Julie got a baby snapper!

Julie Yu-Wen Chen is Professor of Chinese Studies at the Department of Cultures at the University of Helsinki. She is concurrently “Hosting Professor” (Hosťujúci profesor) at the Department of Asian Studies at Palacky University in Czech Republic. Dr. Chen edits Asian Ethnicity (Routledge) and is assistant editor of the Journal of Chinese Political Science (Springer). Dr. Chen is the academic liaison for the University of Helsinki at the Nordic NIAS Council based in Denmark as well as the Nordic Center in Fudan University, China. She is currently serving as the chair of the board of Nordic Association for China Studies (NACS) until 2021 as well as representing Finland in COST ACTION: China in Europe Research Network (European Cooperation in Science & Technology funded by EU Horizon 2020 EU). Dr. Chen formerly held academic positions at Nazarbayev University (Kazakhstan), University College Cork (Ireland) and Academia Sinica (Taiwan).

Tiina pictureTiina H. Airaksinen works as University Lecturer in Asian Studies at the University of Helsinki (UH). She has received the PhD degree majoring Chinese Modern History from the School of Oriental and African Studies and at the UH she has been granted a title Docent in Asian Studies.  Dr. Airaksinen’s research and teaching interests cover topics such as construction of Chinese trans/national identities, Chinese legal history and Finnish-Chinese encounters. She has also researched development of imperialism in Asia and analysed university pedagogy related to Asian Studies. Recently she has been an editor to a book More Than Half the Sky: Chinese Women on History, Society and Culture (in Finnish: Enemmän kuin puoli taivasta: Kiinalainen nainen historiassa, yhteiskunnassa ja kulttuurissa, eds. Tiina Airaksinen, Elina Sinkkonen and Minna Valjakka). In addition, Dr. Airaksinen has written articles on Chinese nationalism, May Fourth Movement and didactic in Asian Studies.

Paulos Huang has got his Ph.D. and Th.D. from University of Helsinki. After Post-Doctor work in Tokyo University, he has been an Adjunct Professor in University of Helsinki and a guest professor in several Chinese universities since 2002. Currently he is the chief editor for International Journal of Sino-Western Studies (SCOPUS & ESCI) Yearbook of Chinese Theology (Brill). He focuses on six themes: Daoism & Chu culture and Confucianism, the Great National Studies, Sino-Christian Academic Theology, the dialogue between China and the West, Martin Luther & the medieval history, and Finnish Education. His main books are nine translated books of Martin Luther, Guodian No. 1 Chu Tomb and the Earliest Versions of Laozi & Taiyi sheng shui (1999 Tokyo), Confronting Confucian Understandings of the Christian Doctrine of Salvatiion (2010 Brill).

Dušica Ristivojević 杜娟華 is Kone Foundation Bold Initiatives Researcher at the University of Helsinki. Before moving to Helsinki,  Dušica worked as a lecturer in International Development at Dong-A University, South Korea, a lecturer in Gender Studies at the Central European University, Hungary, and as a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Institute of Modern History, Academia Sinica, Taiwan. She was a Chevening Fellow at the University of Oxford, MOFA Taiwan Fellow at the National Taiwan Normal University, and has served as a consultant for a number of in/formal organizations based in East Asia. Dušica is co-coordinating Sino-Nordic Gender Studies Network headquartered at the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies, U. of Copenhagen.

Dušica works in the areas of interdisciplinary Chinese studies, media studies, and international relations. She wrote and spoke on a number of topics: from longue duree observations of China´s repositioning in the modern world order, transnational and regional support networks of Chinese social activists, and politics of women´s and human rights, to the unconventional writing of China’s political history, dis/connections between education and social engagement, and the absence of the “second world” in de- and post/colonial discussions. Her most recent publications include “Chinese feminism as we know it: Global Pedagogies of the Anglophone Media Space,” (Made in China, 1/ 2019) and  “Gender, Media and Re/positioning of Late-Qing China in the Modern World Order” (translated to Chinese, Global History Review全球史评论, Vol. 16, August 2019)

Xiaoxu Liu is a PhD candidate at the Department of Teacher Education at the University of Helsinki. After getting her BA and MA in education from Northeast Normal University in China, she started her doctoral study at the University of Helsinki in 2015. She also studied in National Pingtung University in Taiwan for half a year as an exchange student. Her research interests include comparative education, education for diversity and Chinese minority education.


natalieRuvimbo Natalie Mavhiki is a PhD candidate in Asian Studies at the University of Helsinki under the supervision of Prof. Julie Chen and Prof. Barry Gills (Professor of Development Studies). She holds a Master of Philosophy degree in Political Science from Lingnan University (Hong Kong) and a Master in International Relations degree from Jacobs University Bremen (Germany). She has done extensive research on Democracy in divided societies, Democracy promotion, Aid, African politics and Gender and development. Her current research interests include: China’s increasing cooperation with African authoritarian regimes and its effect on hybrid democracies. Prior to her engagement in Finland, Ruvimbo worked in both local and international NGOs including her last position with the Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) as a Programmes Assistant in the Monitoring and Observation department, where she assisted in the coordination of Zimbabwe’s 2013 Presidential election observation.

Grace I-An Gao (BA National Taiwan University; MA University of Helsinki) is a PhD candidate at the Doctoral Programme in Political, Societal and Regional Change at the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Helsinki. Her research concerns how long-term care system accommodates aging Indigenous Peoples’ cultural and self-government claims, using Taiwan and Finland as cases.

During her BA, Grace has visited Peking University as student representative from political science department at the National Taiwan University. During her MA, Grace has worked as an intern at the Northern Institute for Environmental and Minority Law at the Arctic Center in Rovaniemi and as a collaborative researcher at National Chengchi University (NCCU) in Taipei. For four years, she has been actively participating United Nations Permanent Forum on the Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) as NGO delegate from Taiwan Indigenous Peoples. In 2017, She will be in Nordic Institute of Asian Studies (NIAS) with a SUPRA Nordic Scholarship.

Sonja Laukkanen is a PhD candidate majoring in East Asian studies at the University of Helsinki where she also completed her Master’s degree. Her PhD supervisors are Prof. Julie Chen and Dr. Suzie Thomas. Sonja has also studied in Leiden Institute of Area Studies, Netherlands. Sonja’s ongoing PhD research deals with identity, heritage and authenticity in a Tibetan village. She lived in the village for several years and her PhD work is continuation of her Master’s thesis on Globalization in a Tibetan village. Sonja’s research interests are Globalization and modernization (e.g. environmental protection, development, tourism), ethnicity and nationalism (especially Tibetans) and heritage combined with the landscape theories of cultural geography.

Alicia Ng is a PhD candidate in the interdisciplinary environmental sciences program (DENVI) at the University of Helsinki. Her research is concentrated on electronic waste (e-waste) in China, specifically bioremediation techniques to investigate non-human interactions amongst media and soil ecologies. This project is a continuation of her Master’s thesis on the politics of e-waste in China from non-human ontological perspectives. She holds a Master of Science degree in World Politics from the University of Helsinki, a Master’s degree in International Relations from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London (United Kingdom), and a Bachelor’s degree in Asian Studies from Whitman College (United States). Her research interests include changes in understandings of humanity and the environment in the Anthropocene, and the interrelations between technology, environment, and society.