Current Research Projects

Campus Carry

Academy of Finland Logo

Academy of Finland Research Project, 2017​–2021

This project studies the implications of the Texas state “Campus Carry” gun legislation (SB 11) that came into effect on August 1, 2016. Through qualitative and quantitative research, the project focuses on changing gendered and spatial dynamics at The University of Texas at Austin and St. Edward’s University campuses. The research introduces a people-centered focus that studies the ways in which campus communities experience, negotiate, and challenge these changes. The project produces original research data and cutting-edge cultural analysis on the ramifications of gun legislation on people’s lives. The research also contributes to broader scholarly and public debates about the U.S. Second Amendment right to bear arms.

Email: campuscarry[at]​


Principal Investigator

Benita Heiskanen   Dr. Benita Heiskanen


Albion Butters   Dr. Albion M. Butters

Elina Kestilä-Kekkonen

  Prof. Elina Kestilä-Kekkonen
Pekka Kolehmainen   Ph.D. Cand. Pekka Kolehmainen
Lotta Kähkönen   Dr. Lotta Kähkönen
Sampo Ruoppila   Dr. Sampo Ruoppila

Kone Foundation Logo

Kone Foundation Project, 2019–2021

CUBAFLUX examines visual displays and everyday experiences of urban transformation in Havana from 2019 to 2021. The re-establishment of diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba that began in December 2014 provides a new geopolitical context to study the ways in which transnational policy-making and multinational financial investments impact residents’ everyday experiences and the visual landscape of Havana. The purpose of the project is to juxtapose visual changes occurring in four parts of the city with the social experiences of Havana residents. This research pushes beyond scholarship on policy-making by introducing a robust people-centered focus that interrogates the ways in which Cubans experience, negotiate, and represent societal changes. The project produces original fieldwork data and cutting-edge cultural analysis with explanatory power that underscores people’s agency at the crux of societal transitions, as impacted by the détente development. On a global scale, it contributes new research knowledge about the last traces of the Cold War era in the Americas.


Principal Investigator

Benita Heiskanen   Dr. Benita Heiskanen


Nadia Nava Contreras   Nadia Nava Contreras

Empty Profile Picture

  María A. Gutiérrez Bascón
Empty Profile Picture   Larissa Pelle
Tragediauutisoinnin haasteet – median mahdollisuudet käsitellä kouluampumisia


Helsingin Sanomat Foundation Research Project, 2019

The research project examines U.S. and Finnish media’s reporting of the 2018 high school shootings in Parkland, Florida. The project produces a new, comparative data base on reporting on school shootings and opens up a new avenue for discussing the challenges posed by such reporting. The project considers the tensions between traditional media and social media based #-activism, with concrete suggestions for journalists’ work.


Principal Investigator

Benita Heiskanen   Dr. Benita Heiskanen


Kirsi Cheas   Dr. Kirsi Cheas

Maiju Kannisto

  Dr. Maiju Kannisto

Research Assistant

Jaakko Hirvioja   Jaakko Hirvioja



JMC Research Network

The JMC Research Network provides a forum to bring together junior and senior scholars from various inter/disciplinary backgrounds studying the United States, Canada,  Mexico, and the Caribbean. It explores interdisciplinary themes dealing with North American Studies and provides resources for students, scholars, and the public.

The network’s activities comprise seminars, roundtables, writing and publishing initiatives, and collaborative project workshops. The JMC Research Network also provides a Directory of Experts (see below) to serve the interests of the public and the media in Finland and abroad.

To receive news and updates from the JMC Research Network, please subscribe to our mailing list here. If you would like to join the Network and the Directory of Experts, please contact us at jmc[at]