Research Center for Culture and Health

The research and teaching activities of the Research Center for Culture and Health are based on what is internationally defined as ’medical humanities’. In this context medical humanities signify an approach to health, illness, cure and medical knowledge from the viewpoint of culture. Research disciplines such as anthropology, sociology, folkloristics, literature studies, ethics and philosophy – in addition to medicine – are relevant for the center’s work. We define culture as something that people (and materialities) do together, but which is also sedimented in the practices. Hence people both produce culture and are produced by it. As a consequence, culture is in constant fluctuation, in a state of becoming. In addition, culture can also be defined as art, artistic products and the ways of receiving and producing them. In our center we focus our studies mainly to the contemporary post-welfare state in which also technologies of the body and everyday life provide new meanings.

Our research center has four broad research areas which make the center’s work unique and different from the medical humanities centers in Europe and in the USA. Our themes are 1) cultural knowledge of human mind, 2) vulnerable agency, 3) multicultural communication and 4) art, health and welfare.

 In addition, the center offers courses and lectures on the field of medical humanities. An interdisciplinary study program Asklepios (15 credits) is coordinated by the research center.

Executive group

Professor Päivi Lappalainen (chairperson)
Associate professor Suvi Salmenniemi (vice chairperson), deputy member senior lecturer Arttu Saarinen
Professor Marja-Liisa Honkasalo, deputy member professor Marjo Kaartinen
Professor Matti Kamppinen, deputy member university lecturer Tiina Mahlamäki
Specialist Jaana Franck. deputy member professor Jyrki Korkeila
Postdoctoral researcher Kirsi Tuohela, deputy member postdoctoral researcher Katve-Kaisa Kontturi
University lecturer Hanna Maijala, deputy member university lecturer Eila Matikainen
Economic secretary Tuula Suvanto
Coordinator Varpu Alasuutari (secretary)

Tagit: Marja-Liisa Honkasalo;

 Contact information


Professor Marja-Liisa Honkasalo
Research Center for Culture and Health
Minerva, room 329
Kaivokatu 12
20014 University of Turku

Tel: (02) 333 7920, 040 194 7870