Visiting Professors

HSSH Visiting Professor Program strengthens international cooperation by bringing internationally recognized scholars for visits at the City Center Campus of the University of Helsinki.

The Visiting Professor Program is running in 2022–2025. The concept includes a two-week visit to the University of Helsinki, present at the City Centre Campus, and working together with several research groups, including collaboration with at least two PIs. The visits include public lectures and talks in our weekly Brown Bag Seminar.

The yearly application period for the Visiting Professor Program is in the fall. Read more here.

Read more about experiences from the Visiting Professor Program.

Visiting Professors in 2024

John Bateman is a Research Professor in the Linguistics and English Departments of the Faculty of Linguistics and Literary Sciences at Bremen University. He received his PhD in Artificial Intelligence from Edinburgh University in 1986 and has since worked at research institutions and universities in California, Japan, U.K., Germany, Australia, and Sweden. His research areas revolve around multimodal and multilingual semiotic descriptions, functional and computational linguistics, accounts of register, genre, functional variation, and natural language semantics, and formal and linguistic ontologies. He has published widely in all of these areas, including monographs on text generation (1991, Pinter, co-authored with Christian Matthiessen), multimodality and genre (2008, Palgrave), film (2012, Routledge, with Karl-Heinrich Schmidt), text and image (2014, Routledge), and an introduction to multimodality as a new discipline (2017, de Gruyter, with Janina Wildfeuer and Tuomo Hiippala). Recent work focuses specifically on the semiotic foundations of multimodality and the use of empirical methods for their investigation, combining interdisciplinary studies drawing on eye-tracking, brain-imaging and corpus studies. He is currently Speciality Chief Editor of the Frontiers in  Communication section 'Multimodality of Communication' and, together with Janna Hastings, Editor-in-Chief of the journal Applied Ontology.

Local contact: Tuomo Hiippala

Local contact: Jani Marjanen

Daxootsu | Judith Ramos, Kwáashk’I Kwáan Clan, Yaakwdáat Kwáan, Tlingit. Daxootsu is Tlingit from Yakutat, Alaska, from the Raven moiety, Kwáashk’ikwáan clan. She is Assistant Professor, Northwest Coast Arts at the University of Alaska Southeast. She was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Alaska Native Studies and Rural Development, University of Alaska. She was an advisor for the Harvard Mindich Program in Engaged Scholarship, Anthro 1813: Science from the Arctic: Histories and Futures Seminar. She was a co-curator for the Northwest Coast Hall at the American Museum of Natural History in New York and is a curator for the Princeton Art Museum, Tlingit Gallery. She worked for her tribe the Yakutat Tlingit Tribe as an anthropologist. She has a B.A. in Anthropology, a M.A. in Teaching and is a Ph.D. student in Indigenous Studies at University of Alaska. Her publications include: Ramos, J. (2020). Tlingit Hunting along the Edge: Ice Floe Harbor Seal Hunting in Yakutat Bay, Alaska., A. Crowell (ED.), Arctic crashes: People and animals in the changing north. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Scholarly Press; “This is Kuxaankutaan’s (Dr. Frederica de Laguna’s) Song” with Elaine Abraham; and “Traditional Ecological Knowledge of Tlingit People Concerning the Sockeye Salmon Fishery of the Dry Bay Area” with Rachel Mason

Local contact: Pirjo Kristiina Virtanen

Kirsten Fischer, Professor of History at the University of Minnesota (Ph.D. Duke University) is the author of Suspect Relations: Sex, Race, and Resistance in Colonial North Carolina (Cornell University Press, 2002) and American Freethinker: Elihu Palmer and the Struggle for Religious Freedom in the New Nation (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2021). She is currently working on a book-length hybrid history/memoir titled “Unfamiliar Truths: A Divided German Family Narrates its Past.” Fischer uses oral histories, archival research, public sites of commemoration, and personal memory to explore how individual families as well as a larger culture recall the political and humanitarian crises of 20th-century Germany.

Fischer has held two year-long fellowships at the Heidelberg Center for American Studies at the University of Heidelberg, Germany, once as a Fulbright scholar. She has presented her work at conferences in Germany, France, Italy, Canada, and the US. In 2011, Fischer received the Horace T. Morse-University of Minnesota Alumni Association Award for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education. In spring 2023, she accepted an invitation to teach a Master’s level class on “Religion and Environmentalism in the US” at the Sorbonne University in Paris for four weeks. In summer 2023, she received the University of Minnesota’s Sara Evans Scholar/Leader Award in recognition of her national and international accomplishments, as well as her contributions and promise as a leader on campus. In fall 2023 she was nominated by students for the Arther “Red” and Helene B. Motley Exemplary Teaching Award. Fischer teaches courses on “History through Memoir,” “Radical Environmentalism in the US,” and “Contested Nation: The Early American Republic.”

Local contact: Laura Kolbe

Maja Hojer Bruun is Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Anthropology in the Danish School of Education, Aarhus University where she convenes the Research Program Future Technology, Culture and Learning Processes. She is editor of the Palgrave Handbook of the Anthropology of Technology (2022). She has published widely on emerging digital technologies (robots, drones, cryptographic technologies, information infrastructures, AI), based on ethnographic studies and interventions. In her current research she focuses on the interprofessional collaborations and new forms of expertise that go into the development of automatic and algorithmic systems and on the use of large language models in higher education.

Local contact: Kirsi Pyhältö

Leszek Koczanowicz is Professor of Cultural Studies and Political Science at Department of Cultural Studies at the SWPS University (Poland). He specializes in theory of culture, social theory, and cultural aspects of politics. His previous appointments include inter alia Wroclaw University, SUNY/Buffalo (1998–1999 and 2000–2001), Columbia University (2004–2005), and SUNY/Geneseo (2013), Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies (2015-2016) and Institute for Russian and Eurasian Studies (IRES) at Uppsala University (2019).  Leszek Koczanowicz is the author and editor of twelve books and numerous articles in Polish and English, including Politics of Time: Dynamics of Identity in Post-Communist Poland ( Berghahn Books 2008),  Lęk nowoczesny. Eseje o demokracji i jej adwersarzach (Modern Fear: Essays on Democracy and its Adversaries, 2011), and Politics of Dialogue. Non-Consensual Democracy and Critical Community (Edinburgh University Press 2015).  He was an editor (with Idit Alaphandry) Democracy, Dialogue, Memory: Expression and Affect Beyond Consensus (Routledge 2018). His last books to date are Anxiety and Lucidity: Reflections on Culture in Times of Unrest (Routledge 2020) and The Emancipatory Power of the Body in Everyday Life: Niches of Liberation (Palgrave 2023). He is invited as a Member to School of Social Study at Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton for the academic year 2024/25.

Local contact: Thomas Wallgren

Peter Lindseth is a legal scholar and historian who teaches at the University of Connecticut School of Law (USA), where he is the Olimpiad S. Ioffe Professor of International and Comparative Law and Director of International Programs. His research focuses on European integration and the comparative origins and evolution of governance structures and public law more generally. He is the author of Power and Legitimacy: Reconciling Europe and the Nation-State (OUP) among many other publications.

Local contact: Päivi Leino-Sandberg

Steven Nafziger is the Fairleigh S. Dickinson Jr., '41 Professor of Economics at Williams College, a Faculty Affiliate in History at Williams, and a Center Associate of the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard. An economic historian of the Russian Empire and early Soviet Union, Professor Nafziger has published papers in The Review of Economics and Statistics, The Economic Journal, the American Political Science Review, and in numerous economic history journals on topics related to the political and economic development of the region, including serfdom, the structure of local government, industrialization, financial development, and rural unrest. He is currently a co-PI on the NSF-funded Cliometrics Conference grant and is Co-Editor of the European Review of Economic History.

Local contact: Sakari Saaritsa

Simona Pekarek Doehler is Professor of Applied Linguistics at the University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland. In her research she seeks to understand how participants to talk-in-interaction use grammar as a resource to accomplish social actions and how, in turn, linguistic and communicative resources emerge from the process of interaction. Central lines of her research are dedicated to exploring the development of interactional competence in a second language and to investigating how linguistic and bodily resources combine in social interaction. She has recently become interested in the methodological challenges that arise for conversation analysis when it comes to documenting change across time. She is co-editor of two collections of longitudinal conversation analytic studies, including a special issue of ROLSI 54:2 (2021), and has recently co-edited an e-book in Frontiers entitled The Grammar-body Interface in Social Interaction (2022) as well as a special issue of the Modern Language Journal entitled Emergent L2 Grammar-for-Interaction: Toward an Interactional Usage-Based SLA (2022). She is founding co-editor of the journal Interactional_Linguistics.

Local contact: Salla Kurhila

Eugenia Siapera is Professor of Information and Communication Studies and the co-Director of the UCD Centre for Digital Policy (with Elizabeth Farries). Her research interests are in the area of digital platforms, political communication and journalism, technology and social justice, platform governance and hate speech, racism and misogyny. She was the PI of an IRC-funded project on racist hate speech in the Irish digital sphere, and a partner in a H2020 project on the mediated memory of conflict (RePAST). She is currently working on an IRC Coalesce project on Alt Tech and Harmful Narratives. She has written numerous articles and book chapters. Some of her recent book projects include Understanding New Media (Sage, 2018, second edition), Gender Hate Online (2019, Palgrave, co-edited with Debbie Ging). Radical Journalism (2023, Routledge co-edited with Seamus Farrell and George Souvlis). She is currently working on the third edition of Understanding New Media and on an edited volume on Cancel Culture (with Paraic Kerrigan and Elizabeth Farries, under contract with Routledge).

Local contact: Mervi Pantti

Visiting Professors in 2023-2025

Thea Lindquist is Professor and Executive Director of the Center for Research Data and Digital Scholarship at the University of Colorado Boulder, an interdisciplinary center specializing in expertise and infrastructure for data-intensive research and education and in open publishing. Her research interests include integrating historical and computational approaches in the study of 17th-century European history and data curation for interdisciplinary and highly collaborative research.

Local contact: Eetu Mäkelä

Simon Lindgren is a Professor of Sociology at Umeå University in Sweden and the director of DIGSUM, an interdisciplinary academic research centre studying the social dimensions of digital technology. He is also the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Digital Social Research. Lindgren’s research focuses on the relationship between digital media and society with a particular focus on politics and power relations. He studies mobilization and contention on the internet and the consequences of datafication and automation for such processes. He is the author of Data Theory (2020).

Local contact: Katja Valaskivi

Visiting Professors in 2023

Livia Holden (PhD – School of Oriental and African Studies University of London) leads the following projects: Cultural Expertise in Europe: What is it useful for? (EURO-EXPERT) and CULTEXP Proof of Concept, both funded by the European Researc Council (ERC), and Cultural Expertise in South Asia and in Europe, funded by the ISRF. She is Director of Research at the CNRS and affiliated with the Institut de Sciences Juridique et Philosophique de la Sorbonne. She is also affiliated with CHAD Paris Nanterre. She regularly provides expert opinions for cases pertaining to immigration law, family law, and criminal law in the United Kingdom, United States and the Netherlands.

Local contact: Reetta Toivanen

Dr. Ewan Jones is Associate Professor at Downing College, Cambridge, and one of the rare scholars combining literary scholarship with both embodied cognition and the use of computational approaches to intellectual history. His work includes acclaimed readings of 19th-century poetry that build on digital materials arising from historical communities and their cognitive practices. In such studies, Dr Jones has worked in collaboration with the Cambridge Concept Lab on the architecture of conceptual forms and their historical change. His publications include Coleridge and the Philosophy of Poetic Form (Cambridge UP 2014) and articles in e.g. Digital Scholarship in the Humanities, Journal of the History of Ideas, Critical Inquiry, and Victorian Poetry.

Dr. Jones's latest work involves a historical and conceptual account of group attention, seen from a combined literary historical and neuroscientific perspective. How might we reconsider 'close reading' as a specific practice of cognitive attention? How can aesthetic phenomenology shed insight upon historical communities of readers, rather than produce subjective impressionism? How might the computational analysis of large datesets engage constructively (rather than antagonistically) with analogue forms of reading? These questions also extend to pedagogical issues and the question of how we might devise sharable and portable pedagogical routines that de-habituate standard modes of attending.

Dr. Jones has been a Fulbright Scholar, residential fellow at the Swedish Collegium of Advanced Study, and visiting fellow at Ludwig Maximilian Universität and Pomona College. For the academic year 2021/22, he was awarded a Leverhulme Research Fellowship.

Local contact: Merja Polvinen

Michael Lewis is Head of Portable Antiquities & Treasure at the British Museum. He manages the Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS) - which records archaeological finds made by the public in England and Wales - and oversees the administration of the Treasure Act (1996) - through which the most important archaeological finds enter museum collections. The PAS is amongst the largest community archaeology projects in the UK, and its digital dataset is the largest of its kind in Europe. Michael is also Visiting Professor in archaeology at the University of Reading, a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London), a Member of the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists, an adviser to the All-Party Parliamentary Archaeology Group and a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Arts Scholars.

Michael is a British archaeologist with a particular interest in medieval small finds, specifically those associated with everyday life and religion. Much of this work has focused on studying the relationship between these find types and their place in the medieval landscape, including through digital humanities approaches. He also has a long-term interest in the Bayeux Tapestry, which was the subject of his PhD. For five years he was a Special Police Constable with the Metropolitan Police’s Art & Antiques Unit and represents ‘portable antiquities’ issues within the National Police Chief’s Council’s Cultural Property & Heritage Crime working group.

With these experiences and expertise, Michael has published widely on many aspects relating to British archaeology, including small finds research and cultural property protection.

Local contact: Eljas Oksanen

Urska Sadl's primary research interests include the empirical studies of European courts and their jurisprudence, the language of courts, the theory and practice of judicial precedents as well as topics in European constitutional law more generally. She is joining the EUI after working at iCourts centre of Excellence for International Courts at the Faculty of Law in Copenhagen. She obtained her BA and Master degree in law from the Faculty of Law in Ljubljana. Urška also holds a LL.M. degree in Legal Studies from the College of Europe in Brugge and a PhD degree from the University of Copenhagen. She has completed research stays at King's College, London, Institute of European and Comparative Law at the University of Oxford and most recently visited the University of Michigan as Michigan Grotius Research Scholar. Her research appears i.a. in the European Law Journal, the European Law Review, the European Journal of Legal Studies and the European Constitutional Law Review.

Local contact: Riikka Koulu, Suvi Sankari

Sérgio Sauer is PhD in Sociology and professor at the University of Brasília (UnB), in the Graduate Program in Environment and Rural Development (PPG-Mader) and in the Center for Sustainable Development (CDS/UnB). He is member of the team of editors of the Journal of Peasant Studies (JPS) and hold a research scholarship of the CNPq (research institute of the Brazilian Ministry of Science and Technology). Among his research themes are (rural) development and the environment, especially the struggle for land, agrarian extractivism, and the rights of rural people.

Local contact: Markus Kröger

Visiting Professors in 2022-2024

Ruth Ayaß is professor for sociology at Bielefeld University. Her research focuses on sociology of everyday interaction, ethnomethodology, and interpretive sociology.

Local contact: Ilkka Arminen

Lars-Erik Malmberg is a Professor of Quantitative Methods in Education at University of Oxford. He started off as a primary school teacher in Finland. He is Docent in Education with particular focus on quantitative methods, at Åbo Akademi University, Vasa, Finland, where he earned his Doctorate of Education. He completed his post-doc at Yale University and enjoyed the prestigious Research Councils UK (RCUK) academic fellowship 2007-12. He applies advanced quantitative models to the investigation of substantive research questions in education. He recently completed the ESRC-funded seminar series called “Network on Intrapersonal Research in Education”.

Local contact: Katariina Salmela-Aro

Barbara Pfetsch is a Professor of Communication Theory and Media Effects Research at the Department of Media and Communication at the Freie Universität Berlin, Germany and principal investigator at the Weizenbaum Institute for the Networked Society. She is also involved in the Collaborative Research Centre “Re-Figuration of Spaces” (SFB 1265) at the TU Berlin. Her research focuses on changes of public spheres and political communication through the digitization and transnationalization and her projects include analyses of digital spaces issue networks, political discourse, (online) media debates and agenda building and the emergence of European and transnational public spheres.

Local contact: Juha Herkman

Mirko Schäfer is Associate Professor at Utrecht University's research area Governing the Digital Society. He is co-founder and project leader of the Utrecht Data School. Schäfer's research interest revolves around the socio-political impact of (media) technology. With the Utrecht Data School and the Datafied Society research platform, he investigates the impact of data practices and algorithms on public management, public media and public space.

Local contact: Minna Ruckenstein

Visiting Professors in 2022

Mike Ananny is an Associate Professor of Communication and Journalism and Affiliated Faculty of Science, Technology, and Society at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. He studies the public significance of digital news infrastructures and algorithmic systems, and co-directs the interdisciplinary USC collective MASTS (Media As SocioTechnical Systems) and the Sloan Foundation project Knowing Machines (with Kate Crawford and Jason Schultz). He holds a PhD from Stanford University, a Masters from the MIT Media Laboratory, and has written for popular press publications including The Atlantic, Wired Magazine, Harvard's Nieman Lab, and the Columbia Journalism Review.

Local contact: Kaius Sinnemäki

Dries Daems is Assistant Professor at the Graduate School of Social Sciences in the M.Sc. program of Settlement Archaeology at Middle East Technical University (METU) in Ankara. He is also coordinator of the M.Sc. program of Digital Archaeology at METU. His research interests include the study of social complexity and urbanism through computational modeling (ABM) and material studies (macroscopic pottery analysis). He specializes in Iron Age to Hellenistic Anatolia and the Eastern Mediterranean.

Local contact: Marta Lorenzon

Dr. Mark Ellison is a Post-Doctoral Researcher at University of Cologne. He is a specialist in mathematical and computational modelling to language variation, change, and evolution. He has degrees in mathematics, computer science, and linguistics and is currently working in the DFG funded Collaborative Research Centre on Prominence in Language.

Local contact: Jutta Jokiranta

Amanda Lagerkvist is a Professor of Media and Communication Studies and a founder of existential media studies. Her work explores digital-human vulnerabilities in light of existential philosophy, focusing empirically on death online, digital memories, and on increased automation of human life and the Earth. She heads the BioMe project which explores existential and ethical challenges of biometric AI within the human lifeworld.

Local contact: Johanna Sumiala

Mladen Popović studied at the University of Groningen, the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven and Yale University. He conducted archaeological research in Megiddo and Jerusalem. Popović is  head of the Qumran Institute of the University of Groningen, which has a leading role within the Netherlands in the study of the Dead Sea Scrolls. As of September 2017, Popovic has been appointed as the dean of the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies.

Local contact: Jutta Jokiranta