Maarit Leskelä-Kärki profile picture
PhD, Adjunct professor (Title of Docent), Senior Lecturer


+358 29 450 3416
+358 50 328 8582
Kaivokatu 12

Areas of expertise

cultural history (1800-1900)
gender history
history of writing
biographical research
autobiographical sources
history of religions


I have worked at the Department of Cultural History since 1998, and I have held various positions: lecturer, co-ordinator, PhD scholar, university teacher, senior lecturer). I did my PhD in a project on the cultural history of women’s writing (2001–2005) which was funded by the Academy of Finland, and I defended my thesis Kirjoittaen maailmassa. Krohnin sisaret ja kirjallinen elämä (The Krohn sisters: Lives in Writing) in 2006. During my doctoral studies, I also worked as a visiting researcher at Liverpool John Moores University. In 2009–2012, I worked as a postdoctoral scholar at the Turku Institute for Advanced Studies. Since 2013, I have worked as Senior Lecturer at the Department. I have also been the vice director of SELMA: Centre for the Study of Storytelling, Experientiality and Memory since 2015. I am also a board member of the Finnish Historical Society (2016–2019) and the chief editor of the National Biography of Finland (2017–2019). Outside academia, I am one of the founding members of the literary society of Aino Kallas, and I am currently working as a chair of the society.


I teach courses from BA level to PhD level, and I am currently responsible for MA studies, MA seminar, and supervising MA students together with Professor Marja Jalava. I am also part of the supervisor team for doctoral studies together with the professors. In addition to supervising, I co-ordinate the research seminar of the Department, and I have been leading the research group Gender, Textuality and Writing together with Kirsi Tuohela since 2009. In connection to SELMA and the research project Seekers of the New, I arrange special courses and organise seminars and events.


My research is focused on the cultural history of the 19th and 20th centuries, gender history, history of writing and literature, biographical research, and life writing studies. Another important research field is the history of religiousness and esotericism. I am currently leading a research project funded by the Kone foundation called Seekers of the New: Esotericism and the transformation of religiosity in Finland during the era of modernisation, 1880–1940(2018–2020).


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Unohdettu esoteerisuus (2018)

Hiiskuttua: Turun yliopiston humanistisen tiedekunnan verkkolehti
Leskelä-Kärki M
(D1 Artikkeli ammattilehdessä)