Jutta Ahlbeck, PhD, Postdoctoral Research Fellow

I'm working as a postdoctoral research fellow at the Department of Finnish Literature for a two-year period, 1.9.2013-31.12.2015.


I am a sociologist, interested in interdisciplinary approaches to health and illness, the body and sexualities. I have mainly been focusing on mental health issues and diagnostics, particularly in the late nineteenth century – early twentieth century. I have written on madness & the history of psychiatry, power, poverty, racial hygiene, and epistemic communities, among other things. Over the years, I have worked with a multitude of methods, such as textual/discursive, archival, and ethnographic as well as interview methods. One of my interests has been to develop methodological connections between feminist theory, discourse analysis and microhistory. My recent research is organized around the history of childhood, more precisely, the emerging child sciences of the late nineteenth- and early twentieth centuries. This is part of the research project Fragile Subjects: Childhood in Finnish Literature and Medicine, 1850s-2000s, funded by the Academy of Finland (2013-2016). My part of the project traces the birth – and production – of the "new" psychological child in Finland. When and how does the mind of the child enter medical and psychological discourses, and what is a "normal"/"healthy"/"abnormal" child?

I am also the editor-in-chief of Finsk Tidskrift; a journal focusing on cultural, economic and political aspects of social life.

Areas of expertise

  •  Health, illness, the body
  • Gender and power
  • Qualitative methodology
  • History of psychiatry
  • Sociology of childhood & childhood studies



Phone: +358 50 3700 383