HSSH October Newsletter 10/2023

Recent news and upcoming events at HSSH – read more below and don't forget to subscribe to our newsletter!


HSSH Visiting Professor Program – applications closing tomorrow, 31.10.!


The program aims to support international research networks at the city center campus. All HSSH-affiliated research groups can propose candidates. We are seeking visiting professors that will catalyze research group cooperation inside the university of Helsinki by serving more than one research group, and enhance interdisciplinary debates and help.

The Visiting Professor Program includes a minimum of two weeks per year present at the City Centre Campus in Helsinki. The application is submitted by a PI at the University Helsinki City Centre Campus supported by another PI from a different research group. The PIs have an important role in hosting the visiting professors and acting as a strong point of contact between the Visiting Professor and the research group.

The visiting professors receive a compensation as well as funding for travel and accommodation fees. For more information on the Visiting Professor Program, contact Pekka Mäkelä pekka.a.makela@helsinki.fi 


The yearly call for applications is open until October 31, 2023.

Send your application via this e-form.


HSSH Visiting Professor Barbara Pfetsch (Freie Universität Berlin) – inspiring visit to Helsinki 


Barbara Pfetsch, Professor of Communication Theory and Media Effects Research at Freie Universität Berlin is a Visiting Professor at HSSH in 2022–2024.

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

Barbara Pfetsch, Professor of Communication Theory and Media Effects Research at Freie Universität Berlin is a Visiting Professor at HSSH in 2022–2024. She has visited the University of Helsinki several times and has collaborated with many researchers on different projects and plans for future projects.

Professor Pfetsch’s research revolves around questions of political issue networks, public debate and mobilization on social media and other digital platforms.

“During my visits in 2022 and 2023 I gave talks about election campaigns of right wing parties in Europe, the constitution of solidarity in civil society, and the protest and digital mobilization in environmental conflicts,” Professor Pfetsch says.

“I used my stay to exchange with Juha Herkman, Emilia Palonen and Anu Kantola about ongoing projects and to initiate new collaborations with Risto Kunelius, Matti Pohjonen and Juho Pääkkönen. The new projects deal with coordinated (in)authentic behavior and scaling of social movement communication.”

The projects which have been planned are a part of an institutional liaison between HSSH and the Weizenbaum-Institute for the Networked Society Berlin. A workshop in Berlin next year is planned to continue and strengthen the collaboration. Professor Pfetsch feels that the collaboration has been rewarding.

“During my visits I attended the research seminars at HSSH and was introduced to the work of young researchers. The discussions were inspiring because I learned about the research agenda of Finnish scholars which is not known abroad. I also profited from the expertise and excellence in computational methods and data analysis which is present at the HSSH. Finally, thanks to the international exchange activities at UH I met other fellows from the US and Israel in Helsinki who presented their projects,” she says.

“I enjoy the open mindedness and the friendly atmosphere at HSSH, the multidisciplinary approach to research and the plurality of perspectives.”

The HSSH Visiting Professor Program is open for applications until 31.10.2023!


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3.11. HSSH Lecture by Ville Ilmarinen: Challenges of meta-analysis


A lecture on the challenges of meta-analysis is held by Ville Ilmarinen on 3.11. at 10.15-11.45 in Language Centre room 105.

Challenges of meta-analysis (Nov. 3rd klo 10:15-11:45) by Ville Ilmarinen, covering themes such as:

  • Can meta-analysis offer a better answer to a research question compared to methods such as multi-lab studies or extensive replication?
  • Commensurability of effect sizes

  • Diversity of study designs: apples vs. oranges?

  • Publication bias and file drawer effect: Examining the limitations of methods to identify and correct these biases.

The lecture is part of a workshop series. The workshop part has concluded and the final lecture is open for everyone, no sign up required.

The lecture is held at Language Centre (Kielikeskus) room 105. Welcome!


Brown Bag Seminar every Tuesday at 12.15 – next session with Gerardo Iñiguez on 31.10.


The Methodological Unit of HSSH hosts a weekly event, Brown Bag Seminar, to highlight novel methodological approaches in humanities and social sciences.

The seminars are organized as hybrid events. You’re warmly welcome to join us at the HSSH Seminar Room, Vuorikatu 3, 2nd floor, or on Zoom.

Click here to add the Brown Bag Seminar events directly to your calendar (.ics file).

According to a researcher at the Methodological Unit, Matti Pohjonen, the idea of the meetings “is to introduce methodological innovations and cutting-edge research in various disciplines in an easily accessible manner and have an interdisciplinary discussion in an easy-going atmosphere over lunch.”

Every Tuesday at 12.15. In the next meeting on 3.10. Gerardo Iñiguez will talk about universal patterns in egocentric communication networks. Bring your own lunch, we bring fresh methodological topics!

Read more about the event on our website!


30.11. HSSH workshop on working with video data 


30.11.2023 15:00-19:30 at Fabianinkatu 24 and Zoom. Registration open!  

HSSH, in collaboration with The Science Basement, will organize a workshop on working with video data on 30.11.2023, 15:00-19:30. Hybrid participation via zoom and in location. In both cases, please register for the workshop using the following form:   https://elomake.helsinki.fi/lomakkeet/126284/lomakkeet.html 

See the program below. Feel free to share this message!  

This workshop will focus on best practices and useful tips on acquiring and analyzing video data. Topics and themes include but are not limited to:   

  • Contemporary tools for audiovisual data collection and editing  
  • Multiple camera setups and 360 degree video  
  • Basic principles of photography and sound recording  
  • Publishing video material, e.g. for educational use or podcasts




LOCATION: HSSH Seminar Room, Fabianinkatu 24, 5th floor room 524 (new room!) and Zoom 

15:00 Introductions  

15:15 Pentti Henttonen (University of Helsinki, HSSH): Audiovisual acquisition and editing equipment tutorial  

In the first session, we will have a crash course on the AV resources available in Interlab and elsewhere on UH Centre campus. We will go through basic and multicamera setups along with 360 degree video and the basic postprocessing workflows and software. 

16:30 Break (15 minutes) 

16:45 Antti Verkasalo (Photoverk): Pro tips for maximizing the quality of your video material  

Beyond just pressing record. This session will concern the fundamentals of video photography, e.g lightning, framing, focus and other ways to ensure and improve the quality of your acquired material. We have a professional videographer informing us about best practices and answering specific questions.  

18:00 Break (15 minutes) 

18:15-19:30 Rhiannon Newman (The Science Basement):  From recording to release: A crash course on podcasting  

Podcasting is a creative, engaging, and fun medium for communicating ideas, but we all know that sitting behind a microphone can be a daunting prospect. Did you ever think you would like to start your own podcast but do not know how? Or perhaps you already have one and want to take it one step further. During this workshop we will explore the process of planning, recording, editing, and promoting a podcast episode.  

For any questions regarding workshop, please contact: 

Pentti Henttonen   
Helsinki Institute of Social Sciences and Humanities (HSSH), University of Helsinki  
pentti.henttonen@helsinki.fi, +358504491284


28.11.-30.11. online CSC Computing Environment course 


This is what everyone should know about our computing environment when launching jobs!

Are you planning on using CSC's high-performance computing (HPC) services (Puhti, Mahti, Allas...) in the near future? Have you been using these services already, but would like to make sure you are getting the most out of them? This intensive course is intended for you!

3 half-day sessions focus on using the CSC HPC environment via short lectures and hands on tutorials.

More info and registration at: https://ssl.eventilla.com/event/1N0g8

Please note, that we also offer a self-learning course based on the same material: https://ssl.eventilla.com/csccompenvselflearn  


23.-24.11. Quantitative analysis of text reuse: towards a methodology workshop


When: 23-24 November 2023

Where: University of Helsinki, Minerva Plaza, Siltavuorenpenger 5 A, Helsinki, Finland

The detection of similar passages of text in a large corpus, often called text reuse, is gaining popularity as a methodological step in Digital Humanities research. Intertextual relationships  have been an object of interest for various humanities disciplines for a long time, but their discovery with traditional methods is usually very labour-intensive. Automatic text reuse detection provides results that are easy to interpret and can readily lead to new insights especially for less studied corpora.

A lot of research has been done on the text reuse detection methods, but the understanding of the results and their application in answering research questions often seems very context-specific. Furthermore, a most typical application of text reuse is as a discovery method to find examples, on which a qualitative argument can be built. There seems to be a need for a more developed theory about the phenomenon of text similarity and insights that can be gained from a large-scale quantitative analysis of it.

The purpose of this workshop is to bring together researchers from various DH projects that have employed text reuse, to answer the leading question: Is text reuse more than a discovery method? Can we progress towards a more formal theory of what kinds of patterns can be found in text reuse data and how to interpret them? 

Proposed topics to discuss include but are not limited to: 

  • Measures to quantify text similarity and their distribution 
  • Kinds and degrees of similarity (verbatim copy, paraphrase, translation, oral transmission etc.) and their quantitative characteristics 
  • Quantitative methods to analyse the spreading of texts in time and space 
  • Measuring the influence and reception of a text 
  • Network analysis of graphs of text similarity 
  • Bridging quantitative and qualitative analysis

The workshop is organised by Maciej Janicki (University of Helsinki, FILTER project) and Mikko Tolonen (University of Helsinki, head of the Computational History group, HPC-HD project) in collaboration with Dariah-FI and the project Informationsflöden över Östersjön funded by SLS

Register here by 15.11.2023.


29.11. Introduction to Bayesian statistical modelling with brms


Statistics workshop by Bodo Winter

Title: Introduction to Bayesian statistical modelling with brms 

Date and time: 29th of November, 09:00-16:00  

Location: Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, Fabianinkatu 24 A, 3d floor (Common Room) 

This one-day workshop introduces attendees to the basics of Bayesian analysis and the very flexible R package ‘brms’ (“Bayesian Regression Models with Stan”) to fit statistical models. The goal is for attendees to understand the core principles of Bayesian logic, learn how to reason about setting up a model and choosing prior assumptions, and learn how to interpret models. Delegates are expected to bring their own laptops, as there will be a mixture of theory and hands-on exercises in R, with data and code being distributed a week prior to the workshop. Attendees are expected to have some basic knowledge of R, the tidyverse, and linear models.

The workshop is organized in collaboration with the Helsinki Institute for Social Sciences and Humanities

How to apply:

The workshop is targeted to researchers at the City Centre Campus. Please apply for the workshop by filling in this form by 30 October. We will notify accepted participants by 15 November.

Please note that the workshop can only accommodate a limited number of participants. The registration is thus binding, and you should inform the organisers (hssh-mu@helsinki.fi) in advance if you need to cancel your registration so that people on the waiting list can be admitted. 

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