Jaana Kouri profile picture
University Teacher, Study of Cultures
Docent, Faculty of Humanities
PhD, Master of Education
Wave Riders (AHA–Aallonharjalle in Finnish) is a research and teaching network for the humanities and social sciences specializing in the study of seas, other water systems, and archipelago


Arcanuminkuja 1

Areas of expertise

Baltic Sea
creative writing
climate change
memory studies
oral history
place and landscape studies
time and space studies
village research
vernacular religion
techniques of imagination


I work as a University Teacher of Study of Cultures at the School of History, Culture, and Arts Studies.

Previous years I have worked as a researcher in a project concerning climate change and the Baltic Sea, funded by the Tiina and Antti Herlin Foundation (2018–2020), and in the project Living with the Baltic Sea in a changing climate: Environmental heritage and the circulation of knowledge, which is funded by the Academy of Finland (2018–2022).

I have done two Master’s theses: one in Comparative Religion, in which I examined the position of the Seneca-Iroquois women before the year 1848, and the other in Education. I have also worked as a schoolteacher for fifteen years.

I have always been interested in creative (academic) writing as well as the writing process itself, and that is also something that I have practised and studied at the University. I have co-ordinated and edited several books, one of which I used as research material for my dissertation. I am also the chief editor of the book used for the entrance examination at our Department. In addition, I have written in several blogs, both alone and together with other researchers.

I spend half the year living on a small island in the Finnish archipelago, and I enjoy spending time by or at the Baltic Sea.


At present, I teach various methodological courses in basic and substantive studies in the Study of Culture.  I supervise one doctoral thesis. I also run creative writing workshops and shamanic courses in my leisure time.


In my doctoral thesis, Vesi kuljettaa ääntä - Autoetnografinen tutkimus Lypyrtin kylän historiantuottamisesta (2017), I studied the history production of the old pilot village Lypyrtti, which is located in the south-western archipelago in Finland. The oral and written source material of the study was diverse, and an essential part of it was formed by ethnographic interviews, my research diary, and the book Lypyrtti-Lypertö, Kylä väylien varrella (2011), which I wrote on the village before conducting the thesis. While the thesis is autoethnographic, I also applied research methods used in oral history, microhistory, memory studies and environmental history.
Currently, I am combining two themes in multidisciplinary research. Firstly, I will continue the deduction of my dissertation by examining the experience-based knowledge of the people living by and with the Baltic Sea, mainly in the Turku archipelago. I focus on water-related mythic and folklore and creative writing material collected around the Baltic Sea.

Secondly, I examine imagination as a broader theoretical and analytical framework for tacit, situated and experience-based knowledge. As a special focus in my study, I will examine animism as a social imaginary as well as shamanism as a technique of co-imagination. I am also organising future research and shamanistic workshops to produce up-to-date data. My standpoint is strongly methodological, and I bring into the discussion the double agency of a researcher as someone who experiences and conceptualises.
In my work as a researcher and a teacher, I have practised and produced co-operative and interdisciplinary views. I am a founder member of Wave Riders (AHA–Aallonharjalle in Finnish), a research and teaching laboratory for the Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Turku and Åbo Akademi University specialising in the study of maritime and other water systems.


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