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About the Contributors

The Electronic Journal of the Department of English
at the University of Helsinki

ISSN 1457-9960

Volume 5, 2009

Emotions Issue

About the Contributors

Päivi Kuivalainen (Lic. Phil.) is a researcher in the Research Unit of Variation, Change and Contacts in English. She has also worked as a university lecturer in the Department of English at the University of Helsinki and as a teacher of English in Martinlaakso upper secondary school.

Marja-Liisa Helenius is a Ph.D. student at the Department of English, University of Helsinki.  She has always been interested in minority writing, and she wrote her MA thesis on mediation and healing in Pueblo Indian author Leslie Marmon Silko’s novel Ceremony, and graduated with a Master of Arts degree from the University of Helsinki in 2006.  She started her postgraduate studies in August 2007, continuing with research in mediation in Silko’s novels.  She is examining the large variety of different cultural material that Silko embeds in all her novels, and showing how this material contributes to the theme of cultural mediation.  She has presented papers on her research at the Maple Leaf and Eagle Conference on North American and Canadian Studies in Helsinki in 2006 and 2008, as well as the American Indian Workshop at the University of Tromso, Norway, in May 2008, and attended a Master Class in Native American Literature in Geneva, Switzerland, in March 2008.

Aila Malkki is a postgraduate student at the Department of English, University of Helsinki.  Her dissertation focuses on aspects of visualization in translation.

Elizabeth Peterson is a university lecturer in linguistics at the Department of English at the University of Helsinki. She has held similar positions at the Universities of Jyväskylä and Joensuu, as well as Indiana University-Bloomington (where she completed her Ph.D. in general linguistics and Finnish studies). Her research and teaching interests include sociolinguistics, pragmatics, and English as a global language.

Verna Heikkilä is a postgraduate student at the University of Helsinki Department of English. She is working on a Ph.D. thesis on autobiographical Canadian Métis literature.

Merja Polvinen is a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of English, University of Helsinki. She was the coordinator of the Finnish Graduate School of Literary Studies from 2003 to 2007 and defended her PhD dissertation on chaos theory and literature in December 2008. She has published articles in The European Journal of English Studies and New Formations and is one of the editors (with Harri Veivo and Bo Pettersson) of Cognition and Literary Interpretation in Practice (2005). Her current work on cognition, mimesis and metafiction is funded by the Academy of Finland and is part of a cooperative project entitled “Styles of Mimesis” (

Juuso Aarnio holds a doctoral degree in English philology from the Department of English at the University of Helsinki. He currently works as a part-time teacher both at the English department and the university’s Language Centre, and translates non-fiction.

Ritva Leppihalme received her doctorate in 1994. She is a translation scholar best known for her work on the translation of allusions but she has also written on other aspects of literary translation and translation teaching. As Docent of English translation at the Department, she is currently supervising the work of seven postgraduate students.

Heli Tissari wrote her doctoral dissertation on the senses of the English word LOVE and its conceptual metaphors in Early Modern (ca. 1500–1700) and Present-day English in 2003. She then spent three years as a Fellow at the Helsinki Collegium working on other words for emotions (2004–2007). She now continues to do research on emotions, word meaning / concepts and metaphor at the Research Unit for Variation, Contacts and Change in English at the Department of English, University of Helsinki.

Howard Sklar completed his doctorate in 2008 through the Department of English at the University of Helsinki, Finland, where he teaches part-time.  His dissertation, The Art of Sympathy: Forms of Moral and Emotional Persuasion in Fiction, considers how particular stories, through a variety of narrative techniques, persuade readers to feel sympathy for characters who seem unattractive, undesirable or generally outside of the accepted norms of the societies in which they live.  His essays on narrative sympathy have been published in Poetics Today and Partial Answers, among other journals and essay collections. His current research involves an examination of the ways that narratives — in fiction, film, autobiography, graphic novels, and interviews — represent the intellectually disabled.  In addition to his university-related work, Sklar teaches English in the public schools of Espoo, Finland.