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.”