Research centres and units

There are various multidisciplinary and international research centres operating within the Faculty of Humanities. These research centres promote high-quality research in their own fields. They also organise various seminars and conferences.

More information on the research centres and networks

Centre for the Study of Christian Cultures (CSCC)

The multidisciplinary CSCC brings together both research and researchers focused on the study of Christianity and Christian cultures from, for example, humanistic and social scientific perspectives. The research centre examines both historical and current dimensions of Christianity related to ideologies, politics, culture, art, economy, and everyday life. Monthly introduction and discussion sessions work as a basis for the centre’s operation. In addition, the centre organises various seminars and events.

> CSCC website

The Centre for the Study of Language and Wellbeing (LaWe)

The Centre for the Study of Language and Wellbeing (LaWe) supports, promotes and highlights research related to the connections between language and wellbeing and improves its application so that it can benefit the society. The concept of wellbeing is approached in a broad sense: the importance of language and interaction can be observed in relation with, for example, identity, health, education, culture and diversity, social relations, participation, accessibility, society, and environment. The centre is multidisciplinary and has an open policy on its data and methods. It supports networking by, for example, organising presentations, lectures, seminars, workshops, and other academic events. LaWe also aims to promote active research collaboration with public and third sector organisations.

Contact person: Jenny Paananen

> LaWe's website

Centre for Language Learning Research (Leala)

The Centre for Language Learning Research (Leala) conducts multidisciplinary research, utilises a broad range of data sets and applies various research methods. The research conducted at Leala focuses on second/foreign language learning in particular. Researchers at the Centre come from different departments at the School of Languages and Translation Studies (English, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Russian, Scandinavian languages and Spanish). Our research also belongs to the University of Turku’s thematic research profile “Children, young people and learning”.

> Leala website

DIGIN: Research Network on Digital Interaction

The Research Network on Digital Interaction combines approaches from, for example, digital culture and discourse analysis. A part of the network is focused on digital humanities and quantitative methods and their development in a way that large digital data could be better utilised in the field of humanities.

Research topics include different phenomena in social media and the internet, such as online cultures and communities, the changing forms, processes and genres of communication, and the societal and institutional communication in social media. These aspects are examined from historical, communicative, cultural, and linguistic perspectives.
The network currently includes researchers from various units in five faculties of the University of Turku.

International Institute for Popular Culture (IIPC)

The International Institute for Popular Culture was founded in 2006 to promote multidisciplinary research in popular culture. The key research topics of the institute include popular music, radio, film and television, new media and information technology, festivals and urban cultures, youth cultures and subcultures, and cultural industries and sports.

The IIPC regularly organises debates and conferences, produces publications, and promotes international researcher exchange in co-operation with central international partners. The institute’s operation is led by an international steering group that includes leading researchers of popular culture from Europe, the United States and Australia.

> IIPC website

Research Center for Culture and Health

The Research Center for Culture and Health explores the connections between culture, health, and illness from a multidisciplinary perspective. The center also provides teaching, and it participates in initiatives related to the University’s third mission.

The Asklepios study module (17-25 ECTS) of the University of Turku is also co-ordinated by the center. The Asklepios study module combines medical, humanistic and social scientific perspectives in teaching.

The center also co-ordinates a seminar on culture and health aimed at doctoral candidates and other researchers and the national research network Taikusydän, which specialises in arts, culture, and wellbeing.

> Research Center for Culture and Health website

Research Unit for Volgaic Languages

The Research Unit for Volgaic Languages conducts research on Mordvin (Erzya and Moksha), Mari and Udmurt, which are Finno-Ugric languages spoken in the Russian regions around the Volga River and its tributary, the Kama. In addition, it focuses on comparing these languages with the Turkic languages of the area: Chuvash, Tatar and Bashkir. The research unit maintains and develops electronic corpora related to these languages, and it aims to promote the scientific and educational co-operation between the University of Turku and the universities in the Volga-Kama region. It also aims to popularise phenomena and issues related to the peoples and especially to the languages of the region. The research unit, together with Finno-Ugric Languages at the University of Turku, forms a cluster of expertise which has a globally leading role in the field of comparative research related to minority languages in the Volga-Kama region. The research unit maintains a collection of electronic corpora of these languages that is unique in its scale and versatility. In addition, the research unit has a central role in scholarly exchange in the field of linguistics with the universities in the Volga-Kama region.

> Research Unit for Volgaic Languages website

SELMA: Centre for the Study of Storytelling, Experientiality and Memory
The multidisciplinary research centre SELMA is focused on the connections between storytelling, experientiality, and cultural memory from various theoretical and historical perspectives. The centre produces research on, for example, life-writing, trauma narratives, and digital storytelling. It approaches the relationship between experience, story, and memory utilising different research traditions and at the same time, produces interdisciplinary dialogue. The centre’s operation involves several faculties, and as a nationally leading centre for research in cultural memory, it compiles research related to the University’s thematic collaboration in cultural memory and societal change. SELMA collaborates internationally with various networks that conduct research on storytelling and memory. In addition, it organises research events on both theoretical and societally topical issues. The centre aims to promote dialogue between the arts and sciences and to function as a community that brings together researchers, artists, and people outside academia.
Tiedepiiri: Tieteen, tiedon ja tekniikan historiaa Turun yliopistossa

Tiedepiiri is the research seminar focused on the history of science, knowledge, and technology at the University of Turku in Finland. The research seminar’s activities are rooted in a broad understanding of the history of science, knowledge, and technology. This encompasses the historical development of science and the humanities, as well as their social implications, contexts, production, application, and dissemination.

Tiedepiiri website

Turku Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies (TUCEMEMS)

TUCEMEMS supports and promotes scientific research that is focused on the period ranging from Late Antiquity to the end of the eighteenth century. Research on the Middle Ages and the early modern period conducted in various departments at the University of Turku works as a basis for the centre’s operation. The centre also co-operates with other similar national and international organisations, centres, and institutions. The activities of TUCEMEMS are open to everyone interested.

> TUCEMEMS website

Turku Human–Animal Studies Network (TYKE)

The Human–Animal Studies Network in Turku brings together research on animals and human–animal relations. The Network operates at the University of Turku, in the Faculty of Humanities, but it also involves researchers from the wider Turku area. The studies focus on, for instance, encounters and boundaries between humans and other animals, their shared history and interaction, as well as animal representations and agency. The Network regularly organises research seminars and various other events such as guest lectures.

> More information: Nora Schuurman

Wave Riders (AHA): The Marine Research Laboratory for Humanistic and Social Sciences

Wave Riders (AHA – Aallonharjalle in Finnish) is a research and teaching laboratory for the humanities and social sciences. It operates within the University of Turku and Åbo Akademi University. Wave Riders specialises in maritime and other water systems, and it aims is to bring together researchers whose research topics are related to the thematic collaboration in sea and maritime studies. In addition to joint projects and initiatives, Wave Riders organises regular research seminars and conducts commissioned research.

> AHA's website