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.

Tuhat researcher profile

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 DerGermanische Wissenschaftseinsatz“ des „Ahnenerbes“ der SS, 1942-1945: Zwischen Vollendung dervölkischen Gemeinschaft“ und dem Streben nachErlösung“, 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.

Heidi Haggrén is a coordinator at the Centre for Nordic Studies and a doctoral candidate at the Faculty of Social Sciences, University Helsinki. Her doctoral project analyses the development of nurses’ collective interest organization in the emerging Finnish wage-work society and welfare state in the post-World War II era focusing on the tensions between social loyalties related to work, its content and organization. She has published on Nordic cooperation, labour market relations and nursing in an international and Nordic context. She has coordinated a number of Nordic projects in and outside of the academia, including Nordic Centre of Excellence: The Nordic Welfare State – Historical Foundations and Future Challenges (NordWel) 2007-2014.

Heidi Haggrén's profile in the University of Helsinki Research Portal TUHAT.

Maren Jonasson is part of the project The Political Night i New Light (Statsnatten i ny belysning).

Larisa Kangaspuro has MA degree in Law from the Herzen State Pedagogical University of Russia and PhD in History from the Novgorod State University (Russia). Her research interests include public attitudes of Russian and Nordic societies to the penitentiary system. Her current doctoral project at the University of Helsinki examines how the Russian public opinion and civil society influenced the prison reforms in Russia and in Finland during the Tsarist regime 1861-1914.  In addition, she analyses how the reforms influenced to the wellbeing of convicted in both countries in the given period of time. Larisa Kangaspuro is the leader of the pilot project "Nordic Russian Cooperation for social integration, prevention of marginalization and human rights protection for female prisoners", funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers for the period 1.8.2018-31.07.2019.

Larisa Kangaspuro in the University of Helsinki Research Portal TUHAT.

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 identities and questions of belonging in contemporary Sweden-Finnish online ethnopolitical campaigns. Her main research interests are migration, minorities, sociolinguistics, ethnopolitical activism, new media and social media in the Nordic context. She holds a Master’s degree in Nordic Studies and Bachelor’s degree in Scandinavian languages from the University of Helsinki. Her master’s thesis studied representations of Sweden-Finnish authors in Swedish literature reviews.

Tuire Liimatainen's profile in the University of Helsinki Research Portal TUHAT.


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.

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).

Laurence Prempain is a post-doctoral researcher at the Centre for Nordic Studies at the University of Helsinki. Her PhD in History (University Lyon2, France) analyses the Polish and Polish Jewish immigration in France during the interwar period and World War II. Through an analytical framework based on gender and microhistory, her research focuses on avoidance and transgressions strategies that men and women developed to face discrimination, exclusion and deportation. A first cooperation with the Centre of Nordic Studies (CENS, Helsinki) broadened the scope of her interests to circus people through projects Diverging fates: Travelling Circus people during National Socialism and Forgotten cosmopolitans. Post-doctoral researcher in the BESTROM project, she explores strategies of French Roma circus families, in terms of integration, societal security as well as resistance during WWII.

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',

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 three books: Democracy and Self-determination in the 21st Century (London: Routledge, forthcoming); Autonomy. The Contested History of a European Legacy, (London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2018) and Independència i Autonomia. Una teoria històrica de la modernitat, (València: Editorial Afers, 2017).

Eija Stark is a Docent in Folklore studies at the University of Helsinki. Her ongoing research project at the Åbo Akademi University deals with the cultural history of petty trade in Finland. Stark’s research interests cover the history of social class, functions of folklore, narrative culture, critical approaches to archives and intellectual history of Finnish and Nordic folklore studies and ethnology. She has published several international peer-reviewed articles on folklore's role in class distinctions and in ethnic/linguistic boundaries. Stark has been a visiting researcher at the University of Iceland in 2012 and at the University of Göttingen in 2016. She has taught several courses of Introduction to Archives in Folklore Studies and courses on cultural heritage at the University of Helsinki.

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 associate professor at CENS and deputy member of the steering group of ReNEW, with an affiliation also to the UiO:Nordic programme at the University of Oslo. Trained as a philosopher he has a broad interest in in Scandinavian politics and contemporary history (20th century). His publications include studies of Nordic cooperation, Nordic democracy, the welfare state, human rights and Scandinavian Legal Realism, as well as the history of analytic philosophy in the Nordic region. He has also contributed to the discussion on transnational intellectual history with a small state perspective, most recently in the book Decentering European Intellectual Space (Brill 2018).

Johan Strang's researcher profile in the University of Helsinki Research Portal TUHAT

Bo Stråth was 2007–2014 Finnish Academy Distinguished Professor  in Nordic, European and World History and Director of Research at the Department of World Cultures / Centre of Nordic Studies (CENS), University of Helsinki. 1997–2007 he was Professor of Contemporary History at the European University Institute in Florence, and 1990–1996 Professor in History at the University of Gothenburg. He is a principal investigator in the HERA Research Project, The Debt: Historicizing Europe's Relations with the 'South'.
Bo Stråth’s research has focused on philosophy of history and political, social and economic theory of modernity, from a conceptual history perspective with special attention to questions of what keeps societies together or divides them, and how community is constructed. A special field of interest in this perspective is the history of European integration and the exploration of Europe in its global historical (19th–20th century) context through the method of  conceptual history.

Frederik Forrai Ørskov is a Doctoral candidate at the Centre for Nordic Studies as part of the ReNEW (Reimagining Norden in an Evolving World) PhD programme. Here he researches various conceptualizations of Norden outside of Scandinavia in the interwar period. He is trained as a historian from the University of Southern Denmark (with a minor in Creative Writing) and Central European University, where his MA-thesis dealt with Danish promotional efforts in Nazi Germany. His latest publications include “Screening The Social Face of Denmark to the Nazis: Social policy as subdued resistance during the German occupation of Denmark” in the Scandinavian Journal of History and “Playing the game of IQ testing in England and Denmark in the 1930s–1960s—a socio-material perspective” in the Oxford Review of Education