Areas of expertise
I am Senior Lecturer in the Study of Religion at the School of History, Culture, and Arts Studies.
I am a member of the executive board of the Donner Institute, President of Turun yliopistojen dosenttiyhdistys/Docentföreningen vid Universiteten i Åbo; Vice-President of Suomen Dosenttiliitto; member of the editorial board of Scripta Instituti Donneriani Aboensis.
My main teaching responsibilities include History of Religions in Finland, History of Religions and World Views in Europe, Religion and Gender, Western Esotericism, Research Ethics, Academic Writing, and Methodology in the Study of Religion. I am also supervising, evaluating and mentoring Master’s theses, and I work as a primary supervisor for five dissertations and as a secondary supervisor for six dissertations within Study of Religion, Cultural History, and Literary Critics.
My dissertation, Naisia kansalaisuuden kynnyksellä. Eeva Joenpellon Lohja-sarjan tulkinta (Women on the Threshold of Nationhood. An Interpretation of the Lohja Series by Eeva Joenpelto] 2005, is an interdisciplinary research, connecting the methods and theories of Comparative Religion, literary critics and Women’s Studies. In the dissertation, I explored the ways female citizenship is manifested in literature. My subsequent biography of Eeva Joenpelto was published in 2009.
In my research, I have continued focusing on questions on religion, nationality/citizenship and literature. I have been particularly interested in the presence and impact of Swedish scientist and visionary Emanuel Swedenborg (1688–1772) in the published and unpublished writings of 19th century national authors in Finland. Most recently, I have been conducting research on a Finnish female author and anthroposophist Kersti Bergroth as well as on questions on secularity, atheism and gender, and creative writing.
My latest publications include an edited volume on esotericism and occultism in Finland (together with Nina Kokkinen), an edited volume on religion and imagination (together with Aila Viholainen and Jaana Kouri), a biography of Kersti Bergroth, Kaikki maallinen on vain vertauskuvaa (All that is Transitory is but a Symbol) 2017, and an edited volume on creative non-fiction, Kuvittelua ja kurinalaista (Imagined and Disciplined) 2017, together with Emilia Karjula.