Phd in Assyriology, 20.3.2012, University of Helsinki. Dissertation title: “Power and Women in the Neo-Assyrian palaces.” Grade for the PhD thesis, eximia cum laude approbatur.
MA degree in Assyriology 5.4.2005, University of Helsinki.
– minors: science of religion, exegetics, women studies, sociology and arabic and islamic studies
– includes an exchange year in London, School of Oriental and African Studies 2000-2001.
2016 Docent in Cultural History of the Near East, University of Turku
2015 Docent of Assyriology, University of Helsinki
University of Helsinki, Department of World Cultures. Principal investigator in the Academy of Finland funded project: “Construction of gender in Mesopotamia from 934 to 330 BCE”
Relevant previous employment
1.1.2012-31.8.2014 University of Helsinki, Department of World Cultures, postdoctoral researcher, in project: ”Intellectual Heritage of the Ancient Near East” (principal investigator Prof. Hämeen-Anttila)
04/2006-12/2011 Full-time work on the PhD Dissertation (parental leave 9 months) with grants from private foundations
– Suomen kulttuurirahasto, (three years, 50.000 €)
– Suomalainen Tiedeakatemia, (one year, 15.000 €)
– Helsingin yliopiston Sasakawa Young Leadership Fellowship Foundation (one year, 20.000 €)
– Suomen Lähi-idän instituutin säätiö (twice, altogether 5.500 €)
Most important visits abroad and international scientific collaboration
Visiting Professor at the University of Tartu, Estonia 12/2016-6/2017. Includes a full course (24 hours) “Gender History: Ancient Near Eastern Approaches”
Short esearch visits to University of California, Berkeley (Department of Near Eastern Studies) 2014, 2016
Research visit to University of Innsbruck 27.11 – 4.12. 2015.
Research visit to University of Chuo, (Tokyo), Japan, 14.12-20.12.2014.
Research visit to University of Malta, 4 guest lectures and intensive PhD supervision, 2015 19-26 April.
Participation in a seminar in Venice International University “Literature and Culture in the Ancient Mediterranean: Greece, Rome and the Near East” 2011 and 2012 (altogether 4 weeks)
Organized international conferences and workshops
Second Workshop on Gender, Methodology and the Ancient Near East
23 presentations, February 1-3, 2017, Barcelona. Together with Dr. Agnès Garcia-Ventura.
Conceptualizing Past, Present and Future: Ninth Symposium of the Melammu Project (University of Helsinki 18-20 May 2015 University of Tartu 22-24 May 2015). Organizing 2 poster sessions together with Dr. Sanae Ito.
Gender, Methodology and the Ancient Near East
19 presentations, October 26-28 2014, Helsinki. Together with Dr. Agnès Garcia-Ventura.
Workshop in 60e Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale, Warsaw, July 2014.
Organizing a workshop as part of it with Dr. Agnès Garcia-Ventura (Barcelona) “Beyond hierarchies: Heterarchy and gender” (5 presentations).
Workshops in 59e Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale, Ghent, July 2013.
O rganizing two workshops as part of it. With Dr. Agnès Garcia-Ventura (Barcelona) “Gender, Methodology and Assyriology” (8 presentations). With Dr. Natalie May (Berlin) “Change in the Neo-Assyrian Imperial Administration” (6 presentations).
Most important scientific and academic administrative positions
Since 2016 I have been responsible of any subject specific administration of Assyriology, including general examinations and the new degree structure (starting 2017 autumn).
Additionally, as a student representative (during BA, MA and PhD studies) I was involved in all levels of administration in the University of Helsinki:
– Discipline (e.g. co-ordinator of Assyriology)
– Department (e.g. Board member)
– Faculty (e.g. the council accepting new PhD students to the faculty)
– University (Scientific Board [Finn. Tieteellinen Neuvosto] of the university).
On national level I took part as a Phd representative in the National Evaluation of Doctoral Training. Results published as: H. Niemi, H. Aittola, V. Harmaakorpi, O. Lassila, S. Svärd, J. Ylikarjula, K. Hiltunen, K. Talvinen: Tohtorikoulutuksen rakenteet muutoksessa: Tohtorikoulutuksen kansallinen seuranta-arviointi. KKA:n julkaisuja 15/2011.
Most important research funding
University of Helsinki funded project, “Deep Learning and Semantic Domains in Akkadian Texts.” (2017-2020). Main applicant. Application was among the best 13%. Amount granted: 149 580 euros.
Academy of Finland postdoctoral funding for three years, (started 1.9.2014) “Construction of gender in Mesopotamia from 934 to 330 BCE.” Main applicant. Application was among the best 6%. Amount granted: 480 000 euros.
Member of the Research Evaluation Team “Ancient and Medieval Near East.”
Evaluation was carried out in 2012 and the AMNE team received best possible grade. During the following three years (2013-2105) the team had a special budget for joint research activities.
Five years of full-time work for the PhD dissertation from various funding agencies (see above, ”Previous Employment”), altogether 90 500€
Research leaderships and supervised doctoral dissertations
Leadership experience: See above, my list of organized conferences and below my position as the Chair of Finnish Oriental Society (Society publishes a journal and two monograph series as well as organizes public events) and Chair of SYLFF Fellows alumni association in Helsinki (Association organized a yearly conference, with Chair in charge of the organizing Committee).
Leadership studies: Study module ”University administration and leadership” [Finn. Korkeakouluhallinnon ja johtamisen sivuaine] (40 credits), as part of the PhD degree.
University of Helsinki: Phd thesis of Aleksi Sahala (Topic of Dissertation: “Deep Learning and Semantic Domains in Akkadian) together with Doc. Krister Lindén (Department of Oriental Studies). Supervision will start officially August 2017.
University of Malta: Phd thesis of Omar N’Shea (Topic of Dissertation: “The Construct of Royal Masculinity in Neo-Assyrian Visual and Textual Culture”) together with Professor Anthony Frendo (Department of Oriental Studies). Supervision started in October 2014.
Other scientific expert positions and scientific achievements
Since 2012 Chair of the Editorial Board, Studia Orientalia & Studia Orientalia Electronica (Publisher, Finnish Oriental Society)
2016 TRACE: Finnish Journal for Human-Animal Studies (article review)
2015 Teologisk Tidsskrift i Oslo (article review)
2015 Publisher Walter De Gruyter (book manuscript)
2013 Altorientalische Forschungen (Oldenbourg Verlag) (article review)
2012 Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient (Brill) (article review)
Important scientific affiliations and positions of trust
Participation in CSTT (Changes in Sacred Texts and Traditions) Centre of Excellence, Helsinki. Post-doc representative in the Board of CSTT (vice rep. 2014 and rep. 2015).
The American Schools of Oriental Research
Member of the Committee “Initiative on the Status of Women” in ASOR, since 3/2015
Finnish Institute in the Middle East
Member of the Board since 2017 (vice-member 2014-2017).
Sasakawa Young Leadership Fellowship Fund (SYLFF) alumni association of Helsinki
Chair since 2014.
Finnish Oriental Society (Finn. Suomen Itämainen Seura)
Member since 2005, Board member since 2006, secretary 2006-2010, Chair since 2012.
Ancient and Medieval Middle East (AMME) -seminar
Established by myself and Dr. Erik Van Dongen to be a discussion forum in Helsinki University for Classical studies, Egyptology, Assyriology, Biblical studies and Arabic and Islamic studies. The monthly meetings (since 9/2010, during term time) held in English are considered a success by the participants.
Scientific and Societal Impact
Volume of work
2 monographs (1 co-authored), 3 co-edited volumes, 2 edited or co-edited special issues of scientific journals. 20 scientific articles (6 of them co-authored), 5 Other publications (eg published lectures), 2 book reviews, 5 popularizing essays. One popularizing article has been translated to German, and one article has been translated to Japanese. Some of these publications are forthcoming or in preparation. For a full list of publications see these pages or Acedemia.edu: https://helsinki.academia.edu/SaanaSv%C3%A4rd
Conference presentations, last five years: 28 conference presentations, of which 1 keynote and 6 invited presentations.
Visibility: 9 interviews, 2 blog posts, 2 videoed general presentations (youtube), ca. 20 lectures for general public, organizing one small exhibition and 4 cuneiform workshops for the general public.