10 years ago: defense of my dissertation “Moved by the City: Experiences of Helsinki in Finnish Prose Fiction 1889-1941”

Ten years ago to this day, I defended my dissertation, Moved by the City. Experiences of Helsinki in Finnish Prose Fiction 1889–1941, at the University of Helsinki. What a journey since. Postdocs at the University of Helsinki and Aalto University, research at the Turku Insitute for Advanced Studies, visiting professor at KU Leuven, temporary positions and then my current job as university lecturer in comparative literature at Tampere University. Thanks to everyone involved for support, belief and collegiality.

The full acknowledgements for my PhD project can be found in the open-access publication of my dissertation, here. A book for a more general audience was published by SKS under the title Helsinki in Early Twentieth-Century Literature, open access here (pdf). More on my current work here.

I’m still happy to return to experiences of literary Helsinki from time to time, and much remains to be studied on the subject. Maybe I’ll get back to writing the sequel in 10 more years or so.

From the blurb of Helsinki in Early Twentieth-Century Literature:

“Many of the central characteristics of how Helsinki is experienced in the literature published during this period remain part of the ongoing discourse on literary Helsinki: Helsinki as a city of leisure and light, inviting dreamy wanderings; the experience of a city divided along the fault lines of gender, class and language; the city as a disorientating and paralyzing cesspit of vice; the city as an imago mundi, symbolic of the body politic; the city of everyday and often very mundane experiences, and the city that invites a profound sense of attachment – an environment onto which characters project their innermost sentiments.”

(The image is from an alumni event in April 2014, and taken by L. Tamisto).

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