Reima Välimäki profile picture
Docent, Faculty of Humanities
Academy Research Fellow, History and Archaelogy
PhD / FT, Dos.


+358 29 450 2296
+358 50 590 4538
Arcanuminkuja 1

Areas of expertise

Medieval History
History of Heresy and Inquisition
History of Persecution
Digital Humanities
The Great Western Schism (1378-1417)
codicology and palaeography.


I am an Academy Research Fellow (2023–2027) at the Department of Finnish History. I obtained my PhD in Cultural History at the University of Turku in 2016. My doctoral dissertation was on late medieval heresy and the German inquisitor Petrus Zwicker, and I did my research in the Finnish Doctoral Programme of History and in the Academy of Finland project Modus vivendi: Religious Reform and the Laity in Late Medieval Europe. During my doctoral studies, I spent one academic year as a visiting scholar at the Bergische Universität Wuppertal in Germany and several research periods at the Finnish Institute in Rome. 2016–2018 I was a part-time secretary of the Institutum Romanum Finlandiae Foundation. In addition, I actively engage in public history: since 2015, I have worked as the historical expert of the Medieval Turku festival, and I have taken part in two public history projects: Vihan pitkät jäljet on the long history of hate speech (2017–2018), and Vammaisuuden vaiettu historia on disability history (2017–2019). From 2020 to 2022, I was a postdoctoral research fellow at Turku Institute for Advanced Studies (TIAS), focusing on the late medieval polemical literature.


I am the responsible teacher of the module Digital history. I have previously taught introductory courses to digital humanities; both individual lectures and whole courses (Online course at the University of Turku in 2017, lectures and online course at the Åbo Akademi University in 2018 and 2020). In 2018, I co-ordinated a course on suffering in premodern cultural history. I also regularly teach Zotero workshops to both students and research staff. 


My main research interests are the history of heresy, inquisition, polemical literature and persecution, the Great Western Schism, as well as Finnish medievalism and historiography. A book based on my dissertation, Heresy in Late Medieval Germany: The Inquisitor Petrus Zwicker and the Waldensians was published by York Medieval Press in 2019. As a postdoctoral researcher, I started to combine computational analyses with the methods of history and manuscript studies. I was involved in a digital humanities consortium Profiling Premodern Authors, applying computational authorship attribution to ancient and medieval Latin literature. My three-year postdoctoral project at the Turku Institute for Advance Studies (2020–2022 was about textual influences, compilation, imitation and originality in late medieval polemical treatises. In 2019–2022 I led a project PSEUDOHISTORIA, studying medievalism, history culture and history politics in Finland and Russia. The project was funded by Emil Aaltonen Foundation. In the course of the project, I edited the volume Medievalism in Finland and Russia: Twentieth- and Twenty-first-century Aspects (Bloomsbury Academic, 2022). I am part of the project SCISMA, studying the religious communities in Rome during the Great Western Schism (1378–1417).

Currently, I am interested in quantifying the often messy historical sources of polemics and persecution. In my Academy Fellowship project PERSECUTIO: Causalities of polemics and persecution in late medieval Europe 2023–2027), I study the relationship between hostile words and hostile deeds based on structured data. I am also an associate member of the DISSINET: Dissident Networks Project hosted at the Masaryk University Brno. Together with the DISSINET team, we currently explore quantitatively the rich prosopographical data of Stettin Waldensian inquisitions (1392–1394).


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Välimäki Reima
(Toimitustyö tieteelliselle lehdelle, kokoomateokselle tai konferenssijulkaisulle (C2))