Currently I direct a two and half years research project Narratives of Finland. Historical Culture, the Arts and Changing Nationality. I am also the vice director and the principal investigator of the research project Yle 100, the history Finnish Broadcasting Company Yle, 2022–2026.

The Narratives of Finland is a research project studying Finnish historical culture. We are interested in the processes through which the narratives of Finland have originated, how the contents of those narratives have been negotiated, and what kind of narrative of Finnishness is mediated to the public. The central theoretical concepts of the study are historical culture, narrative, museum agency, and cultural memory and the politics of memory.

The project includes an artistic part in which Finnishness is called into question by asking artists with different cultural backgrounds to take part in producing new viewpoints on the Finnish nation.

The Narratives of Finland is funded by the Kone Foundation, and is coordinated by the University of Helsinki’s discipline of Political History. The programme started in May 2021, and will last three years.

The outcome of the project will tell how Finland is represented as a nation, society and socio-cultural narrative by the means of both interdisciplinary research and artistic expression. The project will produce a synthesis of interpretations about the historical cultural and aesthetical representations of Finland.

I finished my project From Culture to Politics in 2020. I am writing a book (in Finnish) partly based on the project.

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My latest Finnish-language work entitled Valtaan ja vastavirtaan. Helsingin yliopiston valtiotieteellinen tiedekunta 75 vuotta (‘Power and opposition. 75 years of the University of Helsinki Faculty of Social Sciences’) was published in May 2020. It uses extensive research material to explore the Faculty’s relationship with society at large during various periods. The book describes the ways in which the Faculty has been involved in – and occasionally even a driver of – social change. The author considers the role of the Faculty of Social Sciences as a critical social agent and educator. Other key themes include the strained relationship between social science research and economic objectives as well as the Faculty’s role in building the (welfare) state and, more generally, in political activities.

The previous publication, overview/textbook Media in History. An Introduction to the Meanings and Transformations of Communication over Time (Macmillan International Higher Education) was published in April 2019.

Since media is omnipresent in our lives, it is crucial to understand the complex means and dimensions of media in history, and how we have arrived at the current digital culture. Media in History addresses the increasing multidisciplinary need to comprehend the meanings and significances of media development through a variety of different approaches. Providing a concise, accessible and analytical synthesis of the history of communications, from the evolution of language to the growth of social media, this book also stresses the importance of understanding wider social and cultural contexts. Although technological innovations have created and shaped media, Kortti examines how politics and the economy are central to the development of communication. Media in History will benefit undergraduate and graduate history and media studies students who want to understand the complex structures of media as a historical continuum and to reflect on their own experiences with that development.


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