About me


I am university lecturer in comparative literature at Tampere University, Finland.

In my research, I work on urban futures across textual genres, uncertain ontologies in 21st c literature, narrated experiences of space, rhetorical structures in urban planning, place names in literature, representations of shorelines, and parkour, among others. I work on American literature of the long 20th century, Finnish and Nordic literature, as well as the literature of the Low Countries (Netherlands & Belgium). Much of my work involves cross-reading different textual genres, from the Bildungsroman to urban planning documents, from the graphic novel or epic poetry to policy visions.

My articles are published, among others, in Poetics Today; Studies in the Novel; Narrative; Style; Green Letters; Planning Perspectives; Critique: Studies in Contemporary Fiction; Textual Practice; Scandinavian Studies; Journal of Urban Cultural Studies; Geografiska Annaler B; Social & Cultural Geography; Journal of Dutch Linguistics and Literature; Spiegel der Letteren; Yhdyskuntasuunnittelu; Terra; AvainFennia; Alue & ympäristö.

My most recent books are Narrative in Urban Planning: A Practical Field Guide (co-authored with Jens Martin Gurr and Barbara Buchenau, Transcript 2022) and The Narrative Turn in Urban Planning: Plotting the Helsinki Waterfront (Routledge 2020).

I’m the editor of the Routledge Companion to Literary Urban Studies, which provides a methodical overview of the fundamentals of the study of city literature. It contains 33 newly commissioned chapters.

I am the author of Helsinki in Early Twentieth-Century Literature (2014), still the only study of Helsinki in Finnish-written literature to date. The book is based on my doctoral dissertation Moved by the City, which is available online here.

Other books include the co-edited volumes Language,Space and Power: Urban Entanglements (2012), Literature and the Peripheral City (2015), Literary Second Cities (2017), The Materiality of Literary Narratives in Urban History (2019), Literatures of Urban Possibility (2021) and La puissance projective (2021).

I received my PhD from the University of Helsinki, Finland and JLU Giessen, Germany in the fields of Finnish literature and comparative literature.

I’m Docent in urban studies and planning methods at the Tampere University of Technology, and Docent in Finnish literature at the University of Helsinki.

Co-editor of the Palgrave Literary Urban Studies Series. Member of the editorial board of the Journal of Urban Cultural Studies.

Critic, teacher, translator.

I recently completed a three year research project (2017-2020), during which I worked as collegium researcher at the Turku Institute for Advanced Studies (TIAS). More on my research project at TIAS, “Imagining City Futures across Genres – Antwerp, Helsinki, New York 1990-2020” here.

In an earlier research project (2013-2015) I examined the use and structure of narrative in urban planning. The project focused, in particular, on the areas of Kalasatama and Jätkäsaari in Helsinki. More on this project here. The findings of this project are presented in The Narrative Turn in Planning: Plotting the Helsinki Waterfront (Routledge 2020).

Co-founder and current president of the Association for Literary Urban Studies (formerly HLCN).

Follow me on twitter:@lievenameel

Email me: lieven.ameel [a] tuni.fi

For an updated list of publications, see https://blogs.helsinki.fi/urbannarratives/publications/

For more about media reports, reviews, and interviews, see my media page.

Current and previous positions:

2020 – present: university lecturer in comparative literature, Tampere University

January 2018-July 2020: TIAS collegium researcher, University of Turku

Spring 2019: visiting professor, department of literature, KU Leuven, Belgium.

Autumn 2017: researcher, University of Helsinki / Aalto University (visiting researcher)

2015-2017 university lecturer, comparative literature, University of Tampere

2013-2015; post-doctoral researcher, the University of Helsinki.

2008-2013: doctoral candidate, University of Helsinki

Picture by Sasa Tkalcan