Academic Staff

Sarah Green, Ph.D.



tel +358 2941 23009

Unioninkatu 40; Room A 138
P.O. Box 24
FI-00014  University of Helsinki

Sarah Green came to Helsinki in 2012, after having worked in anthropology departments at the Universities of Manchester (1995-2012) and Cambridge (1992-1995). She currently specializes on the anthropology of location and borders, especially in the eastern peripheries of Europe which provide a means to analyze how people classify the world, their location in it as well as the location of others. She is interested in the political, social, economic, epistemological and historical dynamics involved in that process of defining the difference between here and somewhere else and then attempting to make it so.

In the Aegean region she is continuing her research on issues related to concepts of money and trading practices as well as her research on the borders of Greece and Turkey.  (See also “Performing Border in the Aegean: on relocating political, economic and social relations”. In the Journal of Cultural Economy, Vol. 3, No.2, pp 261-278)

In conceptual terms, she is working on the concept of ‘knots’ as a means to think through a messier way to understand relations between here and elsewhere.

She is author of Notes from the Balkans (Princeton University Press, 2005), Urban Amazons (Macmillan and St Martins Press, 1997), and joint author of Borderwork (JaSilti 2013) with Lena Malm (photography; additional written contributions by Robin Harper and Markus Drake). Green is currently the co-editor in chief of Social Anthropology/Athropologie Sociale, the European Association of Social Anthropologists’ quarterly journal; and co-editor in chief of Sociological Review. She is also the director of the Doctoral Program in the Social Sciences at the University of Helsinki.

Sarah Green currently leads the ERC project Crosslocation: Re­think­ing re­l­at­ive loc­a­tion in the Medi­ter­ranean.

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Toomas Gross, Ph.D.


Exchange Studies Responsible

E-mail: toomas.gross(at)

tel +358 2941 23085

Office hour Tuesdays 16-17

Unioninkatu 35; Room 320
P.O. Box 18
FI-00014  University of Helsinki

Toomas Gross received his PhD from the University of Cambridge in 2001. He worked as a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of California, San Diego in 2001-02, and joined the faculty at the University of Helsinki in 2003.

Toomas has done fieldwork in Southern Mexico, focusing mainly on religious change, Protestant-Catholic relations, and religious conversion, but also on tourism and folk medical beliefs. He is currently the PI of the project “The Role of Religion in Contemporary Ethical Self-Making”  (, which is a comparative ethnographic study of the techniques of ethical self-fashioning, with a specific focus on how religion intervenes in the constitution of ethics in secular public life, how it contributes to forging ethical subjects, and how it comes to underlie the values and actions that signify exemplary, good life. The project is funded by the Kone Foundation (2019-2023).

Toomas’s other ongoing research focuses on the topics of recreational long-distance running, pain, body, social class, and exercise addiction.


Timo Kaartinen, Ph.D.


Head of discipline

Email: timo.kaartinen(at)

tel +358 2941 22638

Timo Kaartinen‘s current research aims at providing a comparative view of environmental knowledge and politics that arise from the large-scale conversion of land to industrial agriculture and nature conservation. He is currently doing fieldwork on this topic in the Indonesian Borneo.

In another major project, he studies the historical genres and memory practices through which mobile, peripheral peoples affirm their survival. This interest has grown out of his ethnographic engagement with the Bandanese, an ethno-linguistic group in the Eastern Indonesian province of Maluku, since 1992.


Kajanus, Anni, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Email: anni.kajanus(a)

Tel. +358 505560643

Office hour: Wed 13-14

Unioninkatu 35; Room 323
P.O. Box 18
FI-00014  University of Helsinki

Anni Kajanus is a specialist in the anthropology of China, her research focuses on morality, cognition, child development, migration, family and education. She has carried out ethnographic fieldwork in China (in Beijing and in Jiangsu province) and in the UK (London).

Her most recent research brings together methods and approaches from anthropology and psychology to compare the cooperative, competitive and conflict behaviours and motivations of children in different communities in China and in the UK. The broader aim of this work, which involves working together with developmental psychologists to approach these questions experimentally, is to make much-needed anthropological contributions to the multi-disciplinary field of the study of the origins of human social behaviour.

Anni is the author of Chinese Student Migration, Gender and Family, which situates the family project of investing in the overseas education of the only child within the wider socio-moral transformation of the Chinese society.

Before joining UH, Anni held postdoctoral fellowships (Marie Sklodowska-Curie IEF; Leverhulme ECF) at the Department of Anthropology, LSE, and the Department of Psychology, Harvard.

Anni received her PhD in Anthropology from the University of Helsinki, MSc in Migration Studies from the Universiteit van Amsterdam, and BA in Anthropology from the University of Kent.



Tuulikki Pietilä, Ph.D.

Lecturer (On research leave 2017-2018)

Email: tuulikki.pietila(a)

tel +358 2941 22645

Tuulikki Pietilä’s research focuses on Africa. Thematically, she has examined various socio-cultural processes that take place in the coming together of different regimes of value.

In Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, she investigated women’s trading activities and everyday gossip after economic and political liberalization. The research was published as a book entitled Gossip, Markets, and Gender: How Dialogue Constructs Moral Value in Post-Socialist Kilimanjaro (University of Wisconsin Press, 2007). The book was awarded the Aidoo-Snyder prize by the African Studies Association of the United States in 2009. In South Africa Pietilä investigated ideas of ownership and authorship as well as ways of arranging creative work in the music industry. This research was published as a monograph entitled Contracts, Patronage and Mediation: The Articulation of Global and Local in the South African Recording Industry (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015).

Currently she is doing research in Tanzania and South Africa on the moral values of the African creative class. This research is funded by the Kone Foundation. Pietilä is also the PI in the ongoing Academy of Finland-funded project entitled “The Morality of Success among the Emerging Black Middle Class in South Africa” (2016-2020). The project employs the post-doctoral researcher Ibrahim Abraham and the post-graduate student Bjørn Inge Sjødin.