Meet the MERELPO project team.
Katja Valaskivi

Director of MERELPO, Associate Professor Katja Valaskivi

Johanna Sumiala

Johanna Sumiala is Associate Professor at Media and Communication Studies in the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Helsinki. In recent years her work has focused on theoretical and empirical analyses of mediations of religion and death in the contemporary hybrid media environment. Her research on media and communications is inspired by social theory and anthropology, especially ritual studies. She is also interested in learning more about digital methods.

Sumiala has directed and co-directed several interdisciplinary research projects funded by Academy of Finland, Kone Foundation and Helsingin Sanomat Foundation. She is currently senior visiting Fellow at LSE (2020-2022). She is author of several journal articles and books. Her most recent books include: Mediated Death (Polity, 2021),  Hybrid Media Events: The Charlie Hebdo Attacks and Global Circulation of Terrorist Violence (2018, Emerald, co-authored with K. Valaskivi, M. Tikka & J. Huhtamäki), and Media and Ritual. Death, Community and Everyday Life (2013, Routledge).

Anna-Liisa Heino

A doctoral researcher in the Mediatized Religious Populism project. Master of theology. Her background is in the fields of philosophy of religion and social ethics wherein she has focused on, for example, studies in religious language, issues and roots of religious violence, and studies formation of trust and co-operative relations in institutional environments. Current research interests include mediatization of religious and political violence and conflicts, media and migration studies, and media geographies, particularly the mediation of borders and practices of everyday bordering.