HSSH October Newsletter 10/22

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


  • Brown Bag Seminar every Tuesday at 12.15 – next session with Andrea Butcher & Kazimudding Ahmed on 18.10.
  • HSSH Datafication research program welcomes three new postdoctoral researchers
  • 25.10. Breakfast meeting for experimental & other researchers using laboratory and mobile equipment in the Centre Campus
  • HSSH calling for second round of Visiting Professor applications
  • Deadline extended for Power, Future and Agency conference (24.-26.11.) CFP – send your abstract by 15.10.
  • New season of Finnish podcast series features HSSH & affiliated researchers


Brown Bag Seminar every Tuesday at 12:15 – next session with Andrea Butcher & Kazimuddin Ahmed on 18.10.


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

The events are resuming after a summer break on 6.9. as hybrid events. You’re warmly welcome to join us at the HSSH Seminar Room, Vuorikatu 3, 2nd floor, or on Zoom.

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. The next meeting features a presentation by Andrea Butcher & Kazimuddin Ahmed on 18.10. The topic of the presentation is "Moving participatory methods online: innovation, autonomy and other stories from West Africa".

Bring your own lunch, we bring fresh methodological topics!

Read more about the event on our website!


HSSH Datafication program welcomes three new postdoctoral researchers


This autumn three postdoctoral researchers joined the Datafication of society and SSH research program. Earlier this year HSSH invited applications for the positions receiving over 60 well-thought-out applications from many corners of the world.

The Datafication research program brings together researchers from social sciences, humanities, law, education, and computer sciences to advance frameworks and understanding of datafication both as a process that shapes social infrastructures and as an evolving context for social sciences and humanities that opens new methodological opportunities, epistemological questions and demands for critical reflection.

In this broad field of multidisciplinary research, HSSH was especially looking for candidates to contribute to the scientific understanding of competing and contested epistemic communities in datafied societies, and sound data-centric research practices in the humanities and social sciences.

Dayei Oh, Narges Azizi Fard and Feeza Vasudeva started in the postdoctoral researcher positions in August 2022.

“I’m originally from South Korea where I got my undergraduate degree in psychology, and for my Master’s and PhD I moved to UK, where I got my MA in Media and Communication from University of Nottingham and PhD in Social Sciences from Loughborough University,” Dayei Oh says.

At HSSH Oh works at the Datafication program brainstorming on ideas at the intersection of digital technologies, public spheres, and democratic discourse. Additionally, she works with digital populism studies with the Emotions, Populism and Polarisation research team (HEPP) at Helsinki with Emilia Palonen, one of the Datafication program leaders.

Oh is also interested in the American abortion discourse and hopes to research this in the future, focusing on fetus personhood, how personhood is defined and how digital technologies influence it.

Narges Azizi Fard did her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in computer engineering in Iran. She has also worked as a research assistant in South Korea and got her PhD in computer science in Italy.

“My research effort is related to computational social science which involves the application of computational methods and data-intensive machine learning tasks to solve societal issues at scale like health, poverty, education, sustainability, ageing, etc. My focus at HSSH will be on developing computational indicators and analysis methods that can be used to study the datafication of society and contested epistemies and epistemic communities in online environments,” Azizi Fard says.

In her research so far, she has focused for example on analyzing Londoners food consumption through social media, modeling the connection between educational attainment and food purchases, and characterizing the cultural aspects of countries through Wiki Loves Monuments image datasets.

Feeza Vasudeva comes from an interdisciplinary background, from Economic to International Relations and Cultural Studies. She came to the University of Helsinki from National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University in Taiwan.

“For my doctoral thesis, I was one of the first few to analyze the violence of lynchings in India wherein after the contemporary rise of Hindu nationalist movement, Muslims and Dalit communities were increasingly becoming the victims of horrific mob violence. This research situated lynching within network of relations and strategies of governance that were part of a changing and more polarizing India,” Vasudeva says.

At HSSH Vasudeva is looking at the datafication of society. Her personal interest is to explore the datafication in relation to critical qualitive perspective while working with researchers who are experts in computational data.

”Data permeates almost all aspects of our life – from socio-cultural to political. Yet, it affects are only now being studied from an inter-disciplinary critical perspective,” she says.

All three postdoctoral researchers have come to the University of Helsinki, and to Finland, from different backgrounds and countries, but have enjoyed their life in Helsinki so far.

”It has been an interesting contrast and change fly to from Taiwan to Finland. Culturally, both countries are different but still share many commonalities, for example both Finnish and Taiwanese people are quite helpful and hospitable,” Feeza Vasudeva says.

Narges Azizi Fard has enjoyed the calm and non-stressful work environment, and adds that Helsinki is a beautiful city. Dayei Oh has especially enjoyed the architecture of Helsinki and mentions the beautiful interior of the Helsinki University Library.

“Summer and white nights have been nice, but I’m looking forward to the winter, going to the sauna and avanto,” Oh says.


Breakfast meeting for experimental & other researchers using laboratory and mobile equipment in the Centre Campus


Faculty of Educational Sciences, together with HSSH, is inviting all University of Helsinki Centre Campus researchers using (or planning to use, or hoping to use) laboratory or mobile equipment, behavioral experiments, or video or audio recordings in their research to meet.

This informal networking meeting is held on Tuesday, October 25th, 9am to 12pm, in Science Corner (Tiedekulma) Think Lounge (2nd floor). The idea is for researchers needing similar type of research infrastructure to meet, connect, and discuss their work.

The meeting is open to everyone, but we ask you to sign up in advance so that we can plan the catering: https://elomake.helsinki.fi/lomakkeet/119749/lomakkeet.html



HSSH calling for second round of Visiting Professor applications


Helsinki Institute for Social Sciences and Humanities (HSSH) introduced a Visiting Professor Program for 2022–2025. The second round is now open for applications - apply by 4.11.!

The mission of HSSH is to support multidisciplinary research, cross-faculty cooperation and methodological development at the City Center Campus. In order to support this, we invite proposals for HSSH Visiting Professor positions for 2023.

– We want this program to support visits that will benefit many different research groups. Concrete plans for cooperation, such as publications and research projects, are also good grounds for an application, says Professor Risto Kunelius who leads Helsinki Institute for Social Sciences and Humanities.

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 center 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 Risto Kunelius risto.kunelius@helsinki.fi.

Deadline for application is 4.11.2022. Fill the application here.


CFP – DEADLINE EXTENDED: 8th international Power Conference Helsinki, November 24-26, 2022

It has become increasingly clear that we live in a complex turmoil of global challenges and intertwined crises. Global geopolitical divisions have sharpened from proxy conflicts to an all out war in Europe. Past years of pandemic lockdowns have underscored the vulnerability of interdependent societies. Economic futures are blurred and unpredictable. The world is consciously gambling on environmental sustainability, with odds against us. Meanwhile, rapidly advancing datafication and algorithmically driven information flows reshape the logics of social interaction, practices of legacy institutions, and opinion formation. Intersecting inequalities polarize political debates and create clashing camps both locally and globally. This conjuncture demands us to rethink questions of power, governance, authority and agency. In what ways do governments, corporations, political parties, social movements, and citizens shape the future? What do we know about the dynamics of these trends? How can scholarship make sense of them? What does the future look like?

These questions will be discussed in the 8th Power Conference, which will take place at the University of Helsinki, November 24-26, 2022

Read more about the conference: https://www.helsinki.fi/en/conferences/power-future-and-agency

We invite abstracts for presentations and special thematic sessions (max 300 words) beginning from July 10, 2022. The organizing committee will assess the submissions on a running basis. We will send notifications for acceptance within three weeks of reception.  

The final deadline for submissions is EXTENDED TO 15 OCTOBER, 2022!

Submit your abstract here: https://elomake.helsinki.fi/lomakkeet/118691/lomake.html

Registration fees: Standard €200; graduate students €100.

Power Conference 2022 is organized by University of Helsinki and the Society for the Study of Power Relations

For more information and all questions please email: Risto Kunelius, University of Helsinki risto.kunelius@helsinki.fi) and cc: anna.jarske-fransas@helsinki.fi



New season of Finnish podcast series features HSSH & affiliated researchers


New season of journalist Johanna Vehkoo’s podcast series Valheenpaljastajat: Harhaluuloja features as guests HSSH researcher Sointu Leikas and HSSH affiliated researchers Minna Ruckenstein and Ville Ilmarinen.

Sointu Leikas is a guest in episode 2, Minna Ruckenstein in episode 3 and Ville Ilmarinen in episode 5.

You can listen to the podcast (only in Finnish) from YLE Areena: https://areena.yle.fi/podcastit/1-63450790


Join the HSSH Friends and re­ceive the news­let­ter to your email!

You will find the instructions for joining HSSH Friends here.