Tutkimus

Alue- ja kulttuurintutkimuksen maisteriohjelman henkilökunnan tutkimuksen ytimen muodostavat eri alueisiin liittyvä ja eri kulttuurien ja yhteiskuntien tutkimuksen traditioita edustava tutkimus. Alue- ja kulttuurintutkimuksessa painotetaan tutkimuksen vapautta, monimuotoisuutta ja tieteidenvälisyyttä. Aikaansa seuraavassa oppiaineessa tartutaan herkästi uusiin kulttuurisiin ilmiöihin ja tutkimustapoihin, ja ne näkyvät tehokkaasti myös alan opetuksessa. Alue- ja kulttuurintutkimuksen tutkijoita ja opiskelijoita ovat viime vuosina innostaneet esimerkiksi:

  • kulttuurienvälinen vuorovaikutus
  • menneisyyden ilmiöt ja muistin kulttuurit
  • alkuperäiskansat, etniset ryhmät ja vähemmistöt
  • identiteetit ja sukupuoli
  • populaarikulttuuri, visuaalinen kulttuuri ja media
  • digitaalinen kulttuuri ja sosiaalinen media
  • ympäristö ja tila
  • globalisaatio ja kehityskysymykset
  • poliittiset muutokset ja vallan käsitteet

Alla on lueteltuna joitakin käynnissä olevia tutkimusprojekteja. Lisätietoa tutkimuksesta ja tutkijoista löydät humanistisen tiedekunnan Tieteenalat-sivulta.

The role of media for the construction of cultural heritage and national identities is well accepted and partly researched already. However, much the research is so far limited on mass or social media. The role of video games, though one of the most influential media genres especially for the younger generation and an important factor in social and cultural education, so far has been overlooked.

Video games actively contribute to construct perceptions of norms, values, identities, and in general, society. In times of deep mediatization, actors obtain information and ideas from many sources, including various media, and games increasingly rank among them. It is thus obvious that game narratives impact on meaning making, in general, and on the construction of society, in particular.

On a global scale, we find two different developments in recent game development: whereas most blockbuster games are developed in the USA for global audiences, many smaller (“indie/independent”) gaming companies successfully develop regional games. Currently, we find new games with cultural heritage content produced in Asia, a development which may be intertwined with national identity building.

This explorative, multidisciplinary and international project seeks to investigate details of how cultural heritage is implemented in video game narratives and utilized by game developers in Asia. Through interviews with individual game developers and game development companies in four exemplary Asian nations, namely India, Japan, Nepal and the Philippines, we specifically analyze constructions and interpretations of cultural heritage in video games – including history, religion, politics and other elements.

Read more from project's website.

As Digital Humanities becomes increasingly recognised as a significant discipline and embedded in university curricula internationally, it is instructive to recognise that most scholarship relevant to the discipline is still predominantly from Anglo-American countries – this collaboration, between Finnish and Indian institutions, demonstrates how cultural, intellectual and linguistic contexts can and even necessarily must fruitfully contribute to shape the future direction of the discipline.

The disciplinary positioning of Digital Humanities is informed by practices of making, creativity and finding alternative lenses through which to envision issues in Humanities scholarship. In this, all cooperating institutions share a common vision with UH, who is deeply committed to these values, and has massively strengthened its Digital Humanities activities recently. Thus, this project nurtures growth and exchange of ideas and experiences that will be beneficial to all cooperating institutions. The project explicitly responds to an existing educational need with wider implications for cooperation between the countries.

Read more from project's website.

What did politicians sound like before they were on the radio and television? The fascination with politicians’ vocal characteristics and quirks is often connected to the rise of audio-visual media. But in the age of the printed press, political representatives also had to ‘speak well’ – without recourse to amplification.

Historians and linguists have provided sophisticated understandings of the discursive and aesthetic aspects of politicians’ language, but have largely ignored the importance of the acoustic character of their speech. CALLIOPE studies how vocal performances in parliament have influenced the course of political careers and political decision making in the 19th century. It shows how politicians’ voices helped to define the diverse identities they articulated. In viewing parliament through the lens of audibility, the project offers a new perspective on political representation by reframing how authority was embodied (through performances that were heard, rather than seen). It does so for the Second Chamber in Britain and France, and in dialogue with ‘colonial’ modes of speech in Kolkata and Algiers, which, we argue, exerted considerable influence on European vocal culture.

The project devises an innovative methodological approach to include the sound of the human voice in studies of the past that precede acoustic recording. Adapting methods developed in sound studies and combining them with the tools of political history, the project proposes a new way to analyse parliamentary reporting, while also drawing on a variety of sources that are rarely connected to the history of politics.

The main source material for the study comprise transcripts of parliamentary speech (official reports and renditions by journalists). However, the project also mobilizes educational, satirical and fictional sources to elucidate the convoluted processes that led to the cultivation, exertion, reception and evaluation of a voice ‘fit’ for nineteenth-century politics.

Please contact Josephine Hoegaerts for more information about the project.