Researchers

Kirsi Keravuori, PhD, M.Soc Sc, managing editor
Organization: Biographical Centre of the Finnish Literature Society
Research interests: Maritime history, biography and ego documents. My doctoral dissertation at the University of Turku focused on the history of the Nordic archipelago and peasant seafaring in the 19th Century. Using letters of a literate peasant skipper’s family, I analyzed the life, work, worldview, and social networks of islanders.  I am board member of the Finnish Maritime History Association and involved in the organization of the bi-annual Maritime History Conference.
Contact information: kirsi.keravuori (at) finlit.fi

Jaana Kouri, MA, Doctoral Researcher
Organisation: University of Turku, Comparative Religion
Contact information: jaana.kouri (at) utu.fi

Simo Laakkonen, PhD, senior lecturer
Organisation: University of Turku, Cultural Production and Landscape Studies
Contact information: simo.laakkonen (at) utu.fi

Otto Latva, MA, Doctoral Researcher
Organisation: University of Turku, Cultural History
Contact information: otto.latva (at) utu.fi
Research interests: In my PhD-thesis, The Giant Squid: Imagining and Encountering the Unknown from the 1760s to the 1890s , I study the ways in which the deep sea dweller – the giant squid – was perceived in the context of the western culture during the time frame in question, focusing especially on the formation of the concept of the giant squid as the object of natural history as well as part of the lore and fiction. As my source material, I use texts based on physical encounters as well as fiction such as contemporary literature, newspapers, texts by naturalists and several log books, diaries and letters, written by whalers and other sailors. In addition, I am interested of the ocean-space and its nature from the perspective of history of science from the early modern period till the present.

Pauliina Latvala-Harvilahti, Doctor of Philosophy, Docent, University Lecturer
Organization: University of Turku, Cultural Heritage Studies/Cultural Production and Landscape Studies, Cultural Heritage Studies
Contact information: pauliina.latvala-harvilahti(at)utu.fi
Research interests: The Faculty of Humanities of the University of Turku granted funding for preparing a research project application on heritage processes and oral history in the Suomenlinna world heritage site. The Living Suomenlinna (Elävä Suomenlinna) project aims at developing a longitudinal ethnographic study from the viewpoints of cultural heritage studies and landscape studies.

In the first phase of the study, the project examines the memories of heritage production and the multi-sided and multi-voiced heritage representations during different decades and in various contexts. We explore the islanders’ mindscapes and produced heritage-scapes. Different representations are produced at the interfaces of official heritage politics and international cultural heritage conventions and unofficial, local level heritage acts of various communities and individuals.

Ethnographic fieldwork is carried out in order to conduct interviews and discussions with residents and specific heritage communities. The aim is to organize thematic oral history events, conduct observations and to collaborate with local artists. Our research interests include historical narratives, stories of buildings, landscapes, memory sites and underwater heritage, narratives and memories of the 1918 civil war, as well as the oral history of the oldest operational dry dock in Europe.

Further, the research considers the rich archival material (both textual and visual material) from different phases of Suomenlinna’s history.
We focus on the interpretations of heritage processes, especially in the frames of changes after the 1991 world heritage site nomination and heritage production. We compare the unofficial and official heritage representations and the values attached to them in different contexts. What kind of Suomenlinna-stories do local communities create? Although the research focuses on the last 25 years after the UNESCO nomination, the themes of narration will touch upon the history of Suomenlinna (Viapori) and more generally, the different layers of memories in archipelago communities and marine environments.

Tuomas Räsänen, PhD, Postdoctoral researcher
Organisation: University of Turku, European and World History
Contact information: tuomas.rasanen (at) utu.fi
Research interests: In my research on the environmental history of the Baltic Sea, I have focused on studying the history of anthropogenic environmental changes, the history of marine environmental thought and environmental cooperation between the Baltic Sea states. Of lately I have paid most attention to the role of marine animals in the evolution of scientific and environmental ideas in Finland and Sweden.

Kirsi Sonck-Rautio, MA, Doctoral Researcher
Organisation: University of Turku, European Ethnology
Contact information: kirsi.m.sonck-rautio (at) utu.fi

Nina Tynkkynen, PhD, Associate Professor
Organisation: Åbo Akademi
Contact information: nina.tynkkynen (at) abo.fi

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