Jenni Kuuliala profile picture
University Lecturer, History and Archaelogy


+358 29 450 3306
+358 50 344 0683

Areas of expertise

Medieval history
early modern period
lived religion
history of disability
social history of medicine
history of family and childhood


I have started my work as a university lecturer at the beginning of August 2023. I defended my doctoral dissertation at Tampere University in 2013; its topic was children’s physical disabilities in late medieval hagiographic material. During my doctoral studies I also spent several research periods at the Finnish Institute in Rome. After gaining my doctorate, I have worked as a visiting research fellow at the Central European University, Budapest, EU Researcher at the University of Bremen, and as postdoctoral researcher and university researcher at Tampere University. In recent years, I have also been interested in doing public history. Between 2017 and 2021 I led a public disability history project titled The Silent History of Disability. Identity, Participation, Society, funded by the Kone Foundation. In 2018 and 2019 I worked as a journalist in YLE 1 Radio programme titled Risto and Jenni in the Footsteps of Saints. It focused on Finland’s medieval roots, saints’ cults, and their connections to contemporary society and culture.


I teach both basic and intermediate studies in all history subjects. I am also in charge of the Prehistorical, Ancient, Medieval and Early Modern Studies programme of the Faculty of Arts.


My research focuses on the social and cultural history of lived religion, religious healing, and illness and disability in late medieval and early modern Europe. My current research project analyses the religious experience of physical and mental infirmity, particularly in 16th- and 17th-century Italy. My focus is on the ways culturally internalized narratives such as miraculous healing and black magic influenced the ways people constructed their bodily and mental painful or uncomfortable, even traumatic, experiences.

Between 2021 and 2025 I also lead a research project Lived Religion and the Changing Meaning(s) of Disability from the Late Middle Ages to the Industrial Revolution, funded by the Academy of Finland (Tampere University).