Mikko Viitamäki works as University Lecturer in South Asian Studies at the University of Helsinki. He received the PhD degree at the University of Helsinki majoring in Arabic and Islamic studies. In his dissertation, he studied the relationship of a poetic text and musical performance in the context of Sufi religious practice in Delhi and Hyderabad.
At present, Dr. Viitamäki teaches South Asian languages (Hindi, Urdu, Sanskrit) as well as courses on South Asian literatures and cultures. His teaching and research interests cover topics such as politics of language in India and Pakistan, aesthetics, history and performance contexts of Persian and Urdu poetry, Islamic reform and contemporary Islamic debates in South Asia. He is also working on a translation of an anthology of Urdu poetry into Finnish.
Some of his recent publications include:
Retelling Medieval History for Twentieth-century Readers. Encounter of a Hindu Prince and a Sufi Master in Khwaja Hasan Nizami’s Nizami Bansuri. In Aquil, R. & D.L. Curley (eds.): Literary and Religious Practices in Medieval and Early Modern India. Manohar, 2017.
The Delicate Balance. Adab and Mystical States in the Musical Assemblies of Sufis in Medieval India. In Chiabotti, F., E. Feuillebois-Pierunek, C. Mayeur-Jaouen & L. Patrizi (eds.): Ethics and Spirituality in Islam: Sufi adab. Brill, 2017.
Perfumed Islam. The Culture of Scent at the Nizamuddin Basti. In Ferrari, F.M. & T. Dähnhardt (eds.): Roots of Wisdom, Branches of Devotion: Plant Life in South Asian Traditions. Equinox Publishing, 2016.
Pyhä maantiede ja muistin hallinta: Kulttuuriperinnön tuhoaminen osana modernia jihadia. Niin & näin: filosofinen aikakauslehti 87:4, 2015.
Modern conveyances, traditional destinations: Khvaja Hasan Nizami’s Tour to the Middle East in 1911. In Akar, S., J. Hämeen-Anttila & I. Nokso-Koivisto (eds.): Travelling through Time: Essays in honour of Kaj Öhrnberg. Studia Orientalia 114. Finnish Oriental Society, 2013.
For a full list of papers and publications, see https://tuhat.helsinki.fi/portal/fi/persons/mikko-viitamaki(74a49d9a-a49b-459b-aa36-1ca10729adaa).html.