Thursday 14 January, 7pm CET (8pm EET) – Pandemic Storytelling, event series organized by ACCELS (Aachen Centre for Cognitive and Empirical Literary Studies)

  • Stefan Iversen (Aarhus University): Kategoria and Corona: Accusations as Narrative Rhetoric
  • Hanna Meretoja (University of Turku): Pandemic Storytelling and Agency

The 90-minute event takes place live via Zoom and consists of 60 minutes reserved for the two presentations, followed by a 30 minute Q&A discussion round afterwards. You can find more information and abstracts of both talks here.


Spring semester 2021 – Medical Humanities Seminar Series: Season 1, Narratives of Illness

    • 2 February, 16–17 EET

Anna Ovaska (PhD, M. Soc. Sc., postdoctoral researcher, Narrare, Centre for Interdisciplinary Narrative Studies, Tampere University): “Close Reading and Illness Narratives”

    • 13 April, 16–17 EET

Linda Nesby (PhD, Deputy Head of Department of Language and Culture/Associate Professor of Scandinavian Literature, The Arctic University of Norway): “Beautiful and Ugly Descriptions of Illness”

    • 4 May, 16–17 EET

Laura Piippo (PhD, University Teacher in Literature, Department of Music, Art and Culture Studies, University of Jyväskylä): “Poetics of experimental literature and paranoia”

    • 18 May, 16–17 EET

Deborah Madden (PhD, Principal Lecturer, Centre for Memory, Narrative and Histories, University of Brighton): “Covid-19 and anticipatory grief: critical perspectives on the ‘narrative turn’ in end-of-life care during pandemic times”

    • 1 June, 16–17 EET

Anita Wohlmann (PhD, Associate Professor, Department for the Study of Culture, University of Southern Denmark): “Metaphor Reconsidered: The Uses of Comparison in Illness Writing”


15–17 March, University of Turku and ONLINE 29–31 March, American University of Paris and ONLINE – Narrating Violence: Making Race, Making Difference

More information HERE






Wednesday 18 August, 19–21 EET – Astrid Swan and Hanna Meretoja: D/Other. Aboagora – Between Arts and Sciences Sibelius Museum, Turku and ONLINE.









Tuesday 14 September, 16–17 EEST – SELMA Medical Humanities Seminar – Season 2: Indigenous Narratives of Healthcare

Bodil Hansen Blix (Professor, Department of Health and Care Sciences, UiT The Arctic University of Norway): Playfulness in Narrative Care with Indigenous Older Adults




Monday 20 September, 14 EEST – On Resonance. A Guest Lecture by Professor Rita Felski, the new Honorary Doctor of the Faculty of Humanities

This talk draws out affinities between the ideas of Hartmut Rosa and two novels: Stoner by John Williams and Theory by Dionne Brand. Both novels capture moments when words crackle, reverberate, come alive; they speak to the transformative aspects of intellectual life, while acknowledging the alienating aspects of academic institutions. The idea of resonance, Felski argues, can clarify the force of attachments to both literature and theory; it speaks to the phenomenology as well as sociology of our intellectual commitments.

Rita Felski is John Stewart Bryan Professor of English at the University of Virginia and Niels Bohr Professor at the University of Southern Denmark, and former editor of New Literary History. Her books include The Gender of Modernity (1995), Uses of Literature (2008), The Limits of Critique (2015) and Hooked: Art and Attachment (2020). She is currently writing a book on literary studies and the contemporary Frankfurt School.

Organized in collaboration with the Faculty of Humanities.

Join Zoom Meeting: https://utu.zoom.us/j/67644354625


Monday 4 October, 3-4 pm – Cultural memory and social change webinar Teachers’ reading memories as a basis for pedagogical innovations – Two perspectives (IKI-Taru-project)

Juli-Anna Aerila, Senior Lecturer, Didactics of Mother Tongue and Literature
Merja Kauppinen, 
Lecturer, Didactics of Mother Tongue and Literature





Join Zoom meeting: https://utu.zoom.us/j/67644707870


Tuesday 5 October, 16–17 EEST – SELMA Medical Humanities Seminar – Season 2: Indigenous Narratives of Healthcare
Wasiq Silan / I-An Gao 高怡安 (Centre for Research on Ethnic Relations and Nationalism, University of Helsinki): Decolonizing Care: Listening to the Voices of bnkis, Tayal Elders





Wednesday 20 October, 11.30–16.30 EEST – Symposium: “Culture and the Impending Ecocatastrophe: Narratives of Ecology and Sustainable Futures”



Monday 1 November, 3–4 pm Cultural memory and social change reading group

Assmann, J. (1995): Collective Memory and Cultural Identity. New German Critique 65, 125–133. Chair: Hannu Salmi, Academy Professor, Cultural History and European and World History

Join Zoom meeting: https://utu.zoom.us/j/66332065657


Tuesday 2 November, 16–17 EET – SELMA Medical Humanities Seminar – Season 2: Indigenous Narratives of Healthcare

Mounia El Kotni (EHESS): Traditional Medical Knowledge at Risk: The Struggle of Indigenous Midwives and Doctors in Mexico






Tuesday 9 November, 15–16 – Book Launch

The Routledge Companion to Literature and Trauma (ed. Colin Davis & Hanna Meretoja, 2020, Routledge) & Engaging with Historical Traumas: Experiential Learning and Pedagogies of Resilience (ed. Nena Močnik, Ger Duijzings, Hanna Meretoja, Bonface Njeresa Beti, 2021, Routledge),

In this book launch event, the editors and contributors of the two recent edited volumes on engaging with trauma will present the books and discuss recent developments in trauma studies.

Arcanum, Neuvotteluhuone (A229) and ONLINE.

Join Zoom meeting: https://utu.zoom.us/s/61038881808


Thursday 11 November, 16–18 – Book Launch: event by the research project Uuden etsijät

Uuden etsijät. Salatieteiden ja okkultismin suomalainen kulttuurihistoria 1880-1930 tells about the hidden cultural history of Finnish esotericism and is published by Teos publisher. https://www.teos.fi/Uuden+etsijat

Arcanum A355/A357 (IN FINNISH)


Thursday 11 November, 18.00–19.30 – Miksi kulttuurisella muistilla on merkitystä? -yleisöluento 

With Anne Heimo, Tuomas Hussila, Johanna Nurmi, Samira Saramo, Reima Välimäki and chaired by Hanna Meretoja. Organized by Cultural memory and social change

Turku City Library, Studio-sali (IN FINNISH)

More information here and here.


23 November, 16–17 EET – SELMA Medical Humanities Seminar – Season 2: Indigenous Narratives of Healthcare

Emily Kate Timms (University of Vienna): It was as if all that history had never happened at all’: Elderhood, Dementia-Gain, and Indigenous Wellbeing in Witi Ihimaera’s Whanau II (2004)

Link to registration




Wednesday 24 November, 16–19 EET – Taide ja Tähtitaivas / Art and Hemisphere 

In collaboration with the University of The Arts Helsinki’s Centre for Artistic Research (CfAR). With presentations by cultural historian Maarit Leskelä-Kärki, cosmologist Syksy Räsänen, adjunct professor of astronomy Hannu Karttunen and visual artist Elina Saloranta.

Taideyliopiston Kuvataideakatemia (Valkoinen Studio/Studio 7), Sörnäisten Rantatie 19, Helsinki (IN FINNISH)

More information here.


Friday 3 December, 10–12 – Roundtable on Life Narratives, Memory, and History with Professor Leena Kurvet-Käosaar

Leena Kurvet-Käosaar is Associate Professor of Cultural Theory at the Institute of Cultural Research, University of Tartu. Her research interests include the tradition of Estonian life writing and Post-Soviet life writings, Baltic women’s deportation and Gulag narratives, women’s diaries and family correspondence, and she is specialized in the study of trauma, memory and gender. Her latest publications include Border Crossings. Essay in Identity and Belonging (Routledge, 2020) with Paul Arthur, and a special issue of Folklore on Trauma (2021) with Sergey Troitskiy and Liisi Laineste.

The idea of the roundtable is to come together and discuss past and present life narratives in various research fields from art, cultural and literary studies to history and social sciences. We invite participants to join the discussion and shortly (5 minutes) to present their own research or research interests related to the topic.

To participate please send an email with your name, affiliation and a title of your current research theme / research interest to Maarit Leskelä-Kärki by 1st December (Maarit.leskela@utu.fi).

The roundtable is organized jointly by the department of Cultural History and SELMA: Centre for the Study of Storytelling, Experientiality and Memory. Leena Kurvet-Käosaar will give the annual Veikko Litzen –lecture at the Department of Cultural History in the afternoon at 16.15. The title of the talk is: “Vibrant connections: mundanity and self-representational writing”. The lecture is open and free for all interested. More information: https://www.utu.fi/fi/yliopisto/humanistinen-tiedekunta/kulttuurihistoria/litzen-luento

Arcanum, Vatselankatu 2, Turku. Room A229 


Friday 10 December, 16.30–20.15 – Sensing Spaces of Confinement: Själö – Island of Souls (by Lotta Petronella)

A collaboration between SELMA, Åbo Akademi, Department of Comparative Literature (UTU), Turku Institute for Advanced Studies (TIAS), Cultural Memory and Social Change (UTU), and Kulttuurisen terveyden tutkimuksen yksikkö (UTU).

Arken, Armfelt (Åbo Akademi, Turku)


16.30-18.00: Screening of Själö: Island of Souls (2020), dir. Lotta Petronella.

18.00-18.30: Lecture performance by Lotta Petronella

18.45-20.15: Roundtable with Lotta Petronella, Taru Elfving, Maarit Leskelä-Kärki, and Anna Ovaska, moderated by Marta-Laura Cenedese and Avril Tynan

(Coffee, cake and sandwiches will be available to registered attendees)

Link to registration


Monday 13 December, 3–4 pm – Cultural memory and social change webinarPassion and politics in the Finnish union of secondary school students (Suomen Teiniliitto), 1960’s to 1980’s

Ville Soimetsä, University Teacher, Contemporary History
Liisa Lalu, Doctoral Student, Cultural History and European and World History

Join Zoom meeting: https://utu.zoom.us/j/61664985785