The Centre for Nordic Studies employs a professor who is also a research director, a senior lecutrer, and researchers in different stages of their careers.
Peter Stadius is professor in Nordic Studies and director of CENS. He holds a PhD in History, and his research interests include image studies of the Nordic Region, both in a historical longue durée perspective and as part of current branding practices. He has taken specific interest in the theme of North and South within Europe, studying how the content of this imagological dichotomy has developed over time. In recent times he has also pursued reserach on regionalisms, minorities and identity politics in the Nordic Region. As university lecturer in Nordic Studies 2006-2013, and later in his current position, he has also developed other research themes connected to the cultural history of the Nordic Welfare State and the dynamics of Nordic cooperation and the culture and strategies of articulated Nordicness in a historical perspective.
Ainur Elmgren is a researcher affiliated with the Centre for Nordic Studies and the Network of European Studies at the University of Helsinki. She has a PhD in history from Lund University. She is currently participating in several research programmes at the University of Helsinki, such as “The Political Rhetoric of Isms” and “Driving Forces of Democracy”, with contributions to the fields of conceptual history and political history of the Nordic countries.
Malte Gasche is a project manager, lecturer and post-doctoral research fellow at the Centre for Nordic Studies at the University of Helsinki. He defended his PhD, entitled Der „Germanische Wissenschaftseinsatz“ des „Ahnenerbes“ der SS, 1942-1945: Zwischen Vollendung der „völkischen Gemeinschaft“ und dem Streben nach „Erlösung“, at the Humboldt University of Berlin in 2012. In addition to his research on doctrine topics in the field of History of Science, he is interested in majorities’ policy on minority groups and their strategies to gain societal security within mainstream society. Since 2012 Gasche has been representing Finland in the committee Genocid on the Roma within the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance. From 2017 to 2018 he is managing the pilot-project Diverging Fates: Travelling Circus People in Europe under National Socialism.
Maren Jonasson is part of the project The Political Night i New Light (Statsnatten i ny belysning).
Associate Professor Jussi Kurunmäki, University of Helsinki and Södertörn University Stockholm, is political scientist specialized in conceptual history of political thought and political rhetoric. He has published extensively on parliamentary democratization and the conceptual history of democracy and liberalism in Sweden and in Finland. He was the initiator and one of the editors of Rhetorics of Nordic Democracy (2010). Currently, he is co-editing the volume Democracy in Europe: A Conceptual History (Berghahn Books). Kurunmäki is the chairperson of the international network Concepta – International Research Seminars in Conceptual History and Political Thought. He is the leader of the project “State Night” in a New Light: A Transnational Perspective to Finnish Political Culture 1809 – 1863 (Swedish Literature Society in Finland).
Jana Lainto is a PhD student at the Centre for Nordic Studies (2016- ). She studies the institutionalization of Czechoslovakian cultural relations with the Nordic countries during the interwar period. Her main research interests are Czech cultural history, cultural transfer and image studies of the Nordic region in the Czech lands/later Czechoslovakia. She holds Master’s degrees from the University of Helsinki in European Studies and from the Palacký University Olomouc in History and Philosophy.
Tuire Liimatainen is a PhD student at the Centre for Nordic Studies (2016- ). Her doctoral research studies identity among third generation Sweden Finns with her main research interest being minorities, marginality and identities in the Nordic context. She holds a Master’s degree from the University of Helsinki in Nordic Studies. Her master’s thesis studied representations of Sweden Finnish authors in Swedish literature reviews.
Jani Marjanen is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Helsinki from where he gained his PhD in 2014. In 2014-2015 he was visiting scholar at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin. He specializes in late eighteenth-century and early nineteenth-century language of economic patriotism in Scandinavia, the theory and method of conceptual history, and the public sphere in the nineteenth-century Nordic context. He is one of the editors of Contributions to the History of Concepts.
Simo Muir is a Docent of Jewish Studies at the University of Helsinki and at the moment he is a visiting scholar at University College London. His current research focuses on the cultural reactions to the Holocaust and post-war politics of memory among Finnish Jews.
Muir is a co-investigator in a Finnish Academy funded project called “Roma and Nordic Societies – Historical security practices of the majority and strategies of the minority”. During 2015-17 he was a postdoctoral research fellow in an AHRC funded project called “Performing the Jewish Archive” at the University of Leeds. In 2011-13 he was a member of a Finnish Academy funded project called “Cultures of Silence – Evolution of a Finnish Version of Vergangenheitsbewältigung”.
Muir has an MA in Yiddish Studies from SOAS (University of London) and he received his doctorate from the University of Helsinki in 2004. His PhD focused on the Yiddish language and culture in Helsinki from a linguistic and socio-linguistic perspective.
Muir has taught several courses on Yiddish language and literature, Eastern European Jewish culture and history, and Holocaust Studies.
Stefan Nygård is a historian with special interests in the modern history of intellectuals, culture and philosophy, in Finland, Scandinavia and Europe. He has worked and taught on these topics at the University of Helsinki and the European University Institute in Florence. He is currently involved in research projects on Asymmetries in European Intellectual Space (Academy of Finland), The Debt: Historicizing Europe's relations with the 'South' (HERA), Minority, Nation and the World (Academy of Finland), and a project on the philosopher and public intellectual Georg Henrik von Wright (Society of Swedish Literature in Finland).
Gerard Rosich obtained his PhD in Philosophy from the Universitat de Barcelona with a dissertation on the political foundations of modernity, with a special focus on the conceptual history of autonomy. He was previously a researcher at the ERC-AdG research project led by Peter Wagner ‘Trajectories of Modernity’ and hosted by the Universitat de Barcelona (2010-2015). Currently, he is a postdoctoral researcher at the department of World Cultures, University of Helsinki within the framework of the HERA Research Project, The Debt: Historicizing Europe's Relations with the 'South', https://herathedebt.wordpress.com/
Located in the areas of conceptual and intellectual history, political theory and historical sociology, his research is at present focused on the possibilities of addressing historical injustice against the background of contested interpretations of the past and on the legacies of imperialism, paying special attention to the place of Europe in modern history. He has written on the comparative historical analysis of the challenges and constraints that globalization imposes on democracy and on the history and theory of modernity. He has recently co-edited with Peter Wagner, The Trouble with Democracy. Political Modernity at the XXIst Century (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2016) and has authored two books to be published in 2017. Autonomy. The Contested History of a European Legacy, (London: Bloomsbury Academic, accepted) and Independència i Autonomia. Una teoria històrica de la modernitat, (València: Editorial Afers, 2017).
Henrik Stenius is the founding director of CENS. He specializes in the history of concepts. In recent years he has worked specifically on the concept of citizenship in the Nordic countries and the processes of translation as enablers of conceptual change. His publications include Nordic Associations in a European Perspective: European Civil Society (2010, edited together with Risto Alapuro), "The Finnish Citizen: How a Translation Emasculated the Concept", Redescriptions 8, pp. 172-188 (2004), Frivilligt - jämlikt - samfällt: Föreningsväsendets utveckling i Finland fram till 1900-talets början med speciell hänsyn till massorganisationsprincipens genombrott (1987).
Johan Strang, is docent in Nordic Studies at CENS. Currently he is pursuing post doc reserach at UiO:Norden at the Unviersity of Oslo. He is interested in Scandinavian politics and 20th century intellectual history. His publications include studies on Nordic cooperation, Nordic democracy and Scandinavian Legal Realism. Trained as a philosopher, he has also studied the history of analytic philosophy in the Nordic countries (most recently in edited volume on Georg Henrik von Wright, 2016). Together with Stefan Nygård he has contributed to the discussion on transnational intellectual history with a small state perspective (e.g. Journal of the History of Ideas, 2016:1).
Merle Wessel is currently a Doctoral student at the Centre for Nordic Studies (2014-) and she holds a doctoral position in the Doctoral Programme Political, Societal and Regional Change (2016-2019). Her doctoral project “Eugenic Feminism in the Nordic Countries” discusses how Nordic feminists used eugenic rhetoric to include or exclude women from civil and political rights, and to position the female body and sexuality in the societal discourse. Her main research interests are gender history, body and sexuality, and cultural history.
She has published about castration, race, eugenics and feminism. Currently she is co-editing the anthology Conceptualising Public Health. Historical and Contemporary Struggles over Key Concepts (forthcoming by Routledge). Further, she collaborates in the project “The Contested History of Hormone Pregnancy Tests”, based at the University of Cambridge.