Call for Workshop Leaders

All the workshops will have two or three workshop leaders. All students, including undergraduate students, can apply to be workshop leaders, but it is an advantage to be on a Master’s programme. However, the workshop leaders of the PhD workshop must be post-graduate students themselves. Leading a workshop will be a great opportunity for you as you will get valuable experience that will look good on your CV (and at least at the University of Helsinki you can apply for credits from your department for activities like this). The workshop leaders will also have quite much freedom in forming the workshop according to their speciality and preferences. The tentative workshop descriptions below are only rough outlines what you and your colleagues could address in the workshop with participants. Please note that your spoken and written English must be fluent in order to lead a workshop as English is the working language of the seminar.

If you are interested, please contact us on Facebook or email our seminar co-ordinator Ted Hellsten at

Instructions for the application: Please include your resume as an attachment with the application. Your application should be 1 to 2 pages with a line spacing of 1.5 and a font size of 12. If you wish to hold the workshop with someone you know, you two or three can submit a common application if you attach everyone’s CV and tell how you would like to share the responsibilities of organising the workshop. Your application should preferably be in English, but Finnish and Swedish are also fine. You should answer to the following questions in your application:

  1. Please introduce yourself: tell us what you specialise in and what skills and competence you have. Please also tell us which workshop you would like to lead
  2. Explain your motivation for applying
  3. What content would you like to develop for the workshop and how would you organise the workshop? You can look for inspiration on how to organise the workshop on pages 17-19 of this document.
  4. Please tell us how well you can commit to leading the workshop both before the seminar and during it.

Please find below the descriptions of the workshops:

1. Global Inequality

Inequality across regions of the Globe is a recurring topic in research. How much does historical background explain the inequality and inequity between rich and poor countries? What could today’s world do to reduce and eliminate the gaps? 

Depending on the research interests of the workshop leaders and participants, the workshop could address themes such as Global North and Global South or the West and the rising powers of the East. The workshop can also address the historical background to these divisions such as the role of institutions and the debate on the role of colonialism and imperialism in creating these divisions.

2. Minorities and Inequality: What Constitutes a Minority? 

A definition used for a minority in social sciences is that the minority is a group of people with a common identity and a sense of being discriminated or unempowered. This definition is often applied to social categories such as gender, ethnicity, and class. However, how can this concept be applied to research of history and formulation of informed policies?

Depending on the research interests of the workshop leaders and participants, the workshop could address themes such as gender, ethnicity, sexual identity, indigenous peoples and religion in history. The workshop can also discuss the question of minority as a research concept and how these groups could be studied.

3. Economic Inequality 

Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-first Century (2013) put the question of economic inequality on the top of research themes in disciplines such as economics and history. Discussion of economic inequality has raised concerns that the declining (intranational) economic inequality of the 20th century has given way to a resurge of economic inequality, for example a feared demise of the middle classes. But what can history teach us, is the long-term trend of high economic inequality making its comeback? What could we do about it? 

Depending on the research interests of the workshop leaders and participants, the workshop could address income and wealth inequality and their long-term trends, causes and impact. The workshop could also discuss policies, such as tax policy, labour market policy or social policy, used to address these issues. Another potential theme are economic crises, their causes and impact, given their increased intensity and frequency in recent decades.

4. Representation and Inequality

Having representation in public life, for example in the media or arts, for people like yourself is important for most people. How can then representation, and lack of it, create inequality and concerns for identity? Both being in invisible in public life and being presented in a stereotypical way can lead to social tension and concerns for identity.

Depending on the research interests of the workshop leaders and participants, the workshop could address representation of various social groups and its lack in media, culture, and politics. Aspects discussed could include, for example, long-term impact of and changes in representation of various social groups.

5. Research Ethics and Inequality 

Studying sensitive questions can raise many challenges and not only to a researcher. For example, if a researcher collects oral history material on the history of sexual minorities in a society where these groups are a taboo, can the research lead to the disclosure of an interviewee’s identity and social reprisal? Research does pose other ethical questions as well, such as what political or social impact research can have or how ethical the researcher’s relation to their objects of study is.

Depending on the research interests of the workshop leaders and participants, the workshop could address themes such as adverse impact of conducting research, the impact of English language on the status of other languages in education and research, case studies on (unfortunately impactful) papers made with a low academic integrity, privacy questions or other issues of research ethics.

6.  PhD Workshop   

The PhD workshop gives PhD candidates a chance to introduce their research to other people in the same situation and discuss issues they are trying to tackle. The workshop can address themes of participants’ choice such as the content of the PhD thesis, methodology, sources, or other aspects of a PhD project like funding or giving seminar presentations.