University of Helsinki, May 16-18, 2018

PRELIMINARY PROGRAM (to be updated!)


WEDNESDAY, May 16 (2018)


10.00-12.00 Opening Ceremonies & Keynotes

(University Main Building, Great Hall, Unioninkatu 34)

Chair: Conference President Mikko Saikku (University of Helsinki)

Welcome Address by the Ambassador of Canada, Andrée Cooligan

Welcome Address by the Ambassador/Chargé d’Affaires of the United States (TO BE CONFIRMED)

Opening the Conference by Rector Jukka Kola (University of Helsinki) (TO BE CONFIRMED)

American Studies Keynote by Amy Kaplan (University of Pennsylvania): Title TBA

Canadian Studies Keynote by Graeme Wynn (University of British Columbia): “Ideas, Ideals, and Ideologies: Maps of Canadian Nature”


12.00-13.00 Lunch (Unicafe Topelia)


13.00 -14.30 Wednesday Early Afternoon Parallel Workshops & Panels

(Topelia A132, A105, A106)


A132: PANEL “Words Can Change”: Identities, Ideology, Boundaries, and Revision in the Writing of Louise Erdrich

Chair John Moe (Ohio State University)

– John F. Moe (Ohio State University): “Contemporary Ideologies of American Indian Identity, Dual Identity, Spanning Boundaries, and a Sense of Belonging: Literary and Historic Judgment in the Writing of Louise Erdrich”

– Tina Parke-Sutherland (Stephens College, Missouri): “Beadworking the Page: Louise Erdrich and The Antelope Wife

– Mark Shackleton (University of Helsinki): “Louise Erdrich’s Justice Trilogy: Can Old Wounds be Healed, Can Justice Be Found?”


A105: America Going to the Movies and to the TV

Chair: Mimi White (Northwestern University)

– Jan Björke (University of Tampere) “Texas—Part of West or South in Movies and Television Series about Texas Rangers”

– Thomas Cobb (University of Birmingham) “Decade of Disarray: Hollywood allegories of US foreign policy, 1999-2009”

– Maria Holmgren Troy (Karlstad University): “Adapting Ideologies: Stephen King’s Kingdom Hospital and Matt Reeves’s Let Me In


A106: Methods, Values, and American Historiography

Chair Ari Helo (University of Helsinki)

– Rachel Cassidy (University of New Mexico): “Buried History: Reclaiming Native Sovereignty in the Nation’s Capital”

– John S. Gilkeson (Arizona State University): “The ‘Myth-and-Symbol School’ in Retrospect: Thoughts toward a History of the American Studies Movement”

– Pasi J. Kallio (University of Helsinki): “The Eagle of Minerva Flies Only at Dusk? Classic U.S. (Idea of) History Meets the Conundrum of History”


14.30-15.00 Coffee (Unicafe Topelia)


15.00-16.30 Wednesday Late Afternoon Parallel Panels

(Topelia A132, A105, A106)

A132: PANEL: Fascism Comes to the US: Three Fictional Renderings of the Rise of American Nazism

Chair: Tina Parke-Sutherland (Stephens College, Missouri)

– Bent Sørensen (Aalborg University): “Ideologies and Realities in Philip K. Dick’s The Man in the High Castle (1963)”

– Howard Sklar (University of Helsinki): “Memoir as Counter-Narrative: Re-imagining the Self in Roth’s The Plot Against America

– Bo Pettersson (University of Helsinki): “The Problems with Liberal Humanism: J. S. Mill, Sinclair Lewis, Timothy Snyder”


A105: PANEL “The Fierce Urgency of Now”: The Long Civil Rights Movement in Popular Memory and Public History

Chair: Cheryl Greenberg (Trinity College, CT)

– Francoise Hamlin (Brown University): “Remembering Anne Moody and Coming of Age in Mississippi”

– Patrick Miller (Northeastern Illinois University): “From Charleston to Charlottesville: Race and the Politics of Popular Memory”

– Elliott Gorn (Loyola University): “Forgetting Emmett. Then Remembering Him”


A106: PANEL Cold War Neighbors: North American Ideals and Visions of the Soviet Menace

Chair: Allan Winkler (Miami University, Ohio)

– Lauren Turek (Trinity University, TX):  “To Free Georgi Vins: U.S.-Canadian Baptists and the Fight for International Religious Liberty”

– Susan Colbourn (University of Toronto): “Creating Détente From Below: Canadian and US Citizen Diplomacy in the Late Cold War”

– Simon Miles (Duke University): “Bridges and Bridgekeepers: Western Intermediaries in Konstantin Chernenko’s Kremlin”


17.00 MLE/Fulbright Meeting & Reception (by invitation only) in City Hall




9.30-11.00 Thursday Early Morning Parallel Workshops & Panels

(Topelia A132, A105, A106, F211)


A132: Chinese-American Literature

Chair: Mark Shackleton (University of Helsinki)

– Wilma Andersson (University of Helsinki): “Burial rites and assimilation in Maxine Hong Kingston’s China Men

– Jie Feng (Freie Universität Berlin): “Memory, Amnesia, and Diasporic Revelations: The Melodramatic Memory of 1989 in Yiyun Li’s Novel Kinder Than Solitude

– Anna Pehkoranta (University of Jyväskylä): “‘Seeking Sanctuary in Misremembering:’ Social Responsibility and Historical Injustice in Yiyun Li’s Kinder Than Solitude and Ha Jin’s The Boat Rocker


A105: PANEL Mutatis Mutandis? Honor Culture in the Mid-Nineteenth Century South

Chair: Ari Helo (University of Helsinki)

– Anne Koivusalo (University of Helsinki): “Humiliating Attack and Gentlemanly Riposte: Safeguarding a Reputation with Honorable Emotional Expression in the Nineteenth-Century South”

– Lawrence T. McDonnell (Iowa State University): “The Scoundrel in the Wax Museum: Honor, Celebrity, and Crime in Antebellum America”

– Sarah E. Gardner (Mercer University): “‘What Like a Bullet Can Undeceive?’: Honor’s Failings in the Wartime Confederacy”


A106: PANEL Presidential Politics, Clashing Ideologies, and the Future of the Two-Party System in the United States

Chair: John Moore (California State Polytechnic University)

– James Henson (University of Texas): “Conservative Ideology in the U.S. at the Intersection of the Tea Party and Donald Trump: Some Evidence from Texas”

– Jeanine E. Kraybill (California State University): “Tweeting Congressional-Executive Relations: A Case Study of President Trump and the Healthcare Debate”

– Jerry Pubantz (University of North Carolina): “The Preeminence of the Rural/Urban Divide in Contemporary U.S. National and State Elections”


F211:  PANEL The United States and Finland: Managing Identities and Membership in Racially Complex Societies

Chair: Ann Phoenix (Collegium, University of Helsinki)

– Paul Spickard (University of California, Santa Barbara): “Shape Shifters: A Theory of Racial Change”

– Rana Razek (University of California, Santa Barbara): “Between Arab and Black: Zammouri, Race, and Arab American Identity”

– Jasmine Kelekay (University of California, Santa Barbara): “Who Gets to be Finnish? Race, Ethnicity, and Nationality in Afro-Finnish Hip Hop”


11.00-11.30 Coffee


11.30-13.00 Thursday Late Morning Parallel Workshops & Panels

(Topelia A132, A105, A106, F211)


A132: Representations of the Environment

Chair: Mark Shackleton (University of Helsinki)

– Sangeetha Puthiyedath (The English and Foreign Languages University Hyderabad, India): “Exterior as Interior: The depiction of Canadian landscape in Margaret Atwood’s Surfacing

– Noemi Quagliati (Ludwig-Maximilian University of Munich): “Modern Representations of Nature: Transatlantic Explorations into Photography”

– Inna Sukhenko (University of Helsinki): “‘Nuclear’ Narrative within the North-American Environmental Literary Studies: From ‘Nuclear’ Memoirs to Nuclear Diplomacy”


A105: Indigenous Sovereignty

Chair: Rani-Henrik Andersson (Collegium, University of Helsinki)

– Mike Barthelemy (University of New Mexico): “Hidatsa Iruck-pah-goo-ah Ida Awadi – Hidatsa and Mandan geographies: Using Indigenous Topographies to further our Understanding of Indigenous Perspectives in the Historical Narrative”

– Kaveh Mowahed (University of New Mexico): “Insanity in Late Territorial New Mexico”

– L. Sasha Gora (University of Munich) “Seal: Food, Ideology and Indigenous Sovereignty”


A106: North-American Educational Influences around the World

Chair: Cheryl Greenberg (Trinity College, CT)

– Mátyás Bánhegyi (Budapest Business School) & Judit Nagy (Károli Gáspár University): “Ideas and Ideals of Koreanness in Canada: Teaching Materials for the English Classroom”

– Hanna Honkamäkilä (University of Oulu) “How the United States influenced the development of the Finnish higher education system: The founding of the University of Oulu in 1958”


F211: PANEL Peace With Honor? Nation-Building and Human Rights in the Twilight of American Empire

Chair: Elliott Gorn (Loyola University Chicago)

– Sheyda Jahanbani (University of Kansas): “‘New Directions:’ Nation-Building After Vietnam”

– Sarah B. Snyder (American University): “Pistolas de la Paz: Challenging Ideas about U.S. Foreign Policy in the 1960s”

– Vanessa Walker (Amherst College): “Normalization and Human Rights: The Curious Case of Carter and Cuba”


13.00-14.00 Lunch (Unicafe Topelia)


14.00-16.00 Thursday Afternoon Parallel Workshops & Panels (2-hour sessions!)

(Topelia A132, A105, A106, F211)


A105: Conceptualizing/Historicizing Race (4)

Chair: Elise Lemire (Purchase College, NY)

– Jonathan C. Hagel (University of Kansas): “‘Man’s Most Dangerous Myth’: The Global Fight Against Fascism and the Origins of Modern Antiracist Ideology

– Niko Heikkilä (University of Turku) “Ideology and Race in the Cultural Politics of the Civil Rights-Era Klan”

– Mark A. Brandon (Ludwig-Maximilians University, Munich):  “Aleš Hrdlička, Race Expert”

– Adela Belly-Scratcher (Manchester Metropolitan University) “161 Crew’s American Mission”


A106: Media Politics (4)

Chair: Daniel Cobb (University of Helsinki)

– Oscar Winberg (Åbo Akademi University) “Family Viewing Hour: The Fights over Censorship of Television Entertainment in the 1970s”

– Pekka Kolehmainen (University of Turku) “‘Not a high form of patriotism, but there is in the coltishness something very American:’ Ideas of Rock in Defining ‘Americanness’ in the National Review during the 1980s”

– Ibrahim Berrada (Laurentian University) “Promoting Canadian Media Content in a Digitalized, Globalized and Competitive World”

– Mimi White (Northwestern University) “Living the American Ideal in Made-for-Hallmark Movies”


F211: Environmental (Non)Policies in North America (4)

Chair: Paula Saari (University of Helsinki)

– Sherri Sheu (University of Colorado, Boulder) “‘Ghastly Relics of a Merciless Slaughter’: Visualizing Extinction at the 1888 Ohio Valley Exposition”

– Rani-Henrik Andersson (Collegium, University of Helsinki) “Bridging Cultural Concepts of Nature: A Transnational Study on Indigenous Places and Public Spaces”

– Peter V. Krats (University of Western Ontario): “Northern Barrens, Treasure Chests, Resource Wastelands and Environmental Successes: Changing Ideologies of Staples and Nature in the Keweenaw, Michigan and Sudbury, Ontario regions”

– Wenjun Yang (University of Kansas): “Cleaning Up the Country: History of By-products in the Great Plains 1850s-1950s”


16.00-16.30 Coffee (Unicafe Topelia)


16.30-17.30 Pehr Kalm Plenary

F211: Chair: Ari Helo (University of Helsinki)

– Alan Taylor (University of Virginia): “Thomas Jefferson’s Education”


18.00 MLE Reception by the University of Helsinki (by invitation only) [TO BE CONFIRMED]


FRIDAY, May 18


9.30-11.00 Friday Early Morning Parallel Workshops & Panels

(Topelia A105, A106, A132, F211)


A132: Race in Literature

Chair: Howard Sklar (University of Helsinki)

– Andrew J. Ploeg (Bilkent University): “Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead and the Legacy of John Brown”

– Tuula Kolehmainen (University of Helsinki): “Narrating Disability, Narrating Ideology: Toni Cade Bambara’s Short Fiction”

– Constante González Groba (University of Santiago) “Making Black Lives Matter: Keeping the Memory of Emmett Till Alive in Southern Autobiography”


A105: Identity Politics and Ethnic Minorities

Chair: Patrick Miller (Northeastern Illinois University)

– Anna-Leena Korpijärvi (University of Helsinki): “Bitter Tea on the Shanghai Express: Race, religion and womanhood in the films The Bitter Tea of General Yen and Shanghai Express”

– Margaret Connell-Szasz (University of New Mexico): “The Tribal Nation College: An Idea Rooted in the Tradition of Storytelling”

– Saara Kekki (University of Helsinki): “Ideas, Ideals, and Ideologies: How the Japanese Americans Were Dispersed and Came Back Together”


A106: Go Global: Eco-Capitalism

Chair: Elliot Gorn (Loyola University)

– James Schwoch (Northwestern University): “North America and the Hockey Stick: the Face-Off over Climate Change”

– Christian Gunkel (University of Tübingen): “Eco-Capitalism: A Short Cut to Sustainability or just a Band-Aid Solution?”

– Małgorzata Poks (University of Silesia): “The Non-Human Damné and the Colonial Paradigm of War”


F211: Images of Genuine Americanness

Chair: Marika Sandell (University of Helsinki)

– Roger L. Nichols (University of Arizona): “The Wild West and Tourism”

– Michael E. Parrish (University of California, San Diego) “Atticus Finch doesn’t live here anymore: Law, Lawyers, and Justice in American Films since World War II”

– Scott Stevens (Syracuse University): “Indigenous Travel as Activism”


11.00-11.30 Coffee


11.30-13.00 Friday Late Morning Parallel Workshops & Panels

(Topelia A105, A106, A132, F211)


A132: American Fiction and Identity

Chair: Howard Sklar (University of Helsinki)

– Roman Kushnir (University of Jyväskylä): “Music in Constructing Transcultural Finnish American Identities in a Selection of Finnish American Fiction”

– Tatiana Potnitseva (Oles’ Honchar National University): “American Greatcoat for Ostap Bender: Mark Twain’s Impact on the Soviet Literature”

– Jane Weiss (Kingsborough Community College of CUNY): “‘Oughtn’t We To Think About People?’ Nineteenth-Century American Domestic Fiction and Reformist Ideals”


A105: Canada – U.S. Relations in Historical Perspective

Chair: Paula Saari (University of Helsinki)

– Christopher Kirkey (State University of New York, College at Plattsburgh) & Michael Hawes (Fulbright Canada): “Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Directions in Canadian Foreign Policy: Historical Forces and Current Trends”

– Hanna Smyth (University of Oxford): “‘Here Canada has poured forth her soul’: Canadian and American First World War graves as negotiations of identity”


A106: Political History Matters

Chair Ari Helo (University of Helsinki)

– Henry Oinas-Kukkonen (University of Oulu): Isolationism or help to Finland as Congressman Francis H. Case’s Dilemma

– John Allphin Moore, Jr. (California State Polytechnic University): “James Madison, David Hume, and Modern Political Parties”

–  Sean Dinces (Long Beach City College, California): “Cookies, Capital, and Labor on Chicago’s South Side: A Case Study in Urban American Employment Policy since 1980”


F211: Natural Resources and People’s Rights

Chair: Rani-Henrik Andersson (Collegium, University of Helsinki)

– Mark D. Hersey (Mississippi State University): “The Ecology of Segregation: Race and the Southern Landscape in the New Deal Era”

– C. Parker Krieg (University of Helsinki): “Networks beyond Extraction: The Aesthetics of Peripheral Oil Industries”

– Josh Reid (University of Washington): “Indigenous Activism in the Era of Standing Rock: The Limits of Liberty”


13.00-14.00 Lunch (Unicafe Topelia)


14.00-15.30 Friday Early Afternoon Parallel Workshops & Panels

(Topelia A105, A106, A132, F211)


A132: Depressing scenarios?: Trump, Apocalypse, and Serial Killer Fiction

Chair: Tina Parke-Sutherland (Stephens College, Missouri)

– Clara Juncker (University of Southern Denmark) “Inhabiting Fantasyland: J. D. Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy (2016)”

– Tatiana Prorokova (Philipps University of Marburg): “Apocalypse, Religion, and Faith in Cormac McCarthy’s The Road

– Mona Raeisian (Philipps University of Marburg): “(De)-constructing Bodies: Ideology and Representation of the Human Body in American Serial Killer Fiction”


A105: The 1960s Legacies in Rights Talks

Chair: Allan Winkler (Miami University, Ohio)

– Reetta Humalajoki (JMC, University of Turku): “Lifting the ‘Buckskin Curtain’: Native Intellectual Writing in the U.S. and Canada in 1969”

– Cheryl Greenberg (Trinity College in Hartford, CT): “Teaching the Civil Rights Movement in the Age of Trump”

– Daniel M. Cobb (University of Helsinki): “‘Long Time Gone?’: The Poor People’s Campaign Turns Fifty”


A106: Identity Politics

Chair: Anna-Leena Korpijärvi (University of Helsinki)

– Michel S. Beaulieu (Lakehead University, Canada): “‘On The Highway of Destiny’? Reconceiving the Lakehead as a Liminal Space”

–  Alon Shalev Hebrew (University of Jerusalem):  “The Counter Ideology of the “Yeshivish” Jewish Orthodoxy in America”

– Elise Lemire (Purchase College, NY): “Maurice Richard, the Quiet Revolution, and the Symbol of the Maple Leaf in ‘Le Chandail de Hockey'”


F211: Trump Politics

Chair: Ari Helo (University of Helsinki)

– Markku Ruotsila (University of Helsinki): “Trump and the Christian Right: The Political Theology Behind the Mutual Attraction”

– Frédérick Gagnon (University of Québec, Montreal) “‘I Love Canada’: Pessimistic and Optimistic Scenarios for Canada-U.S. Relations in Donald Trump’s Time”

– Mark C. Miller (Clark University): “Trump v. The U.S. Federal Courts”


15.30-16.00 Coffee (Unicafe Topelia)


16.00-17.30  Friday Late Afternoon Parallel Workshops & Panels

(Topelia A105, A106, A132, F211)


A105: Women’s Political Rights

Chair: Mark C. Miller (Clark University)

– Andreanne Bissonnette (University of Quebec at Montreal): “Caged Women: Migration, mobility and access to health services in Texas and Arizona”

– Jenna Kirker (McMaster University): “Ferocious Women”: Questions of gender, ethnicity and race surrounding the 1909 Freight Handler’s Strike

– Elizabeth McCallion (Queen’s University): “Towards a Gender Equal Senate”


A106: The Big Picture: American Imperialism, Anti-Imperialism, or only Exceptionalism

Chair: Daniel Cobb (University of Helsinki)

– Marc-William Palen (University of Exeter): “American Anti-Imperialism and Economic Liberalism, 1846-1921”

– Boyd Cothran (York University): “Spreading Freedom Around the World: Discourses of Economic and Political Liberalism in the United States in 1873”

– Luana Salvarani (University of Parma) “‘Rushing up to a giant manhood’: Educational Roots of American Exceptionalism”


F211: Culture and Subculture

Chair: Mark Shackleton (University of Helsinki)

– Brian Lloyd (University of California, Riverside): “Gary Snyder, the Great Subculture, and the 1960s”

– Jeffrey L. Meikle (University of Texas at Austin): “Virtual Identities and Ideologies: Laurie Anderson’s United States I-IV

– Mihaela Harper (Bilkent University): “The Mechanics of American Guilt: The Leftovers and the Impasse of Contemporary Life”


18.00-21.00 MLE Buffet with Closing Remarks by Mikko Saikku and Music Performance by Allan Winkler & Daniel Cobb “American Folksongs: A Reflection of American Culture” at the Tiedekulma/Think Corner Stage on Yliopistonkatu 4 (by invitation only)



  • University of Helsinki
  • Embassy of Canada to Finland | Ambassade du Canada en Finlande
  • Embassy of the United States to Finland
  • Fulbright Finland Foundation