TUCEMEMS organises scholarly events and activities for its members as well as for the public. Our activities and events are open to anyone who is interested. TUCEMEMS activities comprise monthly talks, the Studia Generalia lecture series, scholarly conferences, and workshops. In addition, the centre organises different types of events with its partner institutions, both locally and nationally.

The core of the activities of the research centre consist of monthly presentations, which introduce the latest research projects and research areas. The presentations are followed by discussion and provide an occasion to catch up in a casual setting.

The research centre organises an annual lecture series called Studia Generalia in which current themes are discussed by researchers from different fields of study. The Studia Generalia lectures have addressed topics such as materialistic culture and religion, physicality and sexuality in history, life in manors, the significance of pictures in different religious traditions, vernacular and literary production, and the significance of the reformation. The most recent topic of the lecture series centered on Enlightenment and its various influences. The public lecture series are very popular events.

To advance the research aims and publications of Pre- and Early Modern studies, TUCEMEMS brings researchers together through numerous conferences and workshops. The topics of these events vary according to the interests of the hosting members. The purpose of these events is to provide a forum in which researchers from different fields of study, universities, and institutes can gather and discuss the latest research.

Upcoming events

Monthly Talks, Fall 2023

Presentations on Thursdays at 16:15

12.10. Sara Norja: "Between Science and Magic: Alchemical language use in medieval and early modern England"

Venue: Arcanum A355/357, University of Turku

Abstract: Alchemy was popular in medieval and early modern England, but English-language alchemical manuscript texts have remained an understudied resource for linguists. However, researching alchemical texts can provide valuable insights into the development of scientific language. My postdoctoral research in the project TiTaRa (Between Science and Magic) explores the vernacularisation and manuscript contexts of this early science. How to approach alchemical texts as research material? Can we examine the values placed on alchemy by studying the visual aspects of alchemical manuscripts? What was the Latin influence on Middle English alchemical terminology? In my presentation, I will go through some strands of my postdoctoral research to give an overview of studying English alchemy through a philological lens.

You can also follow the presentation remotely, sign up:



7.12. Tiago Queimada e Silva: "The Good Noblemen Who Conquered the Kingdom: Islam, Otherness, and Identity in Late-Medieval Portugal"
Venue: Arcanum A270, University of Turku

Abstract: In this talk I will present my doctoral dissertation, which was approved at the University of Turku in November 2022. The thesis deals with aristocratic historiography and political legitimation in late-medieval Portugal (late thirteenth and fourteenth centuries). It offers a perspective into the historical imaginary of the late-medieval Portuguese aristocracy; an imaginary that underlay the argumentation of members of this social class in defence of their traditional rights and jurisdictions against political centralisation. It examines how the medieval Portuguese aristocracy utilized memories of past interactions with Islam to justify its privileged social status and defend its traditional prerogatives at a time when this social group opposed the royalist policy of political centralization. This research is included into wider debates on the role of culture — in this case, historical culture — as a resource to justify, reinforce, reproduce, and transform an existing social order. I will also present to the audience the main ideas guiding my post-doctoral research project.

You can also follow the presentation remotely, sign up:


16.1.–15.5.2023 Studia Generalia Lecture Series

In Spring 2023 TUCEMEMS organizes an open and free lecture series Studia Generalia. The theme of the series is time. The lectures are held at the lecture hall Tauno Nurmela on Mondays from 17:00 to 19:00.

The series is held in Finnish, and more detailed information on the lectures will be updated on the Finnish event page.

What is time? How do we experience it? How has time been perceived and measured in different times and places? The lecture series approaches these questions through the lenses of philosophy, history, linguistics and literature. The themes include the conceptualization and visualization of time, and above all, how humans speak and have spoken of time. 

The lecturers are Valtteri Arstila (Philosophy, University of Turku), Aino Liira and Matti Peikola (English, University of Turku), Aino Mäkikalli (Literary Studies, University of Turku), Minna Sandelin (Scandinavian Languages, University of Turku), Tanja Toropainen (Finnish Language, University of Turku) and Charlotta Wolff (Finnish History, University of Turku).

16.1. Valtteri Arstila: ”Mihin taas hujahti viikonloppu?” ja muita ajan kokemiseen liittyviä arvoituksia
20.2. Aino Liira ja Matti Peikola: Taulukoista aikajanoihin – visuaalista kronologiaa varhaismodernin ajan englanninkielisissä kirjoissa
20.3. Aino Mäkikalli: Onko aika vain rahaa ja valtaa? Ajan käsittämistapoja Daniel Defoen romaaneissa
17.4. Minna Sandelin ja Tanja Toropainen: Vanhat almanakat ajan hahmottajina
15.5. Charlotta Wolff: Ajanlaskun ja ajan mittaamisen historia Euroopassa

26.1.–20.4.2023: Book reading circle on Aristotle: What Is Good Life?

In Spring 2023 Åbo Akademi, TUCEMEMS, and the Turku Cathedral congregation will organize a reading circle on Aristotle. The meetings and discussion are held in Finnish.

The subject of the series is good life and happiness: What is good life? What is happiness? What are virtues? What is justice? These questions are approached via reading Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics, a book at the foundation of Western ethical thought. It has also greatly affected the Christian mindset.

The meetings are held at the Turku Cathedral. A commentary by Thomas Aquinas will act as a guide to the Aristotelian world. Every meeting will begin with a introduction to the text at hand.

No previous knowledge on Aristotle is needed for participating, and everyone is welcome to join! The Finnish translation by Simo Knuutila is available in the city libraries.


Thu 26.1. at 17:00: Book I

Mon 27.2. at 17:00: Book II

Thu 23.3. at 17:00: Book III

Thu 20.4. at 17:00: Book IV

19.1.-27.4.2023 TUCEMEMS Book reading club: Early History of the Novel (For members only)

TUCEMEMS organizes a book reading club for its members during Autumn 2022 and Spring 2023. The theme is the early history of prose fiction. The books on the reading list include works from the 2nd century to the beginning of the 18th century.

The club has three meeting in Spring.


Thu 19.1.       Madeleine de La Fayette, La Princesse de Clèves (1678)

Thu 16.3.       Aphra Behn, Oroonoko: or, the Royal Slave (1688)

Thu 27.4.       Daniel Defoe, A Journal of the Plague Year (1722)

New perspectives on St Birgitta and the Birgittine movement in medieval Finland and beyond: materiality, senses, and emotions

Turku Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies & Åbo Akademi University

Thursday 30.3.2023 (University of Turku, Publicum, Room: Pub.5)

14:00 Opening words (Anna-Stina Hägglund & Marika Räsänen)

14:15 Laura Saetveit Miles (British Literature, University of Bergen): “Birgitta of Sweden’s Influence on Vernacular Devotional Literature in Medieval England”

15:00 Panel a) The dissemination of Birgittine ideas: Texts

Sari Katajala-Peltomaa (History, Tampere University): ‘”To the treasures on earth” Pilgrimage ethos in Birgittine sermons,

Mikko Kauko (Scandinavian Languages, University of Turku): ‘Jöns Budde’s Birgittine Version of St. Mechtild of Hackeborn’s “Liber specialis gratiae”’

Elise Pihlajaniemi (Open University and Continuous Learning, Turku): ‘The Smallest Ant in Your Kingdom” — Approaching St. Birigtta´s Concepts of Hope Through Contemplation and Bodily Practices’

16:30 Coffee break

17:00 Panel b) Birgittine bonds of friendship: Networks

Päivi Salmesvuori (Church History, Åbo Akademi University): ‘Birgitta’s Ideal Christian: Mary and Martha together’

Jyrki Nissi (History, Tampere University): ‘Knut Posse, Ingeborg Tott and the Cult of Birgitta in the Häme Castle Region’

Anna-Stina Hägglund (Tampere University): ‘Creating bonds through prayers. Adopted women joining the Birgittine community in Nådendal’

Friday 31.3.2023 (Åbo Akademi, Theologicum, Room: Runda rummet)

09:00 Panel c) Imagining St Birgitta through art and relics: Materiality

Elina Räsänen (Art History, University of Helsinki): ‘Pyhä Prikitta, Briitta Kurki, and the remaining medieval wood sculptures. Reshaping and stirring the memory of St Birgitta in Finland’

Sofia Lahti (Art History, University of Helsinki/History, Tampere University): ‘Four ostrich eggs and other reliquaries in Naantali: Lost treasures in a Birgittine context.’

Marika Räsänen (TUCEMEMS, University of Turku): ‘Materiality of Birgitta’s healing relics’

10:30 Coffee break

11:00 Anu Mänd (Art History, University of Tallinn): ‘Material culture of the Birgittine convent in Mariendal (Pirita)’

11:45 Concluding discussion

The symposium is organized by the Turku Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies (University of Turku), Åbo Akademi University, and the reseach project ”Lived Religion in Medieval Finland” (Tampere University)