Mehdi Ghasemi (PI): Toward a More Comprehensive and Inclusive Finnish Literature. PoDoCo & Finnish Cultural Foundation, University of Tampere and SKS (2018)
Immigration and globalization have broadened the definition of Finnish literature that was traditionally defined as a piece of literature written by a Finn in Finnish in Finland and for Finns. As a result of immigration from Finland, Finnish immigrants and their second and third generations have written literary works either in Finnish or other languages. In line with these groups of writers, some immigrants to Finland, who have acquired Finnish citizenship or have not, have produced literary works in Finnish or other languages. There are also some authors who have been directly or indirectly influenced by Finnish culture in many different ways and have penned some works in this regard. The existence of these works can challenge the traditional definition of Finnish literature. This project aims to expand the scope of Finnish literature through detecting such authors and collecting their works to be included in the SKS archives and library. It also aims to increase the visibility, readability and research on a number of those works through writing some reviews or scholarly papers on an individual or group of writers or publishing an anthology of those authors and their works. To achieve visibility, we will organize a series of literary activities and interviews with those authors which can also manifest Finnish multilingual literature.
Eeva Kuikka: Human-Animal Relations in Soviet-Russian Literature 1920-2000s. Academy of Finland (2017-2019)
Eeva Kuikka’s dissertation research studies the human-animal-relations in the Soviet-Russian literature of the North 1920-2000s. The research looks at the North and both its human and non-human habitants as material, living organisms, yet intertwined with cultural meanings and discursive practices that shape the ways we see them. The aim of the research is to show in how many ways the North has been represented in Russian literature and how these different “norths” are reflected in the representations of humans and non-human animals.
Toni Lahtinen: Environmental Risks, Dystopias and Myths in Contemporary Literature. Academy of Finland (2017-2020)
Toni Lahtinen will study how environmental risks, dystopias, and myths have become worldwide phenomena in contemporary literature and popular culture. In these pessimistic portrayals of the near future, humans are often represented as an endangered species heading for extinction. While contemporary literature frequently wrestles with ethical dilemmas concerning nature, it also seeks to express new collective fears and shape collective imagination. Lahtinen’s study will provide new perspectives on the ways in which global environmental risks and the near future are perceived and imagined in Finland and other Western societies. It will improve our understanding of environmental crises as cultural, historical and ethical phenomena.
Mikhail Mikhailov (PI): The termbank of legal terms (Finnish-Russian). Cultura Foundation (2017)
The aim of the project is to develop an open online term bank of Finnish-Russian legal terms. The resource will be available for translator training at the universities of Finland. It will be also available to translators and interpreters of Russian.
Liina Lilja: Co-designing social interactions in everyday life. Emil Aaltonen Foundation (2017-2019)
This project investigates second language use and learning in the wild, that is in everyday interactions embedded in diverse sociocultural and material environments outside the classroom. We analyse language learning as an in situ process shaped by the participants’ situated practices and sensitive to the contingencies and material ecologies of different types of social activities. In addition, the project combines methods of interaction research and collaborative design to develop experiential language pedagogy that is based on the learners’ real life needs and places the language user at the centre of the learning process.
Päivi Pahta (PI), Minna Palander-Collin (PI): Democratization, Mediatization and Language Practices in Britain, 1700–1950 (DEMLANG). Academy of Finland (2016-2020), Research Consortium of University of Tampere and University of Helsinki
DEMLANG produces knowledge about the interrelatedness of the sociocultural processes of democratization and mediatization and changes in language practices in Britain over a period of 250 years (1700–1950). The major theoretical aim is to discover the mechanisms operating in the bidirectional relationship between sociocultural change and language change. DEMLANG investigates linguistic features that carry indexical meanings on different levels of discourse and are likely to be significant in understanding language change in relation to the sociocultural processes in focus. The relationship of language practices and sociocultural processes will be empirically studied in public texts mediating ideologies and values, e.g. newspapers, political speeches, parliamentary records, and novels. In order to understand how linguistic resources are used in different contexts and how language practices spread, we will compare public practices with private ones evidenced in letters and diaries.
The data comes from a range of corpora, varying in size from 300,000 to 35 billion words. The large corpora will be used for the data-driven tracing of changing patterns in lexis, phraseology, and syntax, while the smaller corpora with rich metadata provide detailed evidence of discourse in context. The methods combine corpus linguistic and computational analysis with discourse analytical and sociolinguistic methods. Macro-level analyses with Big Data allow pattern identification and the discovery of statistically significant turning points, while micro-level analyses with philologically well-argued smaller corpora make it possible to uncover the complexity of phenomena and to explain emerging, changing and declining linguistic features with the help of historical background data.
Mika Perkiömäki: Meanings of the River in late Soviet and early post-Soviet Russian Prose. Emil Aaltonen Foundation (2017)
Mika Perkiömäki’s dissertation project focuses on meanings of the river in 1970–1990s Russian prose from an ecocritical perspective. The research material consists of autobiographical works of so-called Village Prose authors from the Siberian countryside. The primary focus of the research is on how the research material represents humankind’s relationship with the river, and what meanings are conveyed from this relationship. Perkiömäki’s dissertation will show how Russian literature handled questions related to environmental justice, material ecocriticism, and the Anthropocene through the image of the river already before these concepts had been invented.
Laura Pihkala-Posti: Multimodal, interactive and gamified language learning concepts. Tampereen yliopiston tiederahasto, Emil Öhmann Foundation, Emil Aaltonen Foundation, TEKES and Tampereen kaupungin tiederahasto (2017)
During this interdisciplinary PhD project multimodal, gameful, collaborative, experiential, holistic, action-based and authentic web-supported concepts are developed for (foreign) language education. A central issue is to support different types of learners with different modalities and different types of digital learning possibilities, for example social media platforms, video conferencing, informal games (like Minecraft), and gamified learning approaches. The latter includes approaches such as Berlin Kompass and CityCompass that Pihkala-Posti developed in collaboration with the computer scientists of TAUCHI (Tampere Unit for Computer-Human Interaction) in the projects “Active Learning Spaces and Digital Services”. TRIM (Tampere Research Center for Information and Media) was also included in the research team during Active Learning Spaces.
The main goals of the project are to improve learners’ written and spoken foreign language skills and to strengthen learner autonomy, agency, and student collaboration through interactive digital learning possibilities. The overall goal is to prepare the learners for authentic intercultural communication. The research approach is mainly qualitative, and includes dialogical hermeneutics combined with ideas of action- and design-based research.
Juha Raipola: Contemporary Eco-Dystopian Fiction and Non-Human Agency. Suomen Kulttuurirahasto (2016-2018)
The main aim of Juha Raipola’s research project is to update the theoretical toolbox of dystopian studies into the era of planetary-scale environmental problems. By juxtaposing and combining different theoretical traditions, Raipola aims to not only identify some of the basic characteristics of eco-dystopian fiction, but to provide a critical overview of the earlier tradition of dystopian studies in general. The research project seeks to open up a new theoretical discussion with questions of non-human agency in the forefront. Questioning the traditional view of dystopian fiction as based on mere anthropocentric societal struggle, Raipola foregrounds the recent upsurge of eco-dystopian fiction where the thematic focus falls not upon social obstacles obstructing human action but rather upon the active agency of non-human environment.
Arja Rosenholm (PI), Markku Lehtimäki (PI): The Changing Environment of the North: Cultural Representations and Uses of Water (CEN). Academy of Finland (2017-2021), Consortium University of Tampere & University of Eastern Finland.
The North, including the Arctic, has been regarded as a periphery upon which the centre has reflected itself. In the age of climate change and the exploitation of natural resources, it has become a new centre. The project contends that both human experiences and natural spaces are part of the Arctic reality, and both should be analysed with the tools and methods provided by interdisciplinary humanist studies (history, literary theory, linguistics, and environmental studies). The project covers the area between the Baltic Sea and the Arctic Ocean. It highlights questions of power and representation, the relationship between real and imaginary spaces, and utopian and dystopian visions concerning the North. The project asks what the North and the Arctic look like when we investigate them through water rather than land. The project makes use of the concept of aquagraphy, which includes an analytical means of exploring multiple northern waters turned into glaciers, ice, snow, and floods.