Researchers

Riikka Rossi, Project leader

Riikka Rossi is professor of Finnish literature at the University of Helsinki. Her research centers on the history of Finnish literature and more recently on literature and emotions from an interdisciplinary perspective. She has published extensively on history and theory of literary naturalism, realism, Decadence and primitivism, and on negative and ambivalent emotions in Finnish literature, e.g. on the poetics of disgust, melancholia, nostalgia, ecstasy, and difficult empathy.

In the project Culture-specific Emotions and Literature she focuses on theoretical study of culturally oriented cognitive poetics, and on sentiment analysis of Finnish literary texts.

For more information on Riikka Rossi’s activities and publications, please visit her website: Riikka Rossi — University of Helsinki

Antti Ahmala, Postdoctoral researcher

Antti Ahmala is a postdoctoral researcher of Finnish literature at the University of Helsinki. His research has focused on Finnish Decadent works of the fin de siécle and more recently on antimodern thought and feelings in Finnish literature from the early 20th century to contemporary times. Ahmala’s doctoral dissertation (2016) studied the themes of authenticity and alienation in the Symbolist-Decadent early works of Joel Lehtonen (1881–1934) in relation to discourses of the fin de siècle and particularly Nietzschean thought. Based upon the study, Ahmala’s postdoctoral research has explored the continuation and transformation of antimodernism in later literature, focusing on the genre of the essay and particularly Finnish contemporary essayists.

In the project Culture-specific Emotions and Literature, Ahmala examines culture-specific emotions in Finnish literature of the fin de siècle and the early 20th century.

For more information on Antti Ahmala’s activities and publications, please visit his website: Antti Ahmala — University of Helsinki

Sarianna Kankkunen, Postdoctoral researcher

Elise Nykänen, University researcher

Elise Nykänen is Docent of Finnish literature at the University of Helsinki. She has specialized in the literary history of modernisms and more recently in the empirical study of reading. Nykänen’s research interests include emotion and narrative rhetoric, fictional mind presentation, dialogue and multidisciplinary analysis of social interaction in literature. Nykänen has published and co-edited several monographs, special issues and articles on these topics. Over the past years, she has examined loneliness and solitude in Finnish literature and in reader response.

In the project Culture-specific Emotions and Literature Nykänen focuses on the methodology of studying cultural emotions and reading in different spaces and social contexts. She is responsible for the implementation of the project’s empirical reading group studies.

For more information on Elise Nykänen’s activities and publications, please visit her website: Elise Nykänen — University of Helsinki