Visa Immonen profile picture
Docent, School of History, Culture and Arts Studies
Professor FSA


Areas of expertise

Medieval Archaeology
Material Culture Studies
Cultural Theory
Gender Studies
Monastic Archaeology
History of Archaeology
Cultural Heritage Studies


I am a professor of archaeology at the University of Turku, Finland. Besides Turku, I have worked as an assistant professor of cultural heritage studies at the University of Helsinki in 2016–2017, a visiting scholar at Stanford University in 2010–2011, and Bard Graduate Center, New York in 2018, and as a postdoctoral fellow at the Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles in 2015–2016.

I have done sustained conceptual and empirical research on cultural heritage studies with a particular interest in heritage management, pedagogy, and digitalisation. I have discussed issues related to heritage in such articles as ‘“Quidditching”, and the Emergence of New Heritage Identities – Amateur Metal Detecting in Finland’ (with Joonas Kinnunen, Public Archaeology, 2017), and ‘Photographic Bodies and Biographical Narratives: The Finnish State Archaeologist Juhani Rinne in Pictures’ (Photography & Culture, 2012). In 2016 I published a monograph on the development of cultural heritage legislation and administration during the 20th century.

In addition, I have systematically worked on historical material culture, especially luxury consumption. My doctoral dissertation Golden Moments – Artefacts of Precious Metals as Products of Luxury Consumption in Finland c. 1200–1600 was published in 2009. Presently, I direct a project funded by the Academy of Finland, titled ‘Carving Out Transformations – Wood Use in North-Eastern Europe, 1100–1600’ (2018–2022). Another project of mine is integrated with university teaching, and based on student contributions, it produces a mobile app on urban archaeological achievements aimed at wider audiences.


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