwork-based research with Rotenese and Tetun ritual poets in Indonesia, and digital ethnography on mythic discourse in current political and conspiracy discourse. When writing this, I was thinking about different forms of performance through writing.
How do ‘old’ media endure in conditions of radical technological change, and what are the potential consequences of that persistence? Focusing on photography, my project asks how it has survived and flourished, including in new digital domains. Assuming that most traditional technical components of photography have been replaced or altered, how has it retained recognizability and meaning over time? And what are the implications of its retention for the societies in which it occurs? To address these questions the project places cultural memory centre stage. It proposes that photography survives radical change by being systematically remembered and reproduced – through technology design, by institutions (museums, professional associations, educational programmes, etc.), and in professional and everyday practices and representational conventions. This proposition shifts emphasis away from photographs as means for remembering (the usual focus of research), instead foregrounding cultural memory as the process through which photography itself persists, along with the values and worldviews associated with it.
During my time at the Helsinki Collegium of Advanced Studies I will be focussing particularly on how memory narratives of photography are mobilised around contemporary political and social conflicts, shaping the increasingly uncertain truth-status of visual images in a so-called 'post truth' culture.
Paul Frosh is a Professor in the Department of Communication and Journalism at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His research spans visual culture, photography theory, digital media aesthetics, cultural memory, media and moral concern. His most recent book is "The Poetics of Digital Media" )2018). Other books include "The Image Factory: Consumer Culture, Photography and the Visual Content Industry" (2003) and "Media Witnessing: Testimony in the Age of Mass Communication" (2009, co-edited with Amit Pinchevski. He is a co-editor of the International Journal of Cultural Studies.
In my project, I focus on the role of fertility intentions in the recent fertility decline in the Nordic countries and explore them from psychological and demographic perspectives. In the last ten years, there has been a steep decline in the total fertility rates in the Nordic countries, with Finland exhibiting a particularly pronounced decline. The explanations for this decline are hotly debated but poorly understood. By using survey data from the Nordic countries, I investigate whether the actual fertility trends in the Nordic countries are anticipated by changes in fertility intentions. I also study how different psychosocial factors (such as values and attitudes; subjective well-being; early family environment; social networks) influence fertility intentions, and especially why people hesitate about having a first child. To understand why Finland exhibits the strongest fertility fall among the Nordic countries, I will compare psychosocial factors and fertility intentions in these countries.
I am a research psychologist working in the fields of health psychology, family psychology, public health, mental health, and fertility. My PhD in Psychology (Faculty of Medicine, University of Helsinki, 2017) was devoted to the transmission of psychosocial factors such as parent-child relationship and socioeconomic position across generations and their relation to offspring health. As a postdoc, I investigated the role of psychosocial factors in pupils’ symptoms in Finnish schools with indoor air problems (2018-2019) and heterogeneity of depression (since 2020). Currently, I am interested in the role of psychosocial factors in fertility behaviour in Finland and Europe.
Projects, as a social form, constitute a versatile, portable organizational structure predicated on managed progress toward a pre-determined goal. Despite their ubiquity, the project form—the very model of a project as a distinct type of goal-oriented and managed action—remains underexamined in current scholarship. Project Lessons thus convenes a critical exploration into the past, present and future of the project form, investigating how the norms, practices and expectations of project making have shaped historical formations, contemporary social environments, and our understanding of them.
Andrew Graan is a Core Fellow at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies. A cultural and linguistic anthropologist, he earned his PhD in anthropology from the University of Chicago in 2010. His research examines project making, the politics of publics spheres, international intervention, and the political history of North Macedonia. He has taught anthropology at the University of Helsinki, the University of Virginia, Wake Forest University, the University of Chicago and Columbia College Chicago. He has published his research in Cultural Anthropology, Signs & Society, The Journal of Cultural Economy, The Journal of Linguistic Anthropology, Slavic Review, and HAU, among other places.
Humanity is at a crossroads: Over the past decades, we have made incredible strides in human development. This is evidenced by the fact that millions have escaped economic poverty, and can now access basic education, housing, sanitation, and other services. Moreover, child mortality is falling and global life expectancy has risen dramatically. At the same time, we face new existential threats such as climate change and pandemics that reveal common vulnerabilities inextricably linked to deeply entrenched inequality. How can we address these threats? This project considers this question, proposing a general approach and concrete measures for improving global health and welfare.
Nicole Hassoun is Professor of Philosophy at Binghamton University. She has published widely in philosophy, economic, and health journals. Her first book Globalization and Global Justice: Shrinking Distance, Expanding Obligations was published with Cambridge University Press in 2012 and her second book Global Health Impact: Extending Access on Essential Medicines for the Poor appeared with Oxford University Press in 2020. Professor Hassoun also heads the Global Health Impact project (global-health-impact.org). The project is intended to assist policymakers in setting targets for and evaluating efforts to increase access to essential medicines. To learn more, see: https://www.global-health-impact.org/nhassoun
My project focuses on environmental crisis and human reproduction that are both pressing issues in public, political and academic debates. I examine the interrelationships between the embodied and ecological environments that condition reproduction and how liveable futures are imagined. The project studies procreation from the perspective of ‘being scarred’. I focus on bodies and ecosystems as reproductive environments that are wounded in ways that hinder fertility and reproductive desires. In other words, I focus on embodied and ecological conditions that may not enable the continuity of life in the form of new births. The project juxtaposes two cases of activism. First, I explore patient activism that emerges from the experience of living with endometriosis, a chronic disease in which cells similar to the uterine lining grow outside the uterus causing persistent pain (subproject 1). Second, I draw on an analysis of younger people’s climate anxiety and activism and explore the effects of damaged ecological surroundings on the decision not to have children (subproject 2). Through its juxtaposition of patient and climate activism, my study’s objective is to analyse struggles to improve the conditions of life in scarred environments – with or without babies.
Elina Helosvuori is a sociologist and science and technology studies scholar. Her earlier work includes multi-sited ethnography about assisted reproduction in Finland, in which she explored the entanglement of clinical practices, laboratory labour and patient experience in fertility treatment practices. Elina received her PhD in sociology from the University of Helsinki in 2021. As a postdoctoral researcher at Tampere University, Elina has used ethnographic methods to explore intersections of medical practices and experiences of chronic pain, focusing on surgical interventions to endometriosis. Her current research is situated at the intersections of feminist science and technology studies, medical sociology and environmental humanities.
Astrid Joutseno/Swan is conducting her postdoctoral research about grief. In HCAS she investigates the processual connectivity between making art and researching. Her focus is on the process itself; how knowledge is produced in contamination with making music, writing and researching. Joutseno/Swan approaches grief in relation to two historical lives: pianist Astrid Joutseno from Turku, Finland (1899-1962) and violinist Eliasz Dobrzyniec (1989-?) who came from a Polish Jewish musician family in Warsaw. The two figures are related to the researcher, but were long-lost in the family narrative. Microhistories relate to larger sociopolitical and historical contexts and so Joutseno and Dobrzyniec become meaningful in the present. During the contemporary anti-LGBTQIA+ and antisemitic motioning in Europe, this project provides a possibility of addressing generational connectedness across national, ethnic, sexual or gendered definitions. Grief over what is lost may become a unifying affect, while music may provide a bridge across the silences of time.
Astrid Joutseno/Swan’s award-winning PhD Life Writing from Birth to Death: How M/others Know (2021) examined maternal life writing online. She started her postdoctoral research in Selma, University of Turku in 2022. As a songwriter Swan has published seven albums internationally. In 2018 she won the prestigious Teosto Award and her music was nominated for the Scandinavian Music Prize. Her latest album D/other came out in 2021. In 2019 Joutseno/Swan published a memoir Viimeinen kirjani: kirjoituksia elämästä (Nemo). Joutseno/Swan is a researcher in the Finnish Academy's research project "Counter Narratives of Cancer: Shaping Narrative Agency".
Language contact and multilingualism have been driving language change throughout the human history. A common outcome of multilingualism is transfer of linguistic features from one language to another in the speech of multilingual individuals. Yet how exactly transferred features become, or don’t become, a monolingual language norm remains poorly understood. A study of a multilingual West-African ecology proposed in my project, with Mano and Kpelle languages at its core, aims at filling this gap by looking at language contact through a dual lens: a close ethnographic study of the social context of contact and an analysis of its various linguistic consequences. I develop a methodologically innovative holistic program combining an investigation of individual and language-level processes, synchrony and diachrony, ethnography, corpus study and experiment.
I am an interdisciplinary researcher studying at the intersection of anthropology, sociolinguistics, and structural linguistics. My research is underpinned by extensive fieldwork and focuses on cross-linguistic and cross-cultural comparison; my current project explores language contact between the under-studied Mano and Kpelle languages in West Africa in their social context. I initially trained as a linguist, but quickly expanded my area of expertize into sociology and anthropology as well. I received my PhD at Inalco, Paris in 2015 and spent three following years as a postdoc in the Department of Anthropology, UC Berkeley. I came to Helsinki in 2017 and until 2020 was a member of the Helsinki University Humanities Program.
In International Relations (IR) scholarship, there is a body of literature that advances our understanding of how certain events that are deeply anchored in a society’s collective memory can be invoked by policymakers as an analogy to current events in their justification of foreign and security policy. By taking the example of Ukraine’s current resistance to Russia’s aggression, my project investigates how the Ukrainian political leadership in Kyiv makes sense of the war by using specific language expressed through historical analogies. It is argued that the use of historical analogies should not be regarded as ‘decorative’ rhetorical devices, but rather as an embodiment of the political actors’ conceptual system. The exploration of political language of the Ukrainian policy makers helps to comprehend the Ukrainian standpoint in the war.
My research on international politics is situated at the intersection of International Relations, History, Sociology, Literary Studies, and Linguistics. I am interested in studying the international politics of memory, political language and foreign policy, interpretive research methodology and methods in political science, as well as teaching and learning politics. I obtained my PhD in Political Science at the University of Vienna, Austria, and I hold the Title of Docent (Adjunct Professor) in Public and Social Policy from the University of Eastern Finland. Prior to coming to the University of Helsinki, I worked as a Researcher at Tampere University and the University of Eastern Finland.
My project at the Collegium examines the use of authoritative texts in early Christian processes of identity construction. The objectives are 1) to produce new knowledge of the ways in which early Christian writers used authoritative texts when shaping the group identity of their audience, 2) to develop concepts and models for analysing the authority of texts, and 3) to demonstrate the connections between power, identity and scriptural argumentation. The results will provide significant new perspectives by combining the use of authoritative texts with identity construction and develop models for analysing textual authority. At the same time, they may also help to understand the identity building processes of our own time. To examine the interplay between using authoritative tradition, shaping the identity of one’s audience, and wielding power through texts, the project combines close textual study, study of rhetoric, and social psychological theories. The source texts are early Christian writings from the 1st and 2nd centuries CE and include Pauline letters, Hebrews, James and 1 Peter, 1 and 2 Clement, the Epistle of Barnabas, and Justin Martyr’s works.
Dr Katja Kujanpää is a Finnish biblical scholar focusing on Early Christian authors of the first and second centuries. She is interested in applying interdisciplinary approaches (e.g. social psychological theories, quotation studies) to the study of ancient texts. Her doctoral dissertation The Rhetorical Functions of Scriptural Quotations in Romans was published in Brill’s Supplements to Novum Testamentum (2019), and her recent articles examine the relationship between using authoritative texts and forming a robust group identity. After her doctorate at the University of Helsinki (2018), she has made research visits to Oxford University and Australian Catholic University.
Emotions are central to how we understand ourselves and the world around us. But their mercurial nature also means that they can distort our thinking and frustrate our pursuit of our goals. So what can we do to shape our emotions for the better, and how might an answer to this question improve our understanding of moral agency and its development? My book project advances a broadly Kantian answer to these questions. Drawing on insights from Kant’s moral psychology, emotion science, and contemporary feminist scholars, I argue that moral development should aim to cultivate distinctive forms of emotional self-awareness and self-control. The resulting account not only challenges prominent contemporary proposals grounded in the work of Aristotle and the Stoics, but it also has revisionary implications for our understanding of emotions and their value. For instance, it suggests that seemingly morally dubious emotions like disgust, anxiety, and shame can actually be deeply morally valuable—they are responses that we want to encourage, not shun.
I am a philosopher whose work focuses on issues in ethical theory, moral psychology, and the philosophy of emotion. I see research in these areas as being productively informed by empirical inquiry in the cognitive and social sciences. Recently, I’ve been thinking about the role that emotions play in shaping moral thought and agency. My work has appeared in academic journals including Ethics, Philosophy of Science, Emotion Review, and Mind & Language as well as non-academic venues like The Washington Post, Scientific American, and Aeon. I have also published two books: Emotion (Routledge 2022) and The Anxious Mind (MIT 2018).
Creating inclusive societies thriving in diversity is one of the greatest tasks facing the world today. I address this issue from the perspective of multilingualism studies, an inter- and multidisciplinary field at the intersection of linguistic description, sociolinguistics, anthropological linguistics and education. My proposal approaches the topic from two angles: I will synthesise a decade of research in a monograph and develop a collaborative grant proposal for new research, underpinned by these research questions:
What characterises convivial sustainable multilingual societies
What educational policies and programmes can contribute to building such societies?
Which ideas of language and practices of language sharing in the Global South can provide solutions for obstacles to convivial multilingualism in the Global North?
Since August 2019 I have been Professor of African Studies at the University of Helsinki. My research and teaching focus on the description and documentation of West African languages in their cultural contexts. I am the chair of AfriStadi, the Africa Research Forum for Social Sciences and Humanities at the University of Helsinki, founded in November 2021. In my research, I specialise in the study of Mande and Atlantic languages, particularly in verbal argument structure and nominal classification. I have written a grammar of argument structure of the Mande language Jalonke spoken in Guinea, which also contains its first sketch grammar. Currently, I am conducting research on the Atlantic language Baïnounk Gujaher, a language of the Nyun cluster spoken in Senegal and Guinea Bissau. My initial focus was on the documentation of Baïnounk language within a language endangerment framework in a project funded by the DoBeS project of the VW foundation. A follow-up project investigated small-scale multilingualism in Southern Senegal in the Crossroads project funded by the Leverhulme Trust. This research on rural multilingualism in Senegal has been central for the emerging inter- and multidisciplinary field of small-scale multilingualism studies.
Nordic societies have during the latest decades experienced rapid transformations with regard to social and cultural diversity. Formerly largely homogeneous national identities are challenged by globalization and migration. A new political landscape is emerging characterized by a cleavage between Alternative-Liberal and Traditional-Authoritarian-Nationalist values. Religion has, in this process, become a matter of intensified public concern. The media – conventional news media as well as social media - play a key role in this process. Previous research shows a dominant negative portrayal of religion, in particular Islam, in the Nordic countries. The aim of the research project is to explore whether and how an enhanced focus on religion in highly secularized societies can also enhance more constructively oriented depictions of religion, besides critical reporting. The project will analyze media material from and interviews with Nordic journalists, focusing on the characteristics of more constructive depictions of religion in media, as well as how journalists reason in terms of values and principles for reporting. The results are analyzed by a combination of mediatization of religion theory and Jürgen Habermas’ concept of “complementary learning processes”, which envisions mutual acts of self-reflection between religious and secular citizens as a key for developing post-secular democratic societies.
Mia Lövheim is Professor in Sociology of Religion at Uppsala University, and leads the theme Democracy, Communication and Media at the Centre for Multidisciplinary Research on Religion and Society (CRS). Her research focuses on representations of religion in Swedish and Nordic daily press, public service media and social media in the context of social and political change. She is the editor of Media, Religion and Gender: Key Issues and New Challenges (2013) and A Constructive Critique of Religion: Encounters between Christianity, Islam, and Non-religion in Secular Societies (2020). In 2023 she was awarded an honorary professorship at Helsinki University.
My project investigates the complex history of work-related fatigue in occupational medicine. In the project, the concept of fatigue refers broadly to disabling tiredness that can be physical, mental or both. By analysing medical texts and archival findings, the research uncovers how the idea of the working body was transformed in post-1945 occupational medicine into a complex entity that could be modulated to tackle fatigue, the nemesis of modern society. The aim of the research is to contribute to academic and public discussions focused on stress, psychosomatic illnesses and public health.
I am a historian with a multidisciplinary background in the humanities and social Sciences. I did my MA in cultural history (2009) and my PhD in gender studies (2015) at the University of Turku. In 2021, I was granted the title of docent in political history at the University of Helsinki. In recent years, my research interest has focused on the history of fatigue and stress. In 2026, I will start working as a University Researcher at the Centre for Consumer Society Research, University of Helsinki.
Corded Ware culture (c 2900–2200 BCE) changed the Stone Age life of the Finnish coast when it arrived 5000 years ago, bringing potentially a new language, genes, material culture, burial practices and subsistence to an area previously inhabited by hunter-fisher-gatherers. This project studies the establishment and adaptation (even – disappearance) of Corded Ware communities in Finland in general and the regional differences within the country in particular: how these groups responded and coped with the challenges of the northern environment, both socio-cultural (local hunter-fisher-gatherers) and natural (boreal biogeographical region under climate change)? Key questions are: 1) how did the Corded Ware societies react to the local natural and cultural environments? 2) what kind of networks and relationships prevailed between different communities? 3) are there dissimilarities in development within and/or between different regions of Finland and what is the reason for them? Even if the focus is on past events, the themes of this project – cultural encounters in the age of climate change – are also relevant in the world of the 2020s.
Kerkko Nordqvist is a prehistoric archaeologist and did his PhD in the University of Oulu in 2018. His main fields of research are prehistoric archaeology and boreal hunter-gatherer archaeology in particular, as well as the interaction of forager and farmer populations. His research interests include prehistoric material cultures and their manufacture, distribution and exchange, economy and subsistence, as well as culture and society in eastern and northern boreal Europe. Nordqvist is the author of two hundred publications, including numerous scientific articles, edited volumes and popular scientific papers.
Recent social psychological research has led some psychologists and philosophers to conclude that the conscious mind is quite insignificant in shaping our behaviour. Beliefs, desires, or intentions that are consciously held by us are deemed largely irrelevant to generating even those behaviours of ours that we regard as intentional, deliberate. On this view, much or most of our behaviour results from unconscious processes. And yet we seem to be able to consciously devise and execute intricate and well-thought-out plans. And our conscious thought seems to allow us to plan and engage in shared intentional behaviours together with others. This research project – The Committed Mind – explores the hypothesis that scepticism about the role of the conscious mind does not take adequate account of the nature and causal role of commitment in the lives of neurotypical adult humans. The main aim is to develop a new philosophical theory of the nature of commitment. This theory will allow us to re-evaluate radical skepticism about the role of conscious thought in shaping our behaviour.
Lilian O’Brien works in contemporary analytic philosophy of action. She received her PhD in philosophy from Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, and a B.A. and M.A. from University College Cork. She has taught at Vassar College, The College of William and Mary, University College Cork, and the University of Helsinki.
The project is aimed at studying cameralism as a system of thoughts and the practice of governance. For a long time Kameralwissenschaften were in the shadow of mercantilism although their importance for both understanding the formation of institutions of the modern state and the beginning of political economy was crucial. This is especially true for Northern Europe: not only for Germanies and Austria, but also for Sweden and Russia of the eighteenth century. The project will reassess the dissemination and emulation of modern practices of governance and the administrative thinking. The study will focus on the translations of cameralist texts, mostly of J.H.G. von Justi, and will show to what extent we could regard the most famous enlighteners of eighteenth-century Russia (for instance, Alexander Radishchev) as cameralists. The project is intended to help tracing the formation of a certain state despotism machine and to put the cameralist texts and thinking in a broader context of political economy, Enlightenment, absolutism. natural law, baroque and gouvernementalité.
Danila Raskov holds a PhD in Economics, he published the book “The Economic Institutions of Old Believers” (St Petersburg University Press, 2012) based on his PhD topic. His main research interests are the development of early political economy, the history of economic institutions, religion and economic issues. In St. Petersburg University, he heads the Center for the Study of Economic Culture (2011-2022) and also serves as Acting Dean of the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences (2020-2022). He was a researcher in Walras and Pareto Center, University of Lausanne (2012, 2017), Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, Helsinki University (2015) and in Lichtenberg-Kolleg, Göttingen University (2018). He has been serving on the Council of the European Society for the History of Economic Thought (since 2018).
The state-sponsored targeted killing of terrorists and external or internal enemies is a key component of contemporary warfare and political strategy. While neutralizing enemies through individual targeting may appear to be a suitable tool for countering terrorist entities and avoiding large-scale military operations, there are concerns regarding the compliance of this practice with international human rights, the laws of war and domestic laws. This project contributes to a better understanding of the present situation by investigating the history of state-sponsored assassinations and targeted killing in early-modern times, in particular in the period 1600–1800, when lawyers and government officials developed a set of core arguments on the matter. The project addresses the legal, political and ethical issues at stake in targeted killing and why it is important to rethink this practice today.
Walter works at the intersection of international law, history and philosophy, and his research focuses on issues of war and security. He is especially interested in the interaction between legal and political languages, structures and actors, for instance in how legal vocabularies restrain or allow specific forms of conflict and thereby legitimize or delegitimize certain political players. Among Walter’s publications is the monograph Enemies of Mankind: Vattel’s Theory of Collective Security, Brill 2013. Walter has previously worked as a project coordinator and postdoctoral researcher at the Erik Castrén Institute of International Law and Human Rights after earning his PhD from the University of Melbourne. He has work experience in regulatory agencies and financial services.
The climate-challenged future requires a response to a convergence of three key crises: increasing climate-induced and environmental turbulence; ongoing social, economic, and environmental inequity; and mounting public disillusionment with and disconnection from contemporary democracy. My Erkko Visiting Professorship project, talk, and proposed symposium will focus on this crisis convergence and explore its impact on evolving conceptions of environmental justice and practices of democratic innovation and experimentation. Examples include the expanding use of citizen assemblies on climate action, which can either simply legitimize existing policies or be more genuinely engaging (Wells et al 2021); the growth of attention to justice and inclusion in adaptation or ‘green new deal’ planning, in contrast to plans that focus on risk or those that can exacerbate inequity or maladaptation (Schlosberg et al 2017, Cohen and MacGregor 2020); spontaneous and grassroots community responses to climate disasters, and experiments on combining Indigenous and western knowledges and concepts such as kinship in environmental management and climate policy development (Whyte 2020). These examples will be examined for their democratic inclusion and authenticity, the role concepts of environmental justice play in process design and resulting policy proposals, and, more generally, their place as a response to the ecological, social, and political polycrisis.
David Schlosberg is Director of the Sydney Environment Institute and Professor of Environmental Politics at the University of Sydney. His work focuses on a range of environmental justices – environmental, climate, ecological, multispecies, and just approaches to climate adaptation/resilience – as well as broader issues of environmental politics, action, and sustainability in everyday life. His more applied and collaborative work, with a range of governments and organisations, focuses on disaster, resilience, and adaptation response, planning, and policy.
In my project, I study the role of the far right in the current climate and environmental crisis. I research the way the far right shapes its political and ideological agenda in a rapidly warming world where societies need to make unprecedented socio-ecological changes to mitigate global heating. To understand the current and future development of the “far-right environmentalism” in more depth, I will examine the Finnish far-right's understanding of nature, ecology, energy, and industrial organisation of nature in a longer historical perspective. I pay particular attention to the national and international crisis periods in which economic and ideological as well as environmental perceptions of political movements often face rapid reassessment. Furthermore, I analyse the differences and similarities between the environmental conceptions of the Finnish far right and the wider European far-right movement. My project contributes to the understanding of a topical and controversial tradition of environmental thinking as well as its future direction.
My initial training is in economic, social and environmental history. I am interested in the study of past and present socio-ecological transformations and environmental history of capitalism. I seek to understand social and economic conflicts and contradictions related to the environment at both the world-system and local levels. In recent years, I have turned more deeply to multidisciplinary environmental studies and researched such topics as political economy of sustainability transformations, low-carbon industrial transition, political ecology of Finnish forestry and political resistance to climate mitigation. I am an original member of the interdisciplinary BIOS Research Unit (established in 2015) and editor-in-chief of the critical and multidisciplinary journal Tiede & edistys (Science & Progress).
Kievan state came rather late into Christian family of nations, as did other Central and North European nations. As a territory outside the Roman civilisation, Rus’ lacked relics. Nevertheless, with time, Rus’ acquired some first-rate Christian relics, such as those of Pope Clement and his disciple Phoebus, a finger of John the Baptist, and a stone from the Holy Sepulchre. The history of these relics that emerges from the recent research can shed new light on cultural and ideological impulses coming to Rus’ from the Latin West and the Byzantine East. The project aims at studying the ways by which Christian relics were acquired, their place in ideology and rituals of power, as well as their role in the communication of ideas of social prestige and authority.
Oleksy Tolochko is the director of the Center for Kievan Rus’ studies at the Institute of Ukrainian History (National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine). His research has addressed various problems of Eastern Europe's Medieval and Early Modern history. Among his latest books are ‘Russian History’ by Vasily Tatishchev: Sources and Accounts (Moscow, 2005), The Short Version of ‘Pravda Ruskaia’: The Origin of the Text (Kyiv, 2010), and Essays on the Early Rus’ (Kiev and Saint Petersburg, 2015). His most recent project was leading a team of Ukrainian scholars in textological examination of the thirteenth-century Galician-Volhynian Chronicle (2021). Oleksiy Tolochko’s current project, “Saints, Relics, and Miracles in Medieval Rus’,” aims at studying the ways by which Christian relics were acquired, their place in ideology and rituals of power, as well as their role in the communication of ideas of social prestige and authority.
The language of an individual has seldom, if ever, been the primary focus of research attention. Despite the advent of the usage-based paradigm, which sees language as emergent from usage, and variationist sociolinguistics, which pays heed to the diversity of human experience, we are still for the most part interested in the ‘average man’. Using corpus linguistic and behavioural speech processing data, this research project strives to find out to which extent different individuals infer different regularities from their language experience.
Svetlana Vetchinnikova obtained her PhD in English Philology from the University of Helsinki in 2014. Since then, she worked in research projects on variation and change in English and on chunking in speech processing (PI: Prof. Anna Mauranen). More recently she was employed as a university lecturer in English Linguistics at the Department of Languages. She is author of Phraseology and the Advanced Language Learner (2019, Cambridge) and co-editor of Changing English (2017, De Gruyter) and Language Change: The Impact of English as a Lingua Franca (2020, Cambridge).
In the Shadow of Populism and the War in Ukraine: Challenges for Energy Transition and Environmental Policy under the Conditions of the Crisis of Democracy
The project aims to analyse the dynamic process of energy transition in a country that is dependent on coal, is sceptical of the EU energy and climate policy, breaks the rules of democracy and is ruled by right-wing populists under the conditions of energy crisis. The implementation of this project, which combines the environmental, political, cultural and economic dimensions, will make it possible to capture and understand the interrelationships and challenges related to the impact of the war in Ukraine and the energy crisis on the attitude of Polish society towards the goals of green transition. This is a good reason to ask about the relationship between energy security and acceptance of social innovation, and to reflect on whether energy transition can be connected with the democratisation of society. Recent years have shown that energy policy is not limited to technological issues and that control over the energy sector is an important tool for doing politics.
Hence, the main question in the project is: Can concerns about the costs of energy transition and related challenges be another potential “new political fuel” for right-wing populists and authoritarian politics or will they be rather an impulse to develop democratisation and accelerate the bottom-up transition?
Graduated in sociology and defended his PhD in sociology at the University of Wrocław (based on his distinguished doctoral dissertation entitled ‘Environmentalists, Feminists and Squatters: A Sociological Analysis of New Social Movements in Poland’). He obtained a postdoctoral degree (habilitation) at the Faculty of Social Sciences of the Adam Mickiewicz University based on his dissertation ‘Structure and Culture: Conditions of Emancipation Orientation in Polish Society’.In 2014, co-founded the Centre for Civil Rights and Research on Democracy. Since 2022, he has been the president of the Institute for Sustainable Development and Renewable Energy foundation. He combines scientific work with social activity.
To stream chart-topping songs over the Internet or to listen soul classics played in coffee shops is to hear sonic imprints of many African American women singers who have fashioned gospel vocal idiom and fostered its cross-over to secular music since the mid-20th century. Yet at the same time, firmly rooted in the longstanding, and often subversive religious culture of the Black Church, gospel vocal expression has become a major element in the audible history of the African American quest for social justice.
It is against this background that my project focuses on gospel music as women-led music and explores the work of many African American women singers whose ideas and creative visions are set to music. Specifically, my project seeks to understand how gospel singers have forged vocal expression as a subversive medium of value. In practice, through ethnography and historical research on leading and local gospel singers in the United States, my project seeks to elucidate values, meanings, and practices surrounding gospel singing in the marketplace. Essentially, my work builds upon literature on music and capitalism, gospel music scholarship and popular music studies centering Black women’s experiences in music. I also draw upon anthropological theories of value and exchange. Altogether, by proceeding from the intersect of gender, race, and religion, my project seeks to direct serious attention to the power of singing voice within capitalism.
I am a musicologist/ethnomusicologist studying women’s roles in music cultures, the singing voice, and American popular music. While situated broadly in musicology my work incorporates varied branches of knowledge including, inter alia, economic ethnomusicology, gender studies, postcolonial studies, religious studies, anthropology, and sociology. In parallel, I am interested in academically-based community engagement and collaborative research methods. Recently I have worked as a University Lecturer in Musicology at the Department of Philosophy, History and Arts, University of Helsinki. I completed my doctoral degree at the University of Pennsylvania. I also have a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Maryland, College Park. I am currently the president of the board of the Finnish American Studies Association (FASA) and the vice-chair of the Finnish Society for Ethnomusicology (SES).