The Faculty of Social Sciences and CrimScapes research project and the Social Study of Microbes Group invite applications for the position of a


for a fixed term position of three years starting 1 November 2020 (or as agreed). The doctoral thesis project will be part of the European NORFACE network funded project CrimScapes: Navigating citizenship through European landscapes of criminalisation. The successful candidate is expected to work full time and to complete the doctorate in four years.

The successful applicant will join a research team focusing on the social study of microbes based in Sociology, Faculty of Social Sciences at University of Helsinki, as part of the European CrimScapes consortium.

The Social Study of Microbes Group ( is led by PI Salla Sariola:

CrimScapes focuses on the expanding application of criminal law, crime control measures and imaginaries of (il)legality as both responses to, and producers of, the politics of threat and uncertainty that are currently expanding across the European region. We are looking for a candidate for a fully funded three-year PhD position to study the intersection of criminality and infectious diseases, and the genealogy of the infectious diseases act in Finland.…

The duties of a doctoral student are to work on his or her own doctoral thesis and to complete his or her postgraduate studies. The duties also include teaching and other tasks. Teaching tasks can account for up to 5 % of the annual working time.


Applicants should hold a Master’s degree in a field that is relevant to the research topic and have a high quality research proposal. Relevant disciplines are Science and Technology Studies, History of Medicine, Gender Studies, Criminology, Medical Anthropology, and Sociology of Health. Other requirements include: proven ability and motivation, demonstrated through previous degree studies or otherwise, to pursue postgraduate studies and a doctoral degree according to the study plan and research proposal. Fluency in English language is required. The appointee is expected to reside in Finland while employed by the University of Helsinki.

The appointee should either already have the right to pursue a doctoral degree at the University of Helsinki by the start of the appointment, or apply for the right and obtain it within the probationary period of six months of their appointment. If the candidate does not already have the right to pursue a doctoral degree at the University of Helsinki, it must be applied for separately, please see:….


We are an equal opportunity employer and offer an attractive and diverse workplace in an inspiring environment with a variety of development opportunities and benefits. The annual gross salary range will be approx. 29,600 – 39,000 euros, depending on the appointee’s qualifications and experience. In addition, University of Helsinki offers comprehensive services to its employees, including occupational health care and opportunities for professional development. Further information at The employment contract will include a probationary period of six months.


Applicants are requested to enclose with their applications the following documents as a single pdf file:
1) A curriculum vitae (max 2 pages).
2) A list of publications.
3) A research plan not exceeding four (4) pages including a statement outlining how the proposed topic fits to the profile of the CrimScapes project
4) Contact information and recommendation from one referee.

For instructions, please see….

Please submit your application through the University of Helsinki Recruitment System via the link Apply for job. Applicants who are employees of the University of Helsinki are requested to submit their application via the SAP HR portal.


Further information about the position may be obtained from Project Coordinator Monique Horstmann by email:

The application deadline is 16 August 2020.

If you need support with the recruitment system, please contact recruitment(at)

The University of Helsinki is the oldest and largest institution of academic education in Finland, an international scientific community of 40,000 students and researchers. In international university rankings, the University of Helsinki typically ranks among the top 100. The University of Helsinki seeks solutions for global challenges and creates new ways of thinking for the best of humanity. Through the power of science, the University has contributed to society, education and welfare since 1640.

The Faculty of Social Sciences is Finland’s leading research and education institution in the social sciences and also the most diverse in terms of its disciplines. In several research fields, the Faculty belongs to the top 50 in the international rankings. The Faculty has a strong international profile both in research and teaching programmes. The number of academic staff stands at 450. Each year, the faculty awards some 350 Bachelor’s degrees, 400 Master’s degrees, and more than 40 doctoral degrees. For more information on the Faculty of Social Sciences, please visit

Due date

16.08.2020 23:59 EEST

‘Living with Microbes’ panel at the EASA Conference, 21-24 July 2020 in Lisbon

EASA2020 logo

Together with other collaborators, some members from Cultures of Cultures will be hosting the panel ‘Living with Microbes’ in the upcoming EASA Conference, to be celebrated in Lisbon, 21-24 July 2020 in Lisbon, Portugal. The theme of the conference is ‘New anthropological horizons in and beyond Europe’, and you can find the general call for papers here:

Panel abstract

This panel explores emerging ecologies in and around microbes. Novel findings about the ubiquitousness of microbes within bodies and environments, has illuminated new multi-species relationalities. While antibiotics are simultaneously increasingly becoming redundant due to drug resistance, modern medicine is at the risk of being turned back by a century. In this era, we argue, it is vital to gain a more granular view of the various practices of relation-making between humans, animals and microbes. While these changes have often been conceptualized as turns in human-microbe relations (Paxson, 2008; Lorimer, 2017), this panel invites papers that think about how various new and old notions about microbes overlap rather than superseed each other, producing spaces for microbial sociality to manifest in novel ways. Topics could include, but are not limited to, examples of the following: – Studies of novel biotechnologies of pre- and probiotic tools – Biographies of antibiotics, bacteriophages and diagnostics, the pharmaceutical industry and other R&D endeavours – How are novel subjectivities and national programmes constructed through microbiome research and as targets of AMR related activities, policies and research? – How are resistomes and microbiotas explored and compared? – The flows of resistance embedded in more-than-human social forms involving humans, animals, and the environment – How do people live with microbes in fermentation? – How is immunity and well-being thought about in the absence of antibiotics? – How boundaries of human and nonhuman bodies are un/made by the bacteria that flow between environments and bodies?

Please send your abstract (max 250 words) using the EASA submission system by 20 January 2020. To do this, find our session in the list of panels and click on ‘Propose paper’. You can find more instructions in the general call for papers linked above.

We look forward to reading your submissions!


Salla Sariola (University of Helsinki)

Matthäus Rest (Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History)

Charlotte Brives (CNRS CED-UMR5116)

Jose A. Cañada (University of Helsinki)

Probiotic living in compromised times – Session at the 2018 YHYS Colloquium in Rovaniemi

Four members of Cultures of Cultures had the chance to present their work last week at the 23rd annual colloquium of the Finnish Society for Environmental Social Science (YHYS), which was held at the University of Lapland, Rovaniemi. This year’s theme was ‘Naturecultures’, a notion central to some of the work done in the context of Cultures of Cultures. This year’s colloquium had four keynote speakers: Professor Laura Watts from the University of Edinburgh, Professor Rauna Kuokkanen from the University of Lapland, University Researcher Päivö Kinnunen from the University of Oulu, and Professor Phillip Vannini, Royal Roads University. They dealt, respectively, with topics related to material-semiotic understandings of electricity production; indigenous communities and gifting; the role of applied sciences on sustainability; and naturecultural ways of understanding wilderness.

Cultures of Cultures attended the session titled ‘Probiotic living in compromised times’, organized by University Lecturer Veera Kinnunen, from the University of Lapland and Cultures of Cultures’ PI Salla Sariola, which consisted of five presentations.

Jose A. Cañada at the YHYS Rovaniemi, 2018

The session kicked off with Jose A. Cañada’s, Postodoctoral Researcher at the University of Helsinki, presentation on viral assemblages and the boundaries that emerge and are challenged in pandemic preparedness and response, paying especial attention to the more-than-human nature of those assemblages.

Andrea Butcher at the YHYS Rovaniemi, 2018

The second presentation was given by Andrea Butcher, also a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Helsinki, who discussed political-ecological configurations in understanding the pathobiome in Bangladesh. There, Andrea has studied the challenges of antimicrobial resistance in aquacultures and, more concretely, the struggles of shrimp and prawn farmers, institutions and supply chain actors to manage the microbiomes of ponds give the specific political-ecological context where they are situated.

Salla Sariola at the YHYS Rovaniemi, 2018

Third, Salla Sariola, Senior Lecturer at the University of Helsinki, presented her study of a vaccine trial in Grand-Popo Benin, organized and carried out by Finnish researchers with Finnish tourists as trials. The study tries to develop a bacterial vaccine to circumvent the use of antibiotics in the treatment of diarrhoea. The study especially highlights the post-human character of vaccines and the role of microbes in the social despite their invisibility.

Jenni Saarenketo at the YHYS Rovaniemi, 2018

Jenni Saarenketo, Master’s student from the University of Turku, continued discussing the same vaccine trial from the perspective provided by 800 questionnaires about illness, travel, and research experiences filled by study participants. The analysis showed a rethinking of concepts of cleanliness, purity, and sanitation while, at the same time, highlighted the practical, symbolic and abstract dimensions through which microbes become configured.

Veera Kinnunen at the YHYS Rovaniemi, 2018

University Lecturer Veera Kinnunen, from the University of Lapland, gave the last presentation. She discussed human-microbe relations in Bokashi practices. As Bokashi practices, a method of composting organic waste through fermentation originating from 1980’s Japan, appears as an alternative to the problem of organic waste management, Veera has been studying Bokashi collectives. In her study, Bokashi appears as a caring practice between humans and microbes that offers the chance to understand human-nonhuman relations in different terms.

The session was especially useful in creating synergies between the different projects presented and showing clear lines for collaboration that will certainly be relevant in the future of all Cultures of Cultures related projects. All the presentations brought out similar topics that are relevant in understanding human-microbe relationships. There was a clear interest in developing methodological approaches that assist us in better understanding more-than-human relations, as well as in the utility of specific theoretical concepts. Furthermore, a key theme was the study of microbes beyond health contexts, as exemplified by Bokashi methods and other fermentation practices. Overall, the session helped to highlight the many existing possibilities studying microbes from a social scientific perspective.