The John Morton Center hosts "Current Issues" lectures, seminars, conferences, and workshops on the histories, societies, politics and cultures of North American nations.

The JMC strives to engage in dialogue with multiple academic, cultural, political, and ideological viewpoints. We welcome speakers from a range of different backgrounds and persuasions. The views of our guests do not represent those of the Center.

Upcoming Events

September 6: Current Issues Seminar "Up In Arms: Making Sense of Gun Culture in the United States"
Date: Friday, September 6, 2019
Time: 9:1517:00
Place: UTU, Calonia (Caloniankuja 3), Lecture Hall Cal1

PROGRAM [Subject to Change]

9:159:30 Opening Remarks

9:3010:15 Professor Benita Heiskanen (JMC) [title TBA]

10:1511:00 Dr. Sampo Ruoppila (UTU) [title TBA]

11:0011:45 Dr. Lotta Kähkönen (JMC) [title TBA]

11:4513:15 Lunch Break

13:1514:00 Dr. Maiju Kannisto (JMC) & Dr. Kirsi Cheas (JMC) [title TBA]

14:0015:00 Roundtable [title TBA]

Dr. Maarit Pedak (University of Helsinki)
Professor Pekka Räsänen (UTU)
Managing Editor Laura Saarikoski (Helsingin Sanomat)
Dr. Jari Väliverronen (Tampere University)

15:0015:30 Break

15:3017:00 Documentary Film Screening & Discussion

“Gunned Down: The Power of the NRA” (2015)


Students may earn 2 ECTS for the North American Studies program (NAMS1020) by attending the seminar and writing a 6-8 page report. Alternatively, students may collect lecture pass entries.

October 11–12: "American Voices" Seminar
Date: Friday-Saturday, October 1112, 2019
Time: [TBA]
Place: University of Turku, Publicum (Assistentinkatu 7), Pub3

"American Voices" provides an opportunity to learn about various aspects of U.S. society and culture through the experiences of American Fulbright grantees currently in Finland. The seminar is organized each year by the UTU North American Studies Program and the Fulbright Finland Foundationand it is supported by the U.S. Embassy in Helsinki.

More information forthcoming.

November 14: "The Politics of Hate: Education and Strategies of Exclusion"
Date: Thursday, November 14, 2019
Time: 14–16
Place: [TBA]

Speaker: Professor Angelia Wilson (University of Manchester)

The event is organized jointly with the Turku Institute for Advanced Studies (TIAS). More information forthcoming.

February 19–21: "Histories of Death: An International Symposium"
Date: Wednesday–Friday, February 19-21, 2020
Time: [TBA]
Place: University of Turku


Our understandings of death come with long and complex histories, shaped by culture, place, time, power, and identities. Historical analysis allows us to better understand the paths that have led to the recent move toward “death positivity,” and the popularity of death doulas, “death cafes,” alternative and ecological burial solutions, and new understandings of grief. The interdisciplinary and rapidly growing field of Death Studies raises awareness about how we die and mourn, and the ways social factors — class, migrant background, and gender, among them — can result in unequal access to “good death” in many countries and communities today. This International Symposium seeks to delve into the many varied and interwoven Histories of Death to further explore the traditions, ideologies, and institutions that shape our experiences with death.

Death sets people into action, caring for the dying, the deceased, and the grieving in ways that range from the intimate to the professional. The Histories of Death Symposium invites researchers to share their work and engage in dialogue about the different ways people have approached dying, death, and mourning from everyday, cultural, and structural perspectives. The symposium calls for papers, posters, or creative works that may analyze:

  •     the social and everyday histories of death
  •     histories of death in the context of migration(s)
  •     narratives and/or life writing of death and mourning
  •     histories of emotion and mourning
  •     sensory and corporeal histories of death and mourning
  •     childhood and family histories of death
  •     health, gerontological, and palliative care histories
  •     art and craftwork in histories of death
  •     methods and ethics for the study of death in history.

Proposals across times and places are welcome. Though the focus is on death and mourning in historical contexts, the symposium is particularly interested in exploring inter/transdisciplinary approaches, and scholars from all backgrounds are welcome to participate.

Please email abstracts of 250 words, indicating whether you are proposing a paper presentation, poster presentations, or creative work, together with a max. 150-word bio, including name, institutional affiliation and position, and email address, to by August 15, 2019.

The Symposium is hosted by the JMC at the University of Turku’s Department of Philosophy, Political Science, and Contemporary History. The symposium in funded by the Academy of Finland.

Information about registration, plenary speakers, travel, and accommodation will be available shortly on the Symposium website.



Event Archive