Dr. Rani-Henrik Andersson is a Senior University Lecturer of North American Studies at the Department of Cultures. In 2017-2020 he worked as a CORE Fellow at the at the University of Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies. He also served as the McDonnell Douglas Chair, Professor of American Studies at the University of Helsinki during 2014-2016. He has been a Visiting scholar several times at Indiana University, Bloomington and University of California, Santa Barbara. He has conducted research and fieldwork in 48 states in the United States and most of the Canadian provinces and territories.
He is the author or editor of nine books including the Lakota Ghost Dance of 1890 (University of Nebraska Press, 2008). His most recent book A Whirlwind Passed Through Our Country: Lakota Voices of the Ghost Dance focuses on Lakota accounts of the Ghost Dance and the Wounded Knee Massacre (University of Oklahoma Press 2018). One of his current projects is entitled “Bridging Cultural Concepts of Nature: A Transnational Study on Indigenous Places and Protected Spaces of Nature”.
He is the PI in research project HUMANA funded by the Kone Foundation. He is also the President of the Finnish American Studies Association and while he has become an expert on Native American cultures and history, he has also recently been actively commenting US politics in Finnish media. Finnish media has also made him an expert on Donald Trump.
Saara Kekki is a North American Studies scholar specializing in ethnicities, minority politics, and migration. She defended her dissertation “Life at Heart Mountain: A Dynamic Network Model of a Japanese American Community during World War II” in February 2019. It studied the use of historical sources to do network analysis on a community of 14,000 Japanese Americans incarcerated in World War II. Saara is the co-editor of North American Studies Crossroads: An Anthology of Finnish Perspectives and Whose North America: Identity, Agency and Belonging. She has also worked with topics relating to Native American cultures. In HUMANA, Saara is responsible for further developing the multi-mode historical network analysis she started exploring in her dissertation, now to cover a longer time span.
Justin Gage is an American historian who specializes Native American life in the late 19th century. He earned a Ph.D. in History from the University of Arkansas in 2015. His new book, We Do Not Want the Gates Closed between Us: Native Networks and the Spread of the Ghost Dance, explores Native American networks of communication and the ideas spread through them. Dr. Gage’s research traces intertribal networks connected by written correspondence and visiting. More about his work can be found at https://nativeamericannetworks.com.
In the HUMANA, he is responsible for archival work, as well as for developing mapping and network visualizations.
Mariia Rauramo is a Master of Arts specializing on Latin American and Indigenous Studies. In her studies, she has focused on the minority populations and history of Brazil. Her master’s thesis was about the Borari Indigenous peoples’ self-identification and cultural heritage. Her research interests also include postcolonial and decolonial perspectives as well as Gender Studies.
In HUMANA, Mariia worked as a research assistant in 2020. Her main task was to manage and edit research data.
Olli is a doctoral candidate in the doctoral program of Theology and Religious Studies in the University of Helsinki. His main fields are the history of religion and North American studies. In his studies, he has concentrated on the recent history of Judaism in the United States, and the role of religion in North American culture. His master’s thesis was about Jewishness of young American Jews in the early 2000s and in his doctoral thesis, the focus is on American Jews’ participation in the so-called culture wars during the presidency of Barack Obama.
In HUMANA, Olli worked as a project researcher in 2018-2019. His main task was to gather and manage research data in cooperation with Francis Flavin.