Program Pdf:  SESSIONS MLE 2018

(Final as of May 7, 2018)



8.30-9.30 Registration

Registration Desk opens in the Conference Office at 8.30 am

(Topelia, Unioninkatu 38A, 1st floor, Room A109)



10.00-12.00 Opening Ceremonies & Keynotes

(University Main Building, Great Hall, Unioninkatu 34)


Chair: Conference President Mikko Saikku (University of Helsinki)


Welcome Address by the Ambassador of Canada, Andrée Cooligan

Welcome Address by Ethan Tabor, Public Affairs Office, the United States Embassy in Helsinki

Opening the Conference by Dean Hanna Snellman (University of Helsinki)


Canadian Studies Keynote by Graeme Wynn (University of British Columbia): “Ideas, Ideals, and Ideologies: Maps of Canadian Nature”


American Studies Keynote by Amy Kaplan (University of Pennsylvania): “Invincible Victim: Representations of Israel in US Culture”


12.00-13.00 Lunch


13.00 -14.00 Wednesday Early Afternoon Parallel Workshops

(Topelia A132, A205, A206)


A132: Representations of the Environment

Chair: Mark Shackleton (University of Helsinki)

– Barbara Mossberg (University of Oregon): “The Origin of the Emancipation Proclamation and the Yosemite Grant: The Underestimated Role of Poetry”

– Inna Sukhenko (University of Helsinki): “Nuclear Narrative within the North American Literary Energy Studies: From ‘Nuclear’ Interviews to Nuclear Soft Diplomacy”


A205: Media Politics

Chair: Daniel Cobb (University of Helsinki)

– Oscar Winberg (Åbo Akademi University): “Family Viewing Hour: The Fights over Censorship of Television Entertainment in the 1970s”

– Mimi White (Northwestern University): “Living the American Ideal in Made-for-Hallmark Movies”


A206: American Studies Methodology and Historiography

Chair: Elliott Gorn (Loyola University)

Saara Kekki (University of Helsinki): “New and Old Networks at Heart Mountain: Applying Historical Network Analysis to Japanese American Incarceration during World War II”

– Pasi J. Kallio (University of Helsinki): “The Eagle of Minerva Flies Only at Dusk? Classic U.S. (Idea of) History Meets the Conundrum of History”


14.00-14.30 Coffee


14.30-16.00 Wednesday Late Afternoon Parallel Panels

(Topelia A205, A206, A132 room changes, now marked!)


A132 (!) : PANEL: Fascism Comes to the US: Three Fictional Renderings of the Rise of American Nazism

Chair: Tina Parke-Sutherland (Stephens College, Missouri)

– Bent Sørensen (Aalborg University): “Ideologies and Realities in Philip K. Dick’s The Man in the High Castle (1963)”

– Howard Sklar (University of Helsinki): “Memoir as Counter-Narrative: Re-imagining the Self in Roth’s The Plot Against America

– Bo Pettersson (University of Helsinki): “The Problems with Liberalism: J. S. Mill, Sinclair Lewis, Timothy Snyder”


A205: PANEL Cold War Neighbors: North American Ideals and Visions of the Soviet Menace

Chair: Allan Winkler (Miami University, Ohio)

– Lauren F. Turek (Trinity University, TX):  “To Free Georgi Vins: U.S.-Canadian Baptists and the Fight for International Religious Liberty”

– Susan Colbourn (University of Toronto): “Creating Détente From Below: Canadian and US Citizen Diplomacy in the Late Cold War”

– Simon Miles (Duke University): “The War Scare That Wasn’t: Able Archer 83 and the Myths of the Second Cold War.”


A206(!): PANEL “The Fierce Urgency of Now”: The Long Civil Rights Movement in Popular Memory and Public History

Chair: Cheryl Greenberg (Trinity College, CT)

– Francoise Hamlin (Brown University): “Remembering Anne Moody and Coming of Age in Mississippi”

– Patrick Miller (Northeastern Illinois University): “From Charleston to Charlottesville: Race and the Politics of Popular Memory”

– Elliott Gorn (Loyola University): “Forgetting Emmett. Then Remembering Him”


17.00 Fulbright/MLE Meeting & Evening Reception (by invitation only) in Helsinki City Hall, Pohjoisesplanadi 11-13.





9.30-11.00 Thursday Early Morning Parallel Workshops & Panels

(Topelia A132, A205, A206, F211)


A132: Chinese-Americans in Literature and in Film

Chair: Mark Shackleton (University of Helsinki)

– Wilma Andersson (University of Helsinki): “Burial rites, Identity and Acculturation in Jade Snow Wong’s Fifth Chinese Daughter and Maxine Hong Kingston’s China Men

– Jie Feng (Freie Universität Berlin): “Memory, Amnesia, and Diasporic Revelations: The Melodramatic Memory of 1989 in Yiyun Li’s Novel Kinder Than Solitude

– Anna-Leena Korpijärvi (University of Helsinki): “Bitter Tea on the Shanghai Express: Race, religion and womanhood in the films The Bitter Tea of General Yen and Shanghai Express”


A205: PANEL Mutatis Mutandis? Honor Culture in the Mid-Nineteenth Century South

Chair: Robert H. Brinkmeyer, Jr. (University of South Carolina):

– Anna Koivusalo (University of Helsinki): “Humiliating Attack and Gentlemanly Riposte: Safeguarding a Reputation with Honorable Emotional Expression in the Nineteenth-Century South”

– Lawrence T. McDonnell (Iowa State University): “The Scoundrel in the Wax Museum: Honor, Celebrity, and Crime in Antebellum America”

– Sarah E. Gardner (Mercer University): “‘What Like a Bullet Can Undeceive?’: Honor’s Failings in the Wartime Confederacy”


A206: The Big Picture: American Imperialism, Anti-Imperialism, or only Exceptionalism

Chair: Daniel Cobb (University of Helsinki)

– Marc-William Palen (University of Exeter): “American Anti-Imperialism and Economic Liberalism, 1846-1921”

– Boyd Cothran (York University): “Spreading Freedom Around the World: Discourses of Economic and Political Liberalism in the United States in 1873”

– Luana Salvarani (University of Parma) “‘Rushing up to a giant manhood’: Educational Roots of American Exceptionalism”


F211: PANEL The United States and Finland: Managing Identities and Membership in Racially Complex Societies

Chair: Ann Phoenix (Collegium, University of Helsinki)

– Paul Spickard (University of California, Santa Barbara): “Shape Shifters: A Theory of Racial Change”

– Rana Razek (University of California, Santa Barbara): “Between Arab and Black: Zammouri, Race, and Arab American Identity”

– Jasmine Kelekay (University of California, Santa Barbara): “Who Gets to be Finnish? Race, Ethnicity, and Nationality in Afro-Finnish Hip Hop”


11.00-11.30 Coffee


11.30-13.00 Thursday Late Morning Parallel Workshops & Panels

(Topelia A132, A205, A206, F211)


A132: North-American Educational Influences around the World

Chair: Cheryl Greenberg (Trinity College, CT)

– Mátyás Bánhegyi (Budapest Business School) & Judit Nagy (Károli Gáspár University):

“Ideas and Ideals of Koreanness in Canada: Teaching Materials for the English Classroom”

– Hanna Honkamäkilä (University of Oulu) “How the United States influenced the development of the Finnish higher education system: The founding of the University of Oulu in 1958”


A205: America Going to the Movies and to the TV

Chair: Mimi White (Northwestern University)

– Jan Björke (University of Tampere) “Texas—Part of West or South in Movies and Television Series about Texas Rangers”

– Thomas Cobb (University of Birmingham) “Decade of Disarray: Hollywood allegories of US foreign policy, 1999-2009”

– Maria Holmgren Troy (Karlstad University): “Adapting Ideologies: Stephen King’s Kingdom Hospital and Matt Reeves’s Let Me In


A206: Identity Politics

Chair: Patrick Miller (Northeastern Illinois University):

– Michel S. Beaulieu (Lakehead University, Canada): “‘On The Highway of Destiny’? Reconceiving the Lakehead as a Liminal Space”

– Kaveh Mowahed (University of New Mexico): “Insanity in Late Territorial New Mexico”

– Elise Lemire (Purchase College, NY): “Maurice Richard, the Quiet Revolution, and the Symbol of the Maple Leaf in ‘Le Chandail de Hockey'”


F211: PANEL Peace With Honor? Nation-Building and Human Rights in the Twilight of American Empire

Chair: Elliott Gorn (Loyola University Chicago)

– Sheyda Jahanbani (University of Kansas): “‘New Directions:’ Nation-Building After Vietnam”

– Sarah B. Snyder (American University): “Pistolas de la Paz: Challenging Ideas about U.S. Foreign Policy in the 1960s”

– Vanessa Walker (Amherst College): “Normalization and Human Rights: The Curious Case of Carter and Cuba”


13.00-14.00 Lunch


14.00-15.30 Thursday Afternoon Parallel Workshops & Panels

(Topelia A205, A206, F211)


A205: Conceptualizing/Historicizing Race

Chair: Nina Öhman (University of Helsinki)

– Jonathan C. Hagel (University of Kansas): “‘Man’s Most Dangerous Myth’: The Global Fight Against Fascism and the Origins of Modern Antiracist Ideology”

– Niko Heikkilä (University of Turku): “Ideology and Race in the Cultural Politics of the Civil Rights-Era Klan”

– Mark A. Brandon (Ludwig-Maximilians University, Munich): “Aleš Hrdlička and the Boundaries of Whiteness”


A206: PANEL “Words Can Change”: Identities, Ideology, Boundaries, and Revision in the Writing of Louise Erdrich

Chair: John Moe (Ohio State University)

– John F. Moe (Ohio State University): “Contemporary Ideologies of American Indian Identity, Dual Identity, Spanning Boundaries, and a Sense of Belonging: Literary and Historic Judgment in the Writing of Louise Erdrich”

– Tina Parke-Sutherland (Stephens College, Missouri): “Beadworking the Page: Louise Erdrich and The Antelope Wife

– Mark Shackleton (University of Helsinki): “Louise Erdrich’s Justice Trilogy: Can Old Wounds be Healed, Can Justice Be Found?”


F211: Environmental (Non)Policies in North America

Chair: Marika Sandell (University of Helsinki)

– Sherri Sheu (University of Colorado, Boulder): “‘Ghastly Relics of a Merciless Slaughter’: Visualizing Extinction at the 1888 Ohio Valley Exposition”

– Rani-Henrik Andersson (University of Helsinki): “Bridging Cultural Concepts of Nature: A Transnational Study on Indigenous Places and Public Spaces”

– Wenjun Yang (University of Kansas): “‘Sweet’ Odor: History of Manure in Kansas (1870-1920)”


15.30-16.00 Coffee


16.00-17.00 Pehr Kalm Plenary

Topelia, F211: Chair: Ari Helo (University of Helsinki)

– Alan Taylor (University of Virginia): “Thomas Jefferson’s Education”



18.00 University of Helsinki Reception

Dean Hanna Snellman, University Main Building, Teachers’ Lounge, Unioninkatu 34 (all speakers and registered guests invited).



FRIDAY, May 18


9.00-11.00 Friday Early Morning Parallel Workshops (2-hour sessions!)

(Topelia A132, A205, A206, F211)


A132: Go Global: Eco-Capitalism (4)

Chair: Elliot Gorn (Loyola University)

– James Schwoch (Northwestern University): “So Proudly We Hailed: Imagined Communities, Patriotism, and American Weather Forecasting”

– Chang Liu (Heidelberg University): “Between Environmental Justice and Environmental Racism: On American Media’s Beijing APEC Blue Narrative”

– Christian Gunkel (University of Tübingen): “Eco-Capitalism: A Short Cut to Sustainability or just a Band-Aid Solution?”

– Małgorzata Poks (University of Silesia): “The Non-Human Damné and the Colonial Paradigm of War”


A205: Indigenous Sovereignty (4)

Chair: Rani-Henrik Andersson (University of Helsinki)

– Mike Barthelemy (University of New Mexico): “Hidatsa Iruck-pah-goo-ah Ida Awadi – Hidatsa and Mandan geographies: Using Indigenous Topographies to further our Understanding of Indigenous Perspectives in the Historical Narrative”

– Rachael Cassidy (University of New Mexico): “Buried History: Reclaiming Native Sovereignty in the Nation’s Capital”

– L. Sasha Gora (University of Munich) “Seal: Food, Ideology and Indigenous Sovereignty”

Margaret Connell-Szasz (University of New Mexico): “The Tribal Nation College: An Idea Rooted in the Tradition of Storytelling”


A206: Canada – U.S. Relations in Historical Perspective (4)

Chair: Saara Kekki (University of Helsinki)

– Christopher Kirkey (State University of New York, College at Plattsburgh) & Michael Hawes (Fulbright Canada): “Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Directions in Canadian Foreign Policy: Historical Forces and Current Trends”

– Hanna Smyth (University of Oxford): “‘Here Canada has poured forth her soul’: Canadian and American First World War graves as negotiations of identity”

– Frédérick Gagnon (University of Québec, Montreal): “‘I Love Canada’: Pessimistic and Optimistic Scenarios for Canada-U.S. Relations in Donald Trump’s Time”


F211: Political History Matters (4)

Chair: Allan Winkler (Miami University, Ohio)

– Henry Oinas-Kukkonen (University of Oulu): “Isolationism or help to Finland as Congressman Francis H. Case’s Dilemma”

– John Allphin Moore, Jr. (California State Polytechnic University): “James Madison, David Hume, and Modern Political Parties”

–  Sean Dinces (Long Beach City College, California): “Cookies, Capital, and Labor on Chicago’s South Side: A Case Study in Urban American Employment Policy since 1980”

– William H. Chafe (Duke University): “Personality and Politics: The Modern American Presidency”


11.00-11.30 Coffee


11.30-13.00 Friday Late Morning Parallel Workshops

(Topelia A205, A206, F211)


A205: American Fiction and Identity

Chair: Howard Sklar (University of Helsinki)

– Roman Kushnir (University of Jyväskylä): “Music in Constructing Transcultural Finnish American Identities in a Selection of Finnish American Fiction”

– Robert H. Brinkmeyer, Jr. (University of South Carolina): “Citizenship and Patriotism: Wendell Berry in the Global Age”

– Marlene Broemer (Finlandia University, MI): “Sam Shepard (1943-2017): The Legacy of the Ideals of the West”


A206: Natural Resources and People’s Rights

Chair: Rani-Henrik Andersson (University of Helsinki)

– Mark D. Hersey (Mississippi State University): “The Ecology of Segregation: Race and the Southern Landscape in the New Deal Era”

– C. Parker Krieg (University of Helsinki): “Networks beyond Extraction: The Aesthetics of Peripheral Oil Industries”

– Josh Reid (University of Washington): “Indigenous Activism in the Era of Standing Rock: The Limits of Liberty”


F211: Images of Genuine Americanness

Chair: Marika Sandell (University of Helsinki)

– Roger L. Nichols (University of Arizona): “The Wild West and Tourism”

– Pekka Kolehmainen (University of Turku): “‘Not a high form of patriotism, but there is in the coltishness something very American:’ Ideas of Rock in Defining ‘Americanness’ in the National Review during the 1980s”

– Scott Manning Stevens (Syracuse University): “Indigenous Travel as Activism”


13.00-14.00 Lunch


14.00-15.30 Friday Early Afternoon Parallel Workshops

(Topelia A205, A206, F211)


A205: Fantasyland and Serial Killer Fiction

Chair: Tina Parke-Sutherland (Stephens College, Missouri)

– Clara Juncker (University of Southern Denmark): “Inhabiting Fantasyland: J. D. Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy (2016)”

– Mona Raeisian (Philipps University of Marburg): “(De)-constructing Bodies: Ideology and Representation of the Human Body in American Serial Killer Fiction”


A206: The 1960s Legacies in Rights Talks

Chair: Allan Winkler (Miami University, Ohio)

– Reetta Humalajoki (JMC, University of Turku): “Lifting the ‘Buckskin Curtain’: Native Intellectual Writing in the U.S. and Canada in 1969”

– Cheryl Greenberg (Trinity College in Hartford, CT): “Teaching the Civil Rights Movement in the Age of Trump”

– Daniel M. Cobb (University of Helsinki): “‘Long Time Gone?’: The Poor People’s Campaign Turns Fifty”


F211: Race in Literature

Chair: Howard Sklar (University of Helsinki)

– Andrew J. Ploeg (Bilkent University): “Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead and the Legacy of John Brown”

– Tuula Kolehmainen (University of Helsinki): “Narrating Disability, Narrating Ideology: Toni Cade Bambara’s Short Fiction”

– Constante González Groba (University of Santiago): “Making Black Lives Matter: Keeping the Memory of Emmett Till Alive in Southern Autobiography”


15.30-16.00 Coffee


16.00-17.30 Friday Late Afternoon Parallel Workshops & Panels

(Topelia A205, A206, F211)


A205: Gender and Citizenship

Chair: Nina Öhman (University of Helsinki)

– Jane Weiss (Kingsborough Community College of CUNY): “‘Oughtn’t We To Think About People?’ Nineteenth-Century American Domestic Fiction and Reformist Ideals”

– Jenna Kirker (McMaster University): “‘Ferocious Women’: Questions of gender, ethnicity and race surrounding the 1909 Freight Handler’s Strike”

– Elizabeth McCallion (Queen’s University): “Towards a Gender Equal Senate”


A206: PANEL Presidential Politics, Clashing Ideologies, and the Future of the Two-Party System in the United States

Chair: John Moore (California State Polytechnic University)

– James Henson (University of Texas): “Conservative Ideology in the U.S. at the Intersection of the Tea Party and Donald Trump: Some Evidence from Texas”

– Jerry Pubantz (University of North Carolina): “The Preeminence of the Rural/Urban Divide in Contemporary U.S. National and State Elections”

– Markku Ruotsila (University of Helsinki): “Trump and the Christian Right: The Political Theology behind the Mutual Attraction”


F211: Culture and Subculture

Chair: Mark Shackleton (University of Helsinki)

– Brian Lloyd (University of California, Riverside): “Gary Snyder, the Great Subculture, and the 1960s”

– Jeffrey L. Meikle (University of Texas at Austin): “Virtual Identities and Ideologies: Laurie Anderson’s United States I-IV

– Mihaela Harper (Bilkent University): “The Mechanics of American Guilt: The Leftovers and the Impasse of Contemporary Life”


18.00  MLE Think Corner Buffet

with Closing Remarks by Mikko Saikku and Music Performance by Allan Winkler & Daniel Cobb “American Folksongs: A Reflection of American Culture” at the Tiedekulma/Think Corner Stage on Yliopistonkatu 4 (all speakers and registered guests invited). Welcome drinks & Music performance at 18.00, the Buffet opens at 19.00.



  • University of Helsinki (University Management, Department of Cultures, PYAM/PSRC Doctoral Program)
  • Finnish National Agency for Education, GSA Program
  • TSV, Federation of Finnish Learned Societies
  • Embassy of Canada to Finland | Ambassade du Canada en Finlande
  • Fulbright Finland Foundation
  • NACS, Nordic Association for Canadian Studies