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)
Professor Suvi Salmenniemi (vice chairperson)
University lecturer Tiina Mahlamäki
Clinical teacher Jaana Franck
Education manager Kirsi Tuohela 
University lecturer Hanna Maijala
Doctor of Philosophy Anu Salmela
Doctoral candidate Jenny Paananen
Planning officer  Katriina Mäkinen
Research assistant Liisa Laitinen (secretary)

Tagit: Marja-Liisa Honkasalo;

 Contact information

Professor Päivi Lappalainen

Tel: 050 328 9030, (029 450 3411)