Pertti Grönholm profile picture
University Lecturer, History and Archaelogy
Docent, School of History, Culture and Arts Studies
FT (D.Phil)
Electronic voice and the interpretation of emotions and self-understanding in human– machine communication 1960–2020. Kone Foundation / University of Turku 2018–2022. Project Leader.


+358 29 450 3465
+358 50 329 0146
Arcanuminkuja 1

Areas of expertise

Baltic Sea Region
Estonian History
Soviet and Post-Soviet Russia
German Cultural History
Modern and Postmodern Historiography
History and Memory
Collective Remembering
Utopian thinking
Popular Culture and Popular Music Studies. Electronic Music
History of Technology.


Pertti Grönholm, DPhil (b. 1966) is an Adjunct Professor (dosentti) and Senior Lecturer (2018–2020) at the Department of European and World History in the University of Turku. I have worked as a Collegium Researcher in the Turku Institute of Advanced Studies (TIAS) in the University of Turku (2014–2016). My research project focused on the processes of official history making and the politics of memory in Estonia during the periods of independence (1920–1940 and 1991 onwards). I have been an Associate Researcher (non-funded) in Reimagining Futures in the European North at the End of the Cold War (REIMAG), a project funded by the Academy of Finland (2014–2017). In these projects, my research interests were lain in Estonian historical narratives and remembering in their relation to the imagining of the future. In 2020–2022 I lead a research project Talking Machines – Electronic voice and the interpretation of emotions and self-understanding in human– machine communication 1960–2020. The project is funded by the Kone Foundation and it explores human-machine interaction and its history from the perspective of voice and sound based communication. 

In collaboration with Heli Paalumäki, I have conducted (since 2009) an ongoing multidisciplinary theme seminar and a loose research group Utopias, Ideas and the Future, devoted into Utopian studies in the School of History, Culture and Arts Studies in the University of Turku.

In addition, I am a task group member (since 2012) in the International Institute for Popular Culture (IIPC), based in the University of Turku. Since 2003, I have occupied several temporary positions of Professor, University Lecturer, Senior Researcher and Researcher in the Department of European and World History (the University of Turku) and University Lecturer in the Department of History and Geography (the University of Eastern Finland / Joensuu Campus).


I have produced and conducted more than 30 series of lectures and seminar courses in History and in the Baltic Sea Region Studies in B.A. and M.A. levels (1999–2014) in the University of Turku and the University of Eastern Finland. The courses range from basic methodological courses and seminars to the history of the Baltic Sea Region and Russia / Soviet Union, History and politics of remembering, utopian thinking and popular culture. In addition, I have supervised / evaluated more than 30 M.A. thesis in History. I have acted as an opponent in three doctoral dissertations (University of Turku 2011, University of Tartu 2013, and University of Jyväskylä 2018) and evaluated six doctoral theses.


Throughout my career, I have been interested in the functions of historical knowledge in society and uses of historical narratives and myths in the realms of cultural memory and politics. My major research themes relate to the politics of history and memory and historiography in the Baltic states and the Soviet Union / Russia in the 20th Century. My doctoral thesis (the University of Turku, 2001) explored the relation of the academic writing of history to the Soviet politics of history and Marxism-Leninism in the Estonian SSR (1944–1991). In addition, I have studied 20th Century Utopian thinking, the history of music technology and the history of electronic popular music.


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