Leila Koivunen profile picture
Professor, Cultural History and European and World History
Professori, Yleinen historia / Professor, European and World History


+358 29 450 3449
+358 50 328 9844
Arcanuminkuja 1

Areas of expertise

History of cultural interaction (19th-20th centuries), esp. between Europe and Africa
European images of Africa, history of mobility, esp. journeys of exploration
history of colonialism, Finland and colonialism
Finnish-Namibian relations
history of science and knowing
book history, illustration history, material culture
culture of display, museums


I work as a professor of European and World History with a special emphasis in global history and history of cultural interaction. I defended my doctoral thesis in 2006 and was awarded the title of docent in 2007. I have previously worked as an assistant, senior assistant, university lecturer and postdoctoral researcher (Academy of Finland).


Typical teaching year: Master’s seminar, supervision of MA and doctoral students, lecture course on a changing topic of my expertice and participation in jointly taught courses.


My research interests include the history of European imagination and representation of the non-Western world, the culture of display and the processes of knowledge formation.

My doctoral dissertation (2006) traced the roots of stereotyped European imagery of Africa by focusing on the practices of visual representation and illustration processes in the latter part of the nineteenth century. Recently, I conducted research on history of collecting and displaying “exotic” material cultures in Finnish context. I am also interested in the history of Finnish involvement in colonial activities during the period of Russian rule and the ways in which attitudes closely connected to colonial settings were mediated to Finland.

See the webpage of the University of Turku History of Colonialism Research Group: https://utuhicorg.wordpress.com/


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Kalervo Hovi (2022)

Suomalaisen Tiedeakatemian Vuosikirja
Syrjämaa Taina, Koivunen Leila, Fält Olavi K.
(Kirjoitus tai data-artikkeli tieteellisessä aikakauslehdessä (B1))

Marginaaleista museoihin (2021)

Rastas Anna, Koivunen Leila
(Toimitustyö tieteelliselle lehdelle, kokoomateokselle tai konferenssijulkaisulle (C2))

Kalervo Hovi 1942–2021 (2021)

Historiallinen Aikakauskirja
Syrjämaa Taina, Koivunen Leila
(Artikkeli ammattilehdessä tai kirjoitus ammatillisessa blogissa (D1))

Johdanto (2021)

Rastas Anna, Koivunen Leila
(Kirjan tai muun kokoomateoksen osa (B2))