JMC Personnel

Dr. Benita Heiskanen
Professor of North American Studies, Director

 

Tel.  +358 (0) 29 450 2205
​Email: benita.heiskanen[at]utu.fi
Office: Publicum Building, Room 262

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JMC - Benita Heiskanen

Biography

Benita Heiskanen received her Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Texas at Austin in 2004, and has since then worked in Ireland, Denmark, and Finland. Before joining the JMC, she was employed as Collegium Researcher at the Turku Institute for Advanced Studies (TIAS). She recently completed a four-year Academy of Finland-funded project that studied gun politics and culture in Texas. Based on that research, she coedited (with Albion M. Butters and Pekka M. Kolehmainen) an open access volume, Up in Arms: Gun Imaginaries in Texas (Brill, 2022), including the chapter “Triggered: The Imaginary Realities of Campus Carry in Texas.” In 2021, she edited the forum, “Perceiving Security and Insecurity: The Campus Carry Law in Texas,” for the Journal of American Studies, including the essay “Not in My Office: Rights in an Armed Campus Space.” Her open access article, “Un/Seeing Campus Carry: Experiencing Gun Culture in Texas,” was published in the European Journal of American Studies in 2020. She is a member of the University of Turku Collegiate Council (2022-2025) and serves as President of the American Studies Network (2020-2023) and member of the Advisory Board of the European Journal of American Studies (2021-2029).

Heiskanen’s current research interests include Transnational American Studies, USA-Cuba relations, U.S. gun culture & politics, visual culture, and space and place. Her prior work has dealt with racial/ethnic, class, and gender relations in U.S. history, society, and culture, U.S. Latino/as, the U.S.-Mexico border region, popular culture, and sport. Methodologically, she specializes in transdisciplinary research methods, ethnography, oral history, and visual analysis. Theoretically, she is interested in the politics of visual culture and the ethics of looking; the geography of the body, space, and place; and race, class, and gender formations. She currently directs a project on urban transformation in Havana, which is funded by the KONE Foundation. Her prior research includes the TIAS project that studied experiences and representations of violence on the El Paso, Texas-Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua border between the United States and Mexico. She is a frequent commentator in Finnish media about U.S. history, society, and culture and served as columnist for Suomen Kuvalehti from January 2019 to June 2021.​

Dr. Pekka Kolehmainen
Postdoctoral Fellow

Tel.  +358 (0) 40 73 119 72
Email: pmkole[at]utu.fi
Office: Publicum Building, Room 254

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JMC - Samira Saramo

Biography

Pekka Kolehmainen's Ph.D. dissertation explores the use of rock as an idea in U.S. political media and public discussions during the 1980s and 1990s and the ways in which it was linked to critique and debate around contemporary culture. His interest lies in the cultural processes of Reagan-era United States, the cultural history of U.S. conservatism, and the connections between popular culture and politics. At the JMC, Kolehmainen is part of the Campus Carry research project where he conducts analysis of the Campus Carry debates through both social and regular media.

Mila Seppälä
Doctoral Researcher

Email: mila.t.seppala[at]utu.fi
 

 

 

JMC_Mila Seppälä

Biography

Mila Seppälä specializes in critical discourse analysis particularly in the context of U.S. politics, focusing on areas such as regulatory statues for law enforcement’s use of force and gun policy. At the JMC, she is currently working as project researcher for the project “Tragediauutisoinnin haasteet – median mahdollisuudet käsitellä kouluampumisia,” which focuses on the challenges media faced while reporting on the Parkland, Florida school shooting in 2018.

Seppälä finished her master's degree in 2018 in the Department of English at the University of Turku. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Turku graduate school's Utuling program for Language and Translation Studies, working together with the John Morton Center for North American Studies on an interdisciplinary Ph.D. thesis on gun legislation in the U.S.

Nadia Nava Contreras
Project Researcher

Email: nadia.navacontreras[at]utu.fi
Office: Publicum Building, Room 261

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JMC - Nadia Nava Contreras

Biography

Nadia Nava Contreras holds a master’s degree in History of the Americas from Universidad Michoacana (Mexico) and currently is a PhD candidate in Social Sciences (political history) at the University of Helsinki. Her doctoral research deals with Mexican – Finnish relations from the last third of the 19th century to the 1970’s and revolves around the construction of mutual images, diplomacy and cooperation projects.

At the John Morton Center, Nadia Nava Contreras is part of the CUBAFLUX research team and is interested in studying the ways in which Havana residents perceive, live, cope and represent the rapid urban changes the city is facing.

Tuula Kolehmainen
Adjunct Lecturer


​Email: tuula.kolehmainen[at]utu.fi

 

 

JMC - Tuula Kolehmainen

Dr. Oscar Winberg
Postdoctoral Researcher


​Email: 

 

 

JMC - Oscar Winberg

Jaakko Dickman
Project Researcher

Email: jaakko.k.dickman[at]utu.fi
Office: Publicum Building, Room 261

 

 

JMC_Jaakko Dickman

Biography

Jaakko Dickman has a Master of Arts degree from the Department of Media Studies in the University of Turku. His master’s thesis “Breitbart as an Affective Community: Case Capitol Hill Riots,” analyzes the role of emotions in the processes of interpretation and community building in the right-wing online news comment sections in the US.

At the JMC, Jaakko is a part of the Cuba in Flux: Visualizing Urban Transformation in Havana research project.

Dr. Henna-Riikka Pennanen
Adjunct Lecturer

Email: henna-riikka.pennanen[at]utu.fi

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JMC - Henna-Riikka Pennanen

Biography

Henna-Riikka Pennanen is a TIAS (Turku Institute of Advanced Studies) Post-Doctoral Researcher working at the JMC. Her research project "Rising Dragon, Rising Sun: A Century of Threat Perceptions of China and Japan in the United States" analyzes U.S. elite threat perceptions on China and Japan during three time periods from the turn of the 20th century to the present. The project contributes to international relations studies, U.S. cultural, political and social history, and transnational American studies.

Before joining the JMC in 2017, Pennanen received her Ph.D. in History from the University of Jyväskylä in 2015 and held fixed-term positions as Post-Doctoral Researcher and Project Coordinator in the Department of History and Ethnology at the University of Jyväskylä. In her doctoral work, Pennanen specialized in 19th century conceptual and intellectual history and history of U.S.–East Asian relations. At JMC, Pennanen has conducted projects on contemporary U.S.–East Asia relations and narratives of “the West.”

Advisory Board & Council 2019–

JMC Advisory Board 2019–2023

Benita Heiskanen, Professor of North American Studies, University of Turku

Nina Tynkkynen, Associate Professor, Political Science Unit, Åbo Akademi University

Hannu Salmi, Academy Professor, Cultural History, University of Turku

Henri Vogt, Professor of Political Science, University of Turku

 

JMC Council 2019–2022

Chair

 

Vice Chair

 
Eero Hokkanen

Senior Specialist
Eero Hokkanen
Ministry of Transport and Communications

Minna Ruckenstein Associate Professor
Minna Ruckenstein
Center for Consumer Society Research, University of Helsinki
Helsinki Center for Digital Humanities
       

Members

     
Minna Aila EVP, Marketing and
Corporate Affairs
Minna Aila
Konecranes
Mika Akkanen

Manager of International Affairs
Mika Akkanen
City of Turku

       
Ulla Bergström Director
Ulla Bergström
Stoa Cultural Centre
 
Seija-Liisa Eskola Creative Director and Head of Scripted
Seija-Liisa Eskola
Warner Bros. Finland
       
Lena Grenat Executive Director
Lena Grenat
SAM
Markku Henriksson Professor Emeritus
Markku Henriksson
University of Helsinki
       
Taina Iduozee ARC Director
Taina Iduozee
Embassy of the United States
Juha Itkonen Author
Juha Itkonen
 
       
Soili Kangaskorpi Director, Unit for North America
Soili Kangaskorpi
Ministry for Foreign Affairs
Ulla Koski President
Ulla Koski
Helsingin Sanomat Foundation
       
Teemu Leinonen Associate Professor of New Media Design and Learning
Teemu Leinonen
Aalto University
Juan Carlos Moya


Juan Carlos Moya
Business Investment Solutions
JCM Consulting

       
Mary McDonald-Rissanen Researcher, Writer, Lecturer
Mary McDonald-Rissanen
 
Terhi Mölsä Chief Executive Officer
Terhi Mölsä
Fulbright Finland Foundation
       
Mette Nordström Journalist
Mette Nordström
YLE
Alexandra Pasternak-Jackson Chief Executive Officer
Alexandra Pasternak-Jackson
Amcham
       
Jussi Ropo Chief Financial Officer
Jussi Ropo
Barona
Sampo Ruoppila Research Director
Sampo Ruoppila
University of Turku
       
Laura Saarikoski Managing Editor
Laura Saarikoski
Helsingin Sanomat
Leena Svinhuvud Educational Curator,
Board Member
Leena Svinhufvud
Design Museum, Jenny and
Antti Wihuri Foundation
       
Elina Talonen-Lintunen Executive Director, Fundraising
Elina Talonen-Lintunen
Youth for Understanding Finland
Juha Vuori Professor
Juha Vuori
Tampere University
       
David Yoken Lecturer
David Yoken
Turku University of Applied Sciences
   

 

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Board & Council 2017–2018

JMC Board 2017–2018

Chair

 

Vice Chair

 
Juha Vuori Professor
Juha Vuori
University of Tampere
Sampo Ruoppila Research Director
Sampo Ruoppila
University of Turku
       

Members

     
Taina Iduozee ARC Director
Taina Iduozee
Embassy of the
United States
Elina Mainela-Arnold Professor
Elina Mainela-Arnold
University of Turku
       
Terhi Mölsä Chief Executive Officer
Terhi Mölsä
Fulbright Finland
Foundation sr
Lauri Rapeli Director of Research
Lauri Rapeli
Åbo Akademi University
       
Minna Ruckenstein Senior Researcher
Minna Ruckenstein
Consumer Society
Research Centre,
University of Helsinki
Hannu Salmi Professor
Hannu Salmi
University of Turku

 

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JMC Council 2017–2018

Chair

 

Vice Chair

 
Arja Suominen

SVP, Communications
and CR
Arja Suominen
Finnair

Marjatta Hietala Professor Emerita
Marjatta Hietala
University of Tampere
       

Members

     
Minna Aila EVP, Marketing and
Corporate Affairs
Minna Aila
Konecranes
Jari Ala-Ruona Founder
Jari Ala-Ruona
Aion Sigma
       
Seija-Liisa Eskola
Head of Productions
and Scripted
Seija-Liisa Eskola
Warner Bros. Finland
Kjell Forsen CEO
Kjell Forsén
Vaisala
       
Lena Grenat Executive Director
Lena (Hartikainen) Grenat
SAM
Veera Heinonen Director, Communications and
Public Affairs
Veera Heinonen
Sitra
       
Markku Henriksson Professor Emeritus
Markku Henriksson
University of Helsinki
Eero Hokkanen Communications Manager
Eero Hokkanen
Arctia
       
Kari Huhta Journalist
Kari Huhta
Helsingin Sanomat
Jenni Isola Director, Membership Services
Jenni Isola
Amcham Finland
       
Kristina Kaihari Counsellor of Education
Kristina Kaihari
Finnish National Agency
for Education
Elina Kalkku Under-Secretary of State
Elina Kalkku
Ministry of Foreign
Affairs of Finland
       
Saara Kankaanrinta CEO and Co-Founder
Saara Kankaanrinta
Soilfood
Ulla Koski President
Ulla Koski
Helsingin Sanomat Foundation
       
Tanja Kotro Director of Strategy
Tanja Kotro
Viima Solutions
Jarno Limnell Professor
Jarno Limnéll
Aalto University
       
Tuomo Lähdesmäki Chairman,
Board of Directors
Tuomo Lähdesmäki
Turku University Foundation
Mette Nordström Journalist
Mette Nordström
YLE
       
Minna Nurminen Board Member
Minna Nurminen
Kone Foundation
Leena Svinhuvud Educational Curator,
Board Member
Leena Svinhufvud
Design Museum, Jenny and
Antti Wihuri Foundation
       
Elina Talonen-Lintunen Executive Director, Fundraising
Elina Talonen-Lintunen
Youth for Understanding Finland
Jussi Valtonen Author
Jussi Valtonen
       
Keijo Virtanen Professor Emeritus
Keijo Virtanen
University of Turku
   

 

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