Preliminary program in PDF form: SESSIONS MLE 2018

PRELIMINARY PROGRAM (to be updated!)




8.30-9.30 Registration

Registration Desk opens at 8.30 am (Topelia, Unioninkatu 38A)

(Conference Office: Topelia, Room A109)


10.00-12.00 Opening & 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 Dean Hanna Snellman
  • American Studies Keynote by Amy Kaplan (University of Pennsylvania): “Invincible Victim: Representations of Israel in US Culture”
  • 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 A105, A106, F211)


A105: 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”


A106: 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 Liberalism: J. S. Mill, Sinclair Lewis, Timothy Snyder”


F211: 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”


  • 17.00 Fulbright/MLE Meeting & Evening Reception (by invitation only) in Helsinki City Hall, Pohjoisesplanadi 11-13.





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: Robert H. Brinkmeyer, Jr. (University of South Carolina):

– 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: 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'”


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


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

(Topelia 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: Marika Sandell (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 (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

Topelia, F211: Chair: Ari Helo (University of Helsinki)

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



  • 18.00 University of Helsinki Reception University Main Building, Teachers’ Lounge, Unioninkatu 34 (all speakers and registered guests invited).




FRIDAY, May 18


9.00-11.00 Friday Early Morning Parallel Workshops & Panels (2-hour sessions!)

(Topelia A105, A106, A132, F211)


A132: Race in Literature (4)

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”

– Barbara Mossberg (University of Oregon): “The Origin of the Emancipation Proclamation and the Yosemite Grant: The Underestimated Role of Poetry”


A105: Indigenous Sovereignty (4)

Chair: Rani-Henrik Andersson (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”

– Susan E. Gray (Arizona State University): “Indigenous Resistance, the Benevolent Empire, and Federal Indian Policy:  The Case of the Twinsburg Institute”


A106: Go Global: Eco-Capitalism (4)

Chair: Elliot Gorn (Loyola University)

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

– Chang Liu (Heidelberg University): “Between Environmental Justice and Environmental Racism: On American Media’s Beijing APEC Blue Narrative”

– 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: Political History Matters (4)

Chair: Allan Winkler (Miami University, Ohio)

– 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”

– William H. Chafe (Duke University): “Personality and Politics: The Modern American Presidency”


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: Saara Kekki (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: Natural Resources and People’s Rights

Chair: Rani-Henrik Andersson (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”


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”


13.00-14.00 Lunch


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 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”


F211: Trump Politics

Chair: Rani-Henrik Andersson (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, F211)


A105: Gender and Citizenship

Chair: Mark C. Miller (Clark University)

– Robert H. Brinkmeyer, Jr. (University of South Carolina): “Citizenship and Patriotism: Wendell Berry in the Global Age”

– 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  MLE Buffet at Think Corner 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 (all speakers and registered guests invited).




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