Julie got a baby snapper!

Julie Yu-Wen Chen is Professor of Chinese Studies at the Department of Cultures at the Faculty of Arts at the University of Helsinki (Finland). Chen serves as one of the Editors of the Journal of Chinese Political Science (Springer, SSCI). Chen is also board member of the Bratislava-based Central European Institute of Asian Studies (CEIAS) and the European Association for Chinese Studies (EACS). From 2023-2025, she is in the EU twinning project The EU in the Volatile Indo-Pacific Region (EUVIP) where she leads the preparatory research and provides supervision and counselling to junior researchers. Formerly, Chen was chair of Nordic Association of China Studies (NACS) and Editor-in-Chief of Asian Ethnicity (Taylor & Francis).

Tiina pictureTiina H. Airaksinen works as Senior University Lecturer in Asian Studies and Vice Dean of Faculty of Arts at University of Helsinki. 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.

Sami Honkasalo is an Assistant Professor in Japanese and Chinese languages joining the University of Helsinki in January 2023. His research focuses on the minority languages of China and the Sinosphere with an emphasis on linguistic fieldwork. Sami is also currently investigating Dungan, a Mandarin variety spoken in Central Asia. Prior to University of Helsinki, Sami has held an Assistant Professorship in Linguistics at Nazarbayev University in Kazakhstan. He completed his PhD in Linguistics at University of Helsinki and holds master’s degrees from Yale University (East Asian Studies) and the University of Tokyo (Linguistics).

Dr Monique Taylor is a senior researcher in the Department of Cultures at the University of Helsinki and research affiliate at the Lau China Institute, King’s College London. 

Previously, she was maailmanpolitiikan yliopistonlehtori (UK/Aus senior lecturer in world politics) at the University of Helsinki where she also served on the Global Politics and Communication Program steering committee, postdoctoral fellow in Public Policy and Global Affairs at Nanyang Technological University, research fellow at the National University of Singapore, and lecturer in the School of Political Science and International Studies at the University of Queensland. 

Monique specialises in political economy and international relations. She has a long-standing interest in China’s political economy, focusing on state capitalism and the political economy of state-owned enterprises, through empirical examination of strategic sectors such as the oil industry and the ICT sector. In other work she has explored digital authoritarianism, the geopolitics of technology, and aspects of regionalism and global governance. From 2023-2025, she will be working on a Horizon Europe Twinning project called ‘The EU in the Volatile Indo-Pacific Region’ (EUVIP), in partnership with Palacký University in Olomouc, Czech Republic. 

Monique’s research has been published by academic books presses and in a range of leading international scholarly journals and edited volumes. Notably, her first book titled The Chinese State, Oil and Energy Security was published by Palgrave Macmillan’s International Political Economy series in 2014. Monique’s latest book, published by Palgrave Macmillan, China’s Digital Authoritarianism: A Governance Perspective, is out now. In addition, she is a member of the editorial board for the Journal of Current Chinese Affairs. 

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).

Suvi Rautio is a Post-Doctoral anthropology researcher at The University of Helsinki, where she also received her doctorate in 2019. Guided by stories of her own family history, Suvi is currently working on a four-year Kone-funded project that applies intimate ethnography to look at the transmission of memory and loss amongst Beijing’s intellectual class during the Maoist era. Beyond the themes studied in this new project, Suvi also continues to engage in academic discussions raised in her doctoral fieldwork, including China’s rural restoration and place-making, masculine self-hood and Chinese state-society relations. Her work has been published in a range of international scholarly journals and she is an active participant in general public outreach, including hosting the New Books Network Chinese Studies podcast series.

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 supervisor is Prof. Julie Chen. 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.

Eero Suoranta is a PhD candidate in the Doctoral Programme in Philosophy, Arts, and Society at the University of Helsinki, focusing on alienation in contemporary Chinese science fiction (SF) literature. In his research, he explores how Chinese SF stories can use the literary technique of estrangement to draw attention to the wider social structures that cause alienation, as well as what kind of social commentary and criticism this results inHe has also previously analyzed Chinese SF in his master’s thesis The Cultural Revolution, Fanaticism and Rationality in Liu Cixin’s The Three-Body Problem (University of Helsinki, 2017). In addition, he has worked as a translator of Chinese SF, as a freelance journalist and literary critic, as a lecturer on Chinese society and culture in adult education, and as an expert commentator in the YLE radio series Kirjoituksia kungfutselaisuudesta (“Writings on Confucianism”)

Wilma Andersson (BA and MA in English philology, University of Helsinki) is a doctoral researcher in the Doctoral Program in Philosophy, Arts, and Society at the University of Helsinki. Her dissertation examines the tensions between Chinese collectivistic values and Western individualistic principles in six Chinese American novels published between the 1970s and the 1990s. Her research interests include Asian American literary criticism, Asian American history, postcolonial literary criticism, literary disability studies as well as social psychology. Her research is funded by the Finnish Academy of Science and Letters, The Finnish Cultural Foundation and the Alfred Kordelin Foundation.

Keyi Yin is a PhD student in the Doctoral Program in History and Cultural Heritage at the University of Helsinki and the Una-Her-Doc programme in Cultural Heritage. She holds two master’s degrees in Museum and Artefact Studies from Durham University and Jilin University. Her research interests are contemporary collecting, everyday life collecting, and social history museums. Her dissertation examines how museums in China represent the rapidly changing contemporary society and what factors contribute to representations of China in museums. The working title of her dissertation is Collecting Contemporary China: Representations of the People’s Republic of China (1949–Present) in Chinese Museums.