The School of History, Culture and Arts Studies is a multi-disciplinary research unit. It consists of 16 major disciplines and two minor disciplines. The school’s particular strength is historical, conceptual and theoretical examination of cultural and social phenomena.
Strategic areas of research, which have received targeted funding by the University of Turku, are multiculturalism, medieval and early modern studies and popular culture studies.
Other strong cross-disciplinary areas of research include the study of the interrelations between experientiality, storytelling, and cultural memory, digital humanities, as well as gender and queer studies.
Research of multiculturalism has been developed by the Network for Research on Multiculturalism and Societal Interaction (MCnet), coordinated by the school. MCnet has facilitated and coordinated research and teaching on cross-cultural encounters, transmission of cultural influences and ethnic identities. Now it is an integral part of research in the departments of the school.
The Turku Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies (TUCEMEMS
) promotes interdisciplinary and cross-cultural studies of topics from Late Antiquity to the eighteenth century. International Institute for Popular Culture (IIPC)
is a multi-disciplinary research unit, concerned not only with issues of contemporary popular culture but also of its history and transformations.
The research centres have publishing agreements with international publishers, TUCEMEMS with Amsterdam University Press and IIPC with Intellect. The strategic areas of research nevertheless cover only a part of the research activities conducted within the school. All departments in the school produce scholarship representative of national – and in many instances, international – excellence.
A recent interdisciplinary innovation involves research on the interrelations between experience, storytelling and memory. Researchers from different disciplines explore together the processing of historical experience in stories told in various media, through literary, oral and visual narration, and how the narrators and audience attempt to make past events intelligible and understandable in storytelling practices. This theme opens wide possibilities for national and international co-operation. SELMA: Centre for the Study of Storytelling, Experientiality and Memory
promotes and coordinates these research activities.
Specific focus will also be paid on developing collaborations within digital humanities in connection with memory studies, popular culture studies and art studies alike (through ongoing research projects as well as by participating in the Academy of Finland 2015 call for academy projects in digital humanities). Digital humanities research is conducted at several departments within the school and the Faculty of Humanities at large, including research projects in game studies, digital aesthetics, social media and everyday uses of technology.
Examples of important research projects:
Cinematic Cartographies of European History, 1945–2000
The Construction of Gender in Children’s Cultures
Creation of Game Cultures: The Case of Finland
Finnish Harvest Failures and Famines in the International Context: Long-term Comparison of Economic and Environmental Margins
Fragile Subjects: Childhood in Finnish Literature and Medicine, 1850s–2000s
Literature and Time: Time, Modernity, and Human Agency in Literature
Making and Interpreting Finnish National Pasts: Role of Archives in Changing Cultural Processes
Mind and the Other: An Interdisciplinary Study on the Interactions of Multiple Realities
Modus Vivendi: Religious Reform and the Laity in Late Medieval Europe
Multiculturalism as a New Pathway to Incorporation
Regional Sustainability: Ecosystem Services and Environmental Technology
Timelines of Academic Feminism in Finland
The Transnational Connections of Finnish Literary Culture
Travelling Notions of Culture: Itineraries of Bildung and Civilisation in Early Nineteenth-Century Europe
Travelling Texts, 1790–1914: The Transnational Reception of Women's Writing at the Fringes of Europe
Pots, Food and Function: Organic Residue Analyses of Neolithic and Early Metal Period Ceramics of Fennoscandia
Animal Agency in Human Society: Finnish Perspectives, 1890–2040
Ludification and the Emergence of Playful Culture
Bold and Unbashed: Educated Urban Midwives in the 18th Century Scandinavia
Kokeilevuus ja figuratiivinen taide 1900-luvun alkupuolen Suomessa
Making and Interpreting National Pasts: Role of Archives as Networks of Power and Sites of Memory