Past Brown Bag Seminar events 2023-2024

Information about past Brown Bag Seminar events in 2023-2024.
26.9.2023 Michael Lewis, Tuuli Kurisoo & Ville Rohiola
Recording Archaeological Finds Made by the Public in England, Estonia and Finland: opportunities provided by citizen science and new digital technology

England, Estonia and Finland (as across much of Europe) have experienced an expediential increase in the numbers of people metal-detecting for archaeological finds. This provides both opportunities (to add to archaeological knowledge) but also challenges (in how to record large and increasing numbers of finds). For many reasons (predominately driven by legislation, but also cultural and historical), different countries have various approaches to dealing with these finds, not least how they are processed and how the data collated is shared. This paper, and the following discussion, will examine the situation in England, Estonia and Finland (as good examples of differing approaches to recording metal-detected finds), and explore the opportunities provided by citizen science and new digital technology.

Michael Lewis is Head of Portable Antiquities & Treasure at the British Museum, London, and Visiting Professor at the University of Reading and the University of Helsinki. Tuuli Kurisoo is a researcher at the University of Tallinn, where she has led the ‘MetDect’ project (to digitise detector finds data) and ‘From Theory to Practice: archaeological finds and the semantic web’. Ville Rohiola is Curator of Archaeological Collections at the Finnish Heritage Agency and is managing the ‘Arkeologia 2.0’ project dealing with archaeological data and digital research infrastructure. All three are very experienced in recording finds made by the public.

19.9.2023 Adrienne Russell
Rethinking how we investigate power dynamics in the information environment

Researching the connection between our information environment and wicked problems in our social and environmental landscape demands that we rethink the questions we ask, the methods we use, and the relationship between the two. In the field of communication studies, we used to consider power as residing in the hands of some combination of owners, producers and audiences, but today the forces vying for influence and control are much more complex and, in some cases, much less visible. This talk is about the methods I used to explore power dynamics in our contemporary information landscape—from corporate sponsored disinformation campaigns to expertly crafted activist media strategies—in attempt to address the question What role does our media and info landscape play in our unwillingness or inability to take decisive, coordinated, successful climate action. It’s also a talk about the lessons I learned on the benefits and challenges of asking questions first—no matter how difficult they are—and then sorting out the methods necessary to move toward answers.

Adrienne Russell is Mary Laird Wood Professor and co-director of the Center for Media, Journalism and Democracy in the Department of Communication, University of Washington, Seattle. Her research and teaching focus on the intersections of journalism, emerging technologies and pressing social problems. Her most recent book, The Mediated Climate (Columbia 2023), examines the overlapping climate and information crises. She is also co-editor of the recent volume Rethinking Media Research for Changing Societies (Cambridge 2021).

12.9.2023 Sakari Saaritsa & Jarmo Peltola
“A scarred people”: Analyzing the imprint of crises on population health and livelihoods in early 20th century Finland

This talk describes the data, methods and related challenges of a new Academy project, “A scarred people: The imprint of crises on population health and livelihoods in early 20th century Finland”. The project uses individual level data to study the long-run impact of economic and social crises on population health, livelihoods, and capabilities. Our project starts with individual level health data on generations of newborn and older children in the major Finnish cities of Helsinki and Tampere living through some of the most severe crises of the early 20th century. We link this with information on their later life outcomes, such as age and cause of death, occupation, and quality of residence. We include rare data on individual participation in civil conflict on different sides. We redescribe the experience and heritage of the civil war of 1918, the Great Depression of the 1930s, and WWII through metrics like birth weights, heights, maternal health, mobility and mortality.

The underlying “scarring” literature can be divided up by outcome metrics as much as by the causes and mechanisms of damage to human capital investigated. Wars will cause bereavement, displacement and lost production, sometimes including deliberate sieges, sanctions and forms of economic violence. There is a particularly rich literature using anthropometrics to capture their effects; and there is a growing field using sex differences in mortality to infer the impact of conflict on gender systems, like reinforcing patriarchy. Epidemics, particularly the Spanish Flu, have been subjected to extensive analysis identifying later life and long-term effects with metrics like mortality, economic and educational outcomes. Pathogens differ: some, like Typhoid, are prone to leave extensive damage to the organism and potentially cause co-morbidity, while others are not associated with scarring. There are also important gendered differences in mortality from infectious disease, both during and outside epidemics. While male frailty is typically prevalent, historical excess female mortality has been associated with greater susceptibility to one or more pathogens, albeit the reasons for this are contested. Individual level data on e.g., the heights of female and male children can shed light on gendered resource allocation within households during crises, including potential discrimination. Scarring can show up in metrics from fertility to infant mortality. Infectious disease has been shown to be more consequential to later life and intergenerational outcomes than purely economic shocks. Economic crises in modern societies can still cause severe damage reflected in stunting.

Sakari Saaritsa (PhD, European University Institute) is Professor of Social History at the University of Helsinki. His research interests include the quantitative history of human development (particularly health, education and physiological capital), social inequality, historical indicators of well-being, and relationships between economic and human development over time. He is working with several historical datasets on Finland with local population and individual level data on demographics, anthropometrics, health and education. His research has been published in journals including the European Review of Economic History, Social Science History, The History of the Family and Cliometrica.

Jarmo Peltola (PhD, Tampere University) is Senior Researcher in Economic and Social History at the University of Helsinki with deep expertise in the economic, social and demographic history of crises, particularly the Great Depression, urban history, particularly of the city of Tampere, and in the development of pioneering economic, social and demographic individual level data unparalleled in Finland. Peltola has published major monographic works and international research articles on e.g., the total history of the Great Depression in Tampere, the demographic and economic history of the city and the development of health and welfare both locally and nationally.

5.9.2023 Urška Šadl

Route 66: The metamorphosis of the internal market through the prism of citation networks

The talk rethinks the mutation of the internal market, charting its metamorphosis from a free trade area to a maze of common policies. It examines the case law of the European Court of Justice from a novel, structural perspective which uses community detection techniques to shed new light on this amply theorized process. The analysis reveals an irreversible shift in the method of integration, from a de-regulatory removal of national rules obstructing free movement (liberalization) to a re-regulatory adoption of common rules and standards promoting free movement (harmonization). The shift, which occurred between 2007 and 2010, signals a new rationale of integration and a reprioritization of the European Union’s economic and non-economic objectives. Finally, the talk questions whether said shift calls for a new authorization of Europe to regulate.

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.