Oikeustieteellisen tiedekunnan Tutkija valokeilassa -uutissarjassa esittelyvuorossa on akatemiatutkija Miriam Tedeschi.
Name: Miriam Tedeschi
Position in the Faculty of Law: Academy of Finland researcher
Degrees: Master of Arts (Philosophy); BSc (Informatics and Communication); Ph.D. (Regional Planning and Public Policies); Docent (Human Geography, with specialization in non-representational theories)
Fields of interest: spatial justice, data justice, new materialism, urban information ethics, urban security, information architecture, ethnography
Describe your career path. What led you to where you are today?
My career path has not been straightforward, and I was far from having a clear plan at the beginning. It seems that I am meant to cross and interlace different disciplines, and I started very early to do that, without knowing it. After a Master of Arts in Philosophy, I started working in the ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) field as a research-based consultant and, while working, took a second degree (BSc in Informatics and Communication) to be able to better carry out my job.
I did it for 15 years, but I have always wanted to be a researcher. And I have always been fascinated by spaces, especially their blended (physical/digital) dimension, which is what I wanted to research. This is the reason why, while I was still working as a consultant and studying for a second degree, I also started applying to enter a Ph.D. program. At that time, I felt that my age and my long career experience outside academia were against me, but I nevertheless insisted until I won the scholarship to carry out a Ph.D. in Regional Planning and Public Policies in Venice (Italy).
Academy of Finland researcher Miriam Tedeschi has interlaced different disciplines on her career path.
During my three-year Ph.D., I again found myself crossing numerous disciplines: I was part of both the Department of Design and Planning in Complex Environments in Venice and a series of lucky circumstances led me to the Law and Theory Lab, University of Westminster (London), where I am still associated as a Lab fellow. Finally, for my first PostDocs, I moved to the disciplines of human and legal geographies at the University of Turku, and, hopefully, I have now found my place (and peace) here! At the end of the day, I think that a combination of motivation, stubbornness, passion for research, and luck have brought me where I am now.
What projects are you currently working on?
I am the Principal Investigator of my own project, JuDiCe (Justice in Digital Spaces), funded by Research Council of Finland.
Have your interests evolved since finishing your studies?
I think that the description of my career path somehow replies to this question as well. Even though my seamless exercise of ‘crossing and intersecting disciplines’ might appear incoherent at a first glance, I feel that, in the end, my research interests keep retaining a strong coherence. By combining empirical (mainly ethnographic and autoethnographic) work with non-representational theories and new materialisms, I have studied a variety of spatio-legal phenomena during my academic path: I started with segregated and criminalized spaces with my Ph.D. research project; I then moved to migratory spaces and urban nature for my first PostDocs; and finished with the dream-of-a-lifetime research, blended (physical/digital) spaces, with my current project, JuDiCe.
What would you be, if you were not a researcher?
As I said, before being accepted into a Ph.D. doctoral school in 2014, I was a research-based ICT consultant, working for both public administrations and private companies. I think I would go back to that and maybe redirect my interests towards urban policy analyses and evaluation or other similar consultancy roles.
What inspires you?
My favourite artist, the Dutch M.C. Escher, and his paradoxical, impossible, upside-down, and inside-out spaces are always in my mind and remain an endless source of ideas and challenges when I study spatio-legal settings. And space itself is never boring – it permeates us in unpredictable ways, and I find that there is always something new to discover. I have also found many inspiring people here at the Faculty of Law, especially in the research group where I belong, Law, Space, and Justice; their enthusiasm and willingness to always take on new challenges give me motivation to continue!
Space permeates us in unpredictable ways, says Tedeschi.
Photos: Minna Nerg / University of Turku.