Reetta Toivanen, HELSUS, University of Helsinki "Sustainability - Indigenous peoples between maintenance and change"

October 8, 2019 (Tuesday), at 14.15- 15.45
HELSUS Lounge, Porthania 244, Yliopistonkatu 3, 2 krs.

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

we kindly invite you to the next Helsinki University Humanities Programme Environmental Humanities Forum

October 8, 2019 (Tuesday), at 14.15- 15.45 

Reetta Toivanen, HELSUS, University of Helsinki  

“Sustainability – Indigenous peoples between maintenance and change”

HELSUS Lounge, Porthania 244, Yliopistonkatu 3, 2 krs.

Please kindly see Abstract and short Bio of Speaker below. 

Looking forward to meeting/seeing you soon! 


Twitter @helsinkienvhum

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Helsinki University Humanities Program

With kind wishes, Viktor Pál and Mikko Saikku


Anthropology as a discipline has been commitment to the study of human diversity. The amazing variation in human cultural expression, belief systems and governance in different societies is of great interest for anthropologist: how do people make sense of the world, how do the cope with different ecosystems and climate zones? The discipline has paid due attention to respect of cultural differences and at the same time stressed the Boasian understanding of same human value. The interlinkages between human diversity and biodiversity are central to anthropological enquiry: whereas critical research on human activities that may lead to erosion of biological diversity are necessary, also studies that look at ways in which people in different eco-social conditions navigate futures are important. In this presentation, I will use my own research from the Barents Sea Arctic area to highlight the way in which cultural human rights are tied to the question of sustainable futures for indigenous peoples.



Reetta Toivanen is full professor in Sustainability Science (indigenous sustainabilities) at the Helsinki Institute for Sustainability Science (HELSUS) and a docent in social and cultural anthropology at the University of Helsinki (Finland).

She is the vice-director of the Centre of Excellence in Law, Identity and the European Narratives (EuroStrorie) funded by the Academy of Finland (2018-2025) and PI of the research consortium ALL-YOUTH funded by the Strategic Research Council at the Academy of Finland (2018-2023). She is also a non-resident senior research fellow at the European Centre for Minority Issues (ECMI) in Flensburg (Germany).

Professor Toivanen's major areas of research and expertise are field research, ethnographic methods, anthropology of law, human rights, ethnic and national minorities, anti-discrimination in Europe, Arctic research, human rights teaching, multilingualism and language policy, and critical feminist theory.

Her recent books include: Towards Openly Multilingual Policies and Practices Assessing Minority Language Maintenance Across Europe, Multilingual Matters 2016 (authored together with J. Laakso, S. Spiliopoulou-Åkermark & A. Sarhimaa) and Linguistic Genocide or Superdiversity? (edited with J. Saarikivi), Multilingual Matters 2016.