The Centre for Nordic Studies employs a professor who is also a research director, an associat eprofessor, a senior lecturer, a coordinator and researchers in different stages of their careers.
Peter Stadius is professor in Nordic Studies and director of CENS. He holds a PhD in History, and his research interests include image studies of the Nordic Region, both in a historical longue durée perspective and as part of current branding practices. He has taken specific interest in the theme of North and South within Europe, studying how the content of this imagological dichotomy has developed over time. In recent times he has also pursued reserach on regionalisms, minorities and identity politics in the Nordic Region. As university lecturer in Nordic Studies 2006-2013, and later in his current position, he has also developed other research themes connected to the cultural history of the Nordic Welfare State and the dynamics of Nordic cooperation and the culture and strategies of articulated Nordicness in a historical perspective.
Ainur Elmgren is a researcher affiliated with the Centre for Nordic Studies and the Network of European Studies at the University of Helsinki. She has a PhD in history from Lund University. She is currently participating in several research programmes at the University of Helsinki, such as “The Political Rhetoric of Isms” and “Driving Forces of Democracy”, with contributions to the fields of conceptual history and political history of the Nordic countries.
Malte Gasche is a project manager, lecturer and post-doctoral research fellow at the Centre for Nordic Studies at the University of Helsinki. He defended his PhD, entitled Der „Germanische Wissenschaftseinsatz“ des „Ahnenerbes“ der SS, 1942-1945: Zwischen Vollendung der „völkischen Gemeinschaft“ und dem Streben nach „Erlösung“, at the Humboldt University of Berlin in 2012. In addition to his research on doctrine topics in the field of History of Science, he is interested in majorities’ policy on minority groups and their strategies to gain societal security within mainstream society. Since 2012 Gasche has been representing Finland in the committee Genocid on the Roma within the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance. From 2017 to 2018 he is managing the pilot-project Diverging Fates: Travelling Circus People in Europe under National Socialism.
Heidi Haggrén is a coordinator at the Centre for Nordic Studies and a doctoral candidate at the Faculty of Social Sciences, University Helsinki. Her doctoral project analyses the development of nurses’ collective interest organization in the emerging Finnish wage-work society and welfare state in the post-World War II era focusing on the tensions between social loyalties related to work, its content and organization. She has published on Nordic cooperation, labour market relations and nursing in an international and Nordic context. She has coordinated a number of Nordic projects in and outside of the academia, including Nordic Centre of Excellence: The Nordic Welfare State – Historical Foundations and Future Challenges (NordWel) 2007-2014.
Dr Larisa Kangaspuro is a historian and a lawyer. Her research interests include public perceptions of the penal system in Russia and the Nordic countries and she focuses on multiculturalism in the prison. She has been researching and writing on the penitentiary system and prison reform in the Grand Duchy of Finland. Larisa Kangaspuro is the project leader of the Nordic-Russian research project Multi-cultural prison in Nordic countries and Russia funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers for the period 1.11.2020-3.4.2022. She was also the leader of the pilot project Nordic Russian Cooperation for social integration, prevention of marginalization and human rights protection for female prisoners, funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers for the period 1.8.2018-31.10.2019.
Contact: Room 325, Aleksanteri Institute, firstname.lastname@example.org, tel. +358 50 471 6821
Ilkka Kärrylä is a postdoctoral researcher at the Centre for Nordic Studies. He is a political historian with research interests in intellectual and conceptual history, political ideologies, the history of economic thought and policy as well as the history of working life and labour market relations. Ilkka’s dissertation The Contested Relationship of Democracy and the Economy: Debates on Economic and Industrial Democracy in Finland and Sweden, 1960s-1990s examined the visions and debates on economic and industrial democracy in Finland and Sweden from the 1960s until the 1990s. He is currently working in the project Neoliberalism in the Nordics funded by Riksbankens Jubileumsfond.
Jana Lainto is a PhD student at the Centre for Nordic Studies (2016- ). She studies the institutionalization of Czechoslovakian cultural relations with the Nordic countries during the interwar period. Her main research interests are Czech cultural history, cultural transfer and image studies of the Nordic region in the Czech lands/later Czechoslovakia. She holds Master’s degrees from the University of Helsinki in European Studies and from the Palacký University Olomouc in History and Philosophy.
Tuire Liimatainen is a PhD student at the Centre for Nordic Studies (2016- ). Her doctoral research studies identities and questions of belonging in contemporary Sweden-Finnish online ethnopolitical campaigns. Her main research interests are migration, minorities, sociolinguistics, ethnopolitical activism, new media and social media in the Nordic context. She holds a Master’s degree in Nordic Studies and Bachelor’s degree in Scandinavian languages from the University of Helsinki. Her master’s thesis studied representations of Sweden-Finnish authors in Swedish literature reviews.
Jani Marjanen is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Helsinki from where he gained his PhD in 2014. In 2014-2015 he was visiting scholar at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin. He specializes in late eighteenth-century and early nineteenth-century language of economic patriotism in Scandinavia, the theory and method of conceptual history, and the public sphere in the nineteenth-century Nordic context. He is one of the editors of Contributions to the History of Concepts.
Andrew G. Newby is University Lecturer in Nordic Studies, and Docent in European Area and Cultural Studies, Department of Cultures, University of Helsinki. An Irishman, he was nevertheless educated in Scotland (St. Andrews, MA Hons 1996; Edinburgh, PhD, 2001) and his PhD investigated links between Irish and Scottish land reformers and labour activists in the 1880s-90s. He has since held academic positions at the University of Edinburgh (lecturer), University of Aberdeen (senior lecturer), and has enjoyed three spells in Institutes of Advanced Study (Helsinki, 2010-12; Aarhus, 2017-18; Tampere, 2018-20). From 2012 to 2017 he was the Principal Investigator on the Academy of Finland project, “‘The Terrible Visitation’: Famine in Finland and Ireland, c. 1845-1868” (University of Helsinki), which compared elements of the history, and historiography, of the Great Famines in Ireland (1840s) and Finland (1860s). In addition to comparative and transnational studies of Nordic societies, his research interests lie in the history and society of Europe during the "Long Nineteenth Century".
Stefan Nygård is a historian with special interests in the modern history of intellectuals, culture and philosophy, in Finland, Scandinavia and Europe. He has worked and taught on these topics at the University of Helsinki and the European University Institute in Florence. He is currently involved in research projects on Asymmetries in European Intellectual Space (Academy of Finland), The Debt: Historicizing Europe's relations with the 'South' (HERA), Minority, Nation and the World (Academy of Finland), and a project on the philosopher and public intellectual Georg Henrik von Wright (Society of Swedish Literature in Finland).
Laurence Prempain is a post-doctoral researcher at the Centre for Nordic Studies at the University of Helsinki. Her PhD in History (University Lyon2, France) analyses the Polish and Polish Jewish immigration in France during the interwar period and World War II. Through an analytical framework based on gender and microhistory, her research focuses on avoidance and transgressions strategies that men and women developed to face discrimination, exclusion and deportation. A first cooperation with the Centre of Nordic Studies (CENS, Helsinki) broadened the scope of her interests to circus people through projects Diverging fates: Travelling Circus people during National Socialism and Forgotten cosmopolitans. Post-doctoral researcher in the BESTROM project, she explores strategies of French Roma circus families, in terms of integration, societal security as well as resistance during WWII.
Henrik Stenius is the founding director of CENS. He specializes in the history of concepts. In recent years he has worked specifically on the concept of citizenship in the Nordic countries and the processes of translation as enablers of conceptual change. His publications include Nordic Associations in a European Perspective: European Civil Society (2010, edited together with Risto Alapuro), "The Finnish Citizen: How a Translation Emasculated the Concept", Redescriptions 8, pp. 172-188 (2004), Frivilligt - jämlikt - samfällt: Föreningsväsendets utveckling i Finland fram till 1900-talets början med speciell hänsyn till massorganisationsprincipens genombrott (1987).
Johan Strang is Academy of Finland Research Fellow and Associate Professor at CENS, deputy member of the steering group of ReNEW, with an affiliation also to the UiO:Nordic programme at the University of Oslo. Trained as a philosopher he has a broad interest in in Scandinavian politics and contemporary history (20th and 21st centuries). His publications include studies of Nordic cooperation, Nordic democracy, the welfare state, human rights and Scandinavian Legal Realism, as well as the history of analytic philosophy in the Nordic region. He has also contributed to the discussion on transnational intellectual history with a small state perspective, most recently in the book Decentering European Intellectual Space (Brill 2018). His current projects include Norden since the end of history (Academy of Finland) and Neoliberalism in the Nordics.
Frederik Forrai Ørskov is a Doctoral candidate at the Centre for Nordic Studies as part of the ReNEW (Reimagining Norden in an Evolving World) PhD-programme. Here, he researches how Nordic intellectuals with National Socialist sympathies thought about Europe, the Nordic region, and National Socialist Germany during the 1930s and 40s. He is trained as a historian from the University of Southern Denmark and the Central European University, where his MA-thesis dealt with Danish promotional efforts in National Socialist Germany. He has published articles and book chapters on the history of educational testing, the OECD, visual history, and transnational social political dialogues among other subjects. He is part of the Europaeum Scholars Programme.