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  • Nokso-Koivisto, Inka (2014)
    The microcosm-macrocosm analogy – the idea of man as a miniature of the surrounding reality or part of it – is a prevailing theme in Rasail Ikhwan as-Safa. This study examines the analogy primarily in this encyclopaedia completed during the tenth century and compares the views presented in it to those in certain other texts from the ninth to the thirteenth centuries: Sirr al-khaliqa, some texts attributed to Jabir ibn Hayyan, some Sufi writings of al-Ghazali (d. 1111), Suhrawardi (d. 1191) and Ibn Arabi (d. 1240), and al-Qazwini’s (d. 1283) Ajaib al-makhluqat. The aim is to explore the influence of microcosmism on the idea of man in these texts and to define the position of the Rasail in the development of the topic in mediaeval Islamic thought. Rudolf Allers’s classification of microcosmism is used as the main conceptual framework in this analysis. All Allers’s six varieties of the analogy receive various interpretations in the Islamic tradition. This study also proposes a threefold approach to the examination of microcosmism. Firstly, the analogy appears as a human-specific feature defining the cosmological position of the human species. In this form, microcosmism is used in all of the studied texts and often the role of the human being as an intermediate being in the universe is in focus. Secondly, attitudes towards the corporeal aspect of man are approached through the use of the analogy. In this form, the idea is closely related to the scientific worldview and sometimes the meaning given to the analogy can only be understood within the frames of a scientific theory. Thirdly, the normative aspect is included in the analogy and it is used in descriptions of epistemological and ethical ideals. Especially Sufi thinkers elaborate this form of the analogy and it is also in the key position of microcosmism in the Rasail. Microcosmism in the Rasail is a synthesis of various forms of the analogy developed earlier in the Islamic tradition and it anticipates many ideas that only become central in the later texts. Obvious thematic similarities between the texts can be found, but transmission of particular elements of microcosmism is possible to trace in only a few cases. For instance, some comparisons of the Rasail between the human body and the surrounding reality seem to be transmitted – directly or indirectly – even to the latest texts of the corpus.
  • Kostov, Heli (Helsingin yliopisto, 2000)
    This dissertation focuses on the mythopoetics of the Soviet writer Andrej Platonov (1899-1951) in his late novel Schastlivaja Moskva (Happy Moscow), written in 1932 1936. The purpose of the work is to reveal the mythopoetic world model in the novel, to characterize the most significant features of Platonov's mythopoetics and finally, to reconstruct the author's myth in the novel by placing the novel in the context of Platonov's oeuvre and Russian literature and culture as a whole. The first chapter provides a representation of the problem and methodology of the work, a short overview of the history of creating and publishing the novel, and a survey of critical work on Platonov done to date. The study utilizes a structuralistic-semiotic approach devised by Tarto-Moscow scholars for analyzing mythopoetic texts and applies the methodology of a conceptual analysis of the mythology of language. The second chapter examines the peculiarities of Platonov's mythopoetics, and its relation to the neomythological paradigm of Russian literature. Some special consideration is given to the character of the scientific utopism of Platonov's myth, to the relation of Platonov's mythopoetic world model with mythopoetic thinking and to the syntagmatical, and paradigmatical aspects of Platonov's myth, in particular to the mythopoetical metasjuzhet and the ambivalent binary structure of myth. The third chapter presents a close examination of the mythopoetics of the novel by discerning the motif structure of the novel, analyzing the characters and main thematic oppositions of Platonov's myth in the novel. It is contended that in every textual level Platonov strives for ambivalency which provides an opportunity to discern his poetics as both utopian and antiutopian. The analysis in the fourth chapter of the key Platonovian ideological concepts revoljucia, kommunizm and socializm confirms this observation. The study concludes that Platonov's myth in the novel is based on the mythologema of his early prose, but reflect the gradual transition from early utopian themes to the intimate "humble" prose of the late 1930's.
  • Perhoniemi, Tuukka (Vastapaino, 2014)
    In our society almost everything is measured. The world is quantified in all of its aspects, from atoms to individuals to global markets and to the vast dimensions of the universe. All the same, we are so used to this that it is not easy to consider in which fundamental yet subtle ways measures influence our lives. The Varieties of Measure comprises historical case studies which reveal the conceptual presuppositions embedded in measures and measurement. The studies discuss the conceptualization of measurement in the thinking of Plato and Aristotle, in the modern science of Galileo Galilei, and in the birth of the metric system at the beginning of the 19th century. In each case the prominent features of measures and measurement are stressed. These features are the ontological connections between different measures, the representational possibilities of measurement, and the functional practices of measurement systems. These aspects relate measures in different historical times to different presuppositions that concern the structure of the world, the nature of human beings, and the status of knowledge in different contexts. The study reveals the multiple ways in which measurement is not just a neutral tool. Different interpretations and uses of measures are deeply connected to a wider understanding of reality and its nature. They tell us, for example, what is considered to be real, how and why objective matter differs from subjective consciousness, in which sense measured knowledge means probabilities, and how measurement needs active maintenance, contracts and bureaucracy in order to work and have a general meaning. With a better understanding of the conceptual processes in which things become measurable and the different epistemological, ontological, and practical aspects underlying these processes, we are able to understand better the different ways of interpreting our measurements, their outcomes, adequacy, generalizability, and the possible further actions based on them. This is all the more important when important decisions are justified with measures, especially when new phenomena are being conceptualized for measurement. This can be done in a more or less truthful and fruitful manner although aspects of reality always remain that cannot be measured.
  • Hiippala, Tuomo (Helsingin yliopisto, 2013)
    This dissertation studied the structure of multimodal artefacts, or how language, image and other semiotic modes combine and interact in documents. This places the study within the emerging field of multimodal research, which uses linguistic methods to study the interaction of multiple semiotic modes. Despite the growing amount of multimodal research, the structure of multimodal artefacts has not received the attention it warrants. Previous studies have been either very detailed or exceedingly abstract, leaving a significant gap between data and theory, which this dissertation attempted to bridge. To do so, the dissertation adopted a data-driven approach to multimodal analysis, addressing the structure of multimodal artefacts, the factors that shape the artefact structure, and the role of structure in the recognition and interpretation of the artefacts. The data consisted of tourist brochures produced by the city of Helsinki between 1967 and 2008, which allowed a longitudinal perspective to their multimodal structure. A total of 58 double-pages were annotated for their content, visual appearance, layout and rhetorical organisation, and compiled into an XML-based multimodal corpus. To study the corpus, the dissertation developed visualisation methods that combined information from multiple analytical layers of the corpus to represent the multimodal structures in the data. The study revealed the functional motivation behind the structure of the tourist brochures, identifying patterns in their hierarchical and rhetorical organisation, which were used to fulfil specific communicative tasks. The configuration of these patterns, in turn, signalled how the brochure was to be interpreted. The results also showed that after the year 1985, which marked the introduction of desktop publishing software, the organising principles of the tourist brochures have shifted towards a more fragmented and non-linear structure.
  • Menanteau, Alvaro (Helsingin yliopisto, 2009)
    This research is about jazz in Chile in relation to modernity and identity. Final chapters focus and detach latest jazz musician s generation in 1990 decade and composer guitarist Angel Parra. An historic and sociological approach is developed, which will be useful for modernity and identity analysis, and so on post modernity and globalization. Modernity has been studied in texts of Adorno, Baudrillard, Brünner, García Canclini, Habermas and Jameson. Identity has been studied in texts of Aharonián, Cordúa, Garretón, Gissi, Larraín and others. Chapter 3 is about Latin-American musicology and jazz investigations, in relation to approach developed in chapter 2. Chapters 4 and 5 are about history of jazz in Chile until beginning of XXI century. Chapter 6 focuses in Ángel Parra Orrego. Conclusions of this investigation detach the modernist mechanical that has conducted jazz development in Chile, which in Ángel Parra´s case has been overcame by a post modernist behaviour. This behaviour has solved in a creative way, subjects like modernity and identity in jazz practice in a Latin-American country.
  • Pekkarinen, Heli (Helsingin yliopisto, 2011)
    The multifaceted passive present participle in Finnish This study investigates the uses of the passive present participle in Finnish. The participle occurs in a variety of syntactic environments and exhibits a rich polysemy. Former descriptions have treated it as a mainly modal element, but it has several non-modal uses as well. The present study provides an overview of its uses and meanings, with the main focus on the factors which trigger the modal reading. In addition, the study contains two case studies on modal periphrastic constructions consisting of the verb 'to be' and the present passive participle, the Obligation construction, e.g., on men-tä-vä [is go-pass-ptc], and the Possiblity construction, e.g., on pelaste-tta-v-i-ssa [is save-pass-ptc-pl-ine]. The study is based on empirical data of 9000 sentences obtained from i) large collections of transcribed material from Finnish dialects, ii) a corpus of modern Finnish newspaper texts, iii) corpora of Old Finnish texts. Both in colloquial and standard Finnish the reading of the participle is highly dependent of the context and determined by such factors as the overall syntactic environment and other co-occurring elements. One of the main findings here is that the Finnish passive present participle is not modal per se. The contextual modal reading arises whenever the state of affairs is conceptualized from the viewpoint of the implied subject of the participle, and the meaning of possibility or obligation depends mostly on whether the situation is pleasant or undesirable. In sections examining the grammaticalization of the Possibility and Obligation constructions, the perspective is diachronic. Both constructions have derived from copula constructions with the passive present participle as a predicate (adjective or adverb). These sections show how a linguistic change can be investigated on the basis of the patterns of usage in the empirical data. The Possibility construction is currently going through a restructuration to a passive verbal complex. The source of this construction is reflected in its present-day use by the fact that it heavily biased towards a small set of verbs. The Obligation construction has grammaticalized to a construction comparable to a compound tense. Patterns of use of the construction show that grammaticalization originates in specific syntactic constructions with an implication of practical necessity. Furthermore, it is shown that the Obligation construction has grammaticalized in different directions in standard and colloquial Finnish. Differing from the study on most typical phenomena investigated in the literature on grammaticalization of modality, the present study opens new perspectives and methods for discussion on these questions.
  • Ameel, Lieven (Helsingin yliopisto, 2013)
    This study analyses experiences of Helsinki in prose fiction published in Finnish in the period 1889-1941. It examines the relationships that are formed between Helsinki and fictional characters, focusing, especially, on the way in which urban public space is experienced. Particular attention is given to the description of movement through urban space. The primary material consists of more than sixty novels, collections of short stories and individual short stories. Theoretically, this study draws on two sets of frameworks: on the one hand, the expanding field of literary studies of the city, and on the other hand, theoretical concepts provided by humanistic and critical geography, as well as urban studies. Following an introduction, which includes a concise history of Helsinki, a theoretical chapter charts the relevant concepts and theoretical approaches to the city in literature. The analysis of the selected corpus is divided into five chapters, loosely following a chronological order and structured thematically. In each chapter, one key text is used as a window from which to approach particular thematics. The third chapter analyses experiences of arrival in the city, using Juhani Aho s Helsinkiin (1889) as a prototypical text. The fourth chapter studies experiences of urban public space around the turn of the century, with particular attention given to Eino Leino s Jaana Rönty (1907). In the fifth chapter, Arvid Järnefelt s kaleidoscopic Veneh ojalaiset (1909) functions as a key novel to approach experiences of a transforming and even disappearing Helsinki. The sixth chapter, focusing on Mika Waltari s Suuri illusioni (1928), analyses the aestheticization and internalization of the urban experience in 1920s and 1930s Helsinki novels. The seventh and final chapter examines the cumbersome movement of socially marginalized characters on the urban fringes, with Joel Lehtonen s Henkien taistelu (1933) as a key primary text. This study argues that around the turn of the twentieth century, literary Helsinki was approached from a surprisingly rich variety of generic and thematic perspectives which were in close dialogue with international contemporary traditions and age-old images of the city, and defined by events typical of Helsinki s own history. This created a fascinating and varied imagination of the city that set the tone for later literary descriptions. Helsinki literature of the 1920s and 1930s further developed the defining traits that took form around the turn of the century, adding a number of new thematic and stylistic nuances. The city experience was increasingly aestheticized and internalized, and as the description of the city moved inwards, the experience of Helsinki became dominated by a sense of centrifugal dynamics. The centre of the city became less prominent in literature, and in its place, the margins of the city and specific socially defined neighbourhoods gain in importance.
  • Hirvonen, Maija (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    The present dissertation analyses the representation of space in filmic audio description. The main objective of this study is to shed light on two critical challenges for audio description: (1) how the filmic space becomes audible in audio-described film through spoken language, sound effects, and music, and (2) how the visual representation of space in film can be cued by the linguistic mode in an audio description. This dissertation consists of four articles and a thesis summary. The first article focusses on the multimodal representation of space through auditory cues. The other three articles explore intermodal similarity, which involves the question of how language reflects visual representation. To explain the complex phenomenon of translating images into words, this study applies the theoretical and analytical tools from translation studies, film studies and cognitive linguistics, and also adopts a cognitive orientation to explain both the filmic and linguistic representations as being cognitive representations that are constructed through visual, auditory, and linguistic cues. This research first establishes that the auditory multimodality of an audio-described film creates a variant of the multimodality of the audiovisual film that entails dynamic constellations, perspectives and foci. Secondly, the analysis presents evidence for the varied potential of the linguistic mode in terms of representing space. Thirdly, this study defines strategies for intermodal similarity in terms of the corresponding linguistic signs for the filmic cues of representation and narration. The results of this dissertation may be valuable in justifying the consistency and standards for audio description as well as in developing other, more far-reaching usages of audio description as a mode of transforming information from one system of representation into another.
  • Jyrkiäinen, Reijo (Helsingin yliopisto, 2012)
    This analysis of form and structure focuses, in chronological order, on the six String Quartets of Béla Bartók (1881 - 1945). The printed scores were used as source material. The research problem is presented in four hypotheses: The Quartets contain many different types of form. They also comprise several kinds of monothematicism, variation techniques, and symmetries. Along with traditional music theory and tonal functions, other structural and hierarchical forms emerge as well. The form of the movements and the general form of the Quartets are defined with the help of a motif-, theme-, and harmony analysis. Compared to earlier works treating the same topic, this study presents a more meticulous approach to treating the subject and also applies the Schenkerian analysis and pitch-class set theory to all the Quartets. Following the introduction (1), the ensuing themes are examined: how the genre of the string quartet took shape in Europe leading into the 1940s (2), Bartók s sources of inspiration, starting from folk music and Beethoven to his contemporaries (3), analysis of the Quartets, movement by movement (4 9), the conclusions (10). Included in the study are Bartók s own analyses of the Fourth and Fifth Quartets. Many viewpoints and study results of earlier researchers are incorporated as well. Among the most renowned are the Hungarians János Kárpáti, Ernö Lendvai, and László Somfai; the German Roswitha Traimer; and the Americans Elliott Antokoletz, Allen Forte, and Paul Wilson. Music notation examples are placed within the text. The appendix contains literature and other source materials, a glossary of terms, a list of pitch-class sets, as well as a catalogue of Bartók s works. Keywords: Bartók, string quartets, Schenkerian analysis, pitch-class set system.
  • Torvinen, Juha (Helsingin yliopisto, 2007)
    Music as the Art of Anxiety: A Philosophical Approach to the Existential-Ontological Meaning of Music. The present research studies music as an art of anxiety from the points of view of both Martin Heidegger s thought and phenomenological philosophy in general. In the Heideggerian perspective, anxiety is understood as a fundamental mode of being (Grundbefindlichkeit) in human existence. Taken as an existential-ontological concept, anxiety is conceived philosophically and not psychologically. The central research questions are: what is the relationship between music and existential-ontological anxiety? In what way can music be considered as an art of anxiety? In thinking of music as a channel and manifestation of anxiety, what makes it a special case? What are the possible applications of phenomenology and Heideggerian thought in musicology? The main aim of the research is to develop a theory of music as an art of existential-ontological anxiety and to apply this theory to musicologically relevant phenomena. Furthermore, the research will contribute to contemporary musicological debates and research as it aims to outline the phenomenological study of music as a field of its own; the development of a specific methodology is implicit in these aims. The main subject of the study, a theory of music as an art of anxiety, integrates Heideggerian and phenomenological philosophies with critical and cultural theories concerning violence, social sacrifice, and mimetic desire (René Girard), music, noise and society (Jacques Attali), and the affect-based charme of music (Vladimir Jankélévitch). Thus, in addition to the subjective mood (Stimmung) of emptiness and meaninglessness, the philosophical concept of anxiety also refers to a state of disorder and chaos in general; for instance, to noise in the realm of sound and total (social) violence at the level of society. In this study, music is approached as conveying the existentially crucial human compulsion for signifying i.e., organizing chaos. In music, this happens primarily at the immediate level of experience, i.e. in affectivity, and also in relation to all of the aforementioned dimensions (sound, society, consciousness, and so on). Thus, music s existential-ontological meaning in human existence, Dasein, is in its ability to reveal different orders of existence as such. Indeed, this makes music the art of anxiety: more precisely, music can be existentially significant at the level of moods. The study proceeds from outlining the relevance of phenomenology and Heidegger s philosophy in musicology to the philosophical development of a theory of music as the art of anxiety. The theory is developed further through the study of three selected specific musical phenomena: the concept of a musical work, guitar smashing in the performance tradition of rock music, and Erik Bergman s orchestral work Colori ed improvvisazioni. The first example illustrates the level of individual human-subject in music as the art of anxiety, as a means of signifying chaos, while the second example focuses on the collective need to socio-culturally channel violence. The third example, being music-analytical, studies contemporary music s ability to mirror the structures of anxiety at the level of a specific musical text. The selected examples illustrate that, in addition to the philosophical orientation, the research also contributes to music analysis, popular music studies, and the cultural-critical study of music. Key words: music, anxiety, phenomenology, Martin Heidegger, ontology, guitar smashing, Erik Bergman, musical work, affectivity, Stimmung, René Girard
  • Helkala-Koivisto, Sari (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    The present study Music and autism - prosodic sign in existential semiotics belongs to the field of musicology and especially to the branch of musical and existential semiotics. The starting point of my theoretical research is music and autism. Both of them are signified as cultural and subjective phenomena in the semiotic sense, despite the fact that the object of study the prosodic sign - is first found between them. It has occurred in practice through musical dialogue with children on autism. The study has some empirical data that consists of documented narratives, in which the prosodic sign is seen as a moving subject within early musical interaction in the music therapy process. The object of study has shown its origin and realization in practice but semiotics is moreover interested to clarify the symbolic life and signification of the recognized signs. In the study it refers to the way by which a prosodic feature will constitute a symbolic character and become the prosodic sign that signifies something external outside itself. The prosodic features try to manifest themselves first by being a signal for something, doing repeated accents inside musical and linguistic expression. To become a sign the accent has to get a meaning. It has to receive a signification like a new born baby after becoming a part of communicative human consciousness. Signification and consciousness are internal system of human existence. They represent an intentional subject s whole body and mind. The sense of body-mind s action and symbolic thinking with and without prosodic signification is a developing part of my research in existential semiotics. The study is based on Eero Tarasti s theory of existential semiotics and Julia Kristeva s psychoanalytic approach to subject s early interaction in semiotic chora. Existential semiotics is a new key to study and read prosodic features as significant and interactive signs. The anthropological character of semiotics has also provided a new interpretation to autism: it is approached for the first time from the viewpoint of humanistic and cultural phenomena. It is defined in the symbolic sense as equivalent to music as a cultural sign. The two semiotic theories mentioned above and their analysis combined with the early stages in the development of the prosodic signification will reveal the prosodic sign as a new possible subject among the existing prosodic theories. As a result of the study both the cultural and the subjective proto-musical meaning will have a new broader signification. The prosodic sign may have a closely spaced sensory-affective basis between autism and non-autism in early infancy. It is a question of the sensorimotor timing and rhythmic adherence, wherein the prosodic sign is the smallest but probably the most important signifying variable in sensing the outside world and the other. Keywords: musical dialogue, autism, otherness, symbol, prosodic signification, existential semiotics, psychoanalysis, global languages
  • Niemi, Jarkko (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    This study examines conceding as a social practice in Finnish conversation as well as the linguistic structures that are used to implement it, such as "voihan se olla" it may (well) be . The four case studies that are analysed are connected by a concessive sequence of turns at talk. In this sequence, the concessor concedes the prior speaker s point of view as (potentially) correct and either implies reserve or subsequently asserts a contrastive point of view. The data consist of telephone calls and video-recorded conversations between acquaintances and family members, as well as conversations from internet forums and a chat room. This study applies the method of Conversation Analysis and adopts the orientation of Construction Grammar on linguistic structures as holistic combinations of form and function. The central research questions of this analysis are 1) what gets done with the linguistic structures that the study examines, 2) what are the social, interactional, and sequential factors involved in the choice of a specific format, and 3) what is the relationship between linguistic constructions and social interaction. The functions of the linguistic structures analysed in this study differ in several ways. The concessor may comment on the truthfulness of the prior speaker s statement or its implied consequences. He or she may modify the prior speaker s statement or assert agreement without modification. In addition, concession can imply either independent knowledge about the subject at hand, or a lack of that knowledge. In the data, the more minimal concessive structures (such as "voi olla" may be and "se voi olla" it may be ) are crystallized so that even a small difference in form results in a difference in function. By contrast, more elaborated clausal concessions allow for variation in their lexical form while retaining their function. This study reveals the two faces of conceding in interaction. While conceding may advance the speakers agreement and mutual understanding, it also may serve as a resource to express disagreement and to represent the other speaker s point of view as rather foolish. In addition, this study demonstrates that concessive structures carry a frame semantic meaning of a larger concessive sequence. The recipients of a concession can therefore anticipate disagreement on the basis of the concessive move. As a result, constructions are to be understood as established practices through which speakers perform and interpret social actions as well as projections of upcoming actions.
  • Hatakka, Mari (Helsingin yliopisto, 2011)
    The subject matter of this study is the cultural knowledge concerning romantic male-female relationships in autobiographies written by so called ordinary Finnish men and women born between 1901 and 1965. The research data (98 autobiographies) is selected from two collections by the Finnish Literature Society s folklore archives in the early 1990 s. Autobiographies are cultural representations where negotiation of shared cultural models and personal meanings given to hetero-relationship is evident in an interesting manner. In this research I analyze autobiographies as a written folklore genre. Information concerning male-female relationships is being analyzed using theoretically informed close readings thematic analysis, intertextual reading and reflexive reading. Theoretical implications stem from cognitive anthropology (the idea of cultural models) and an adaptation of discourse theory inspired by Michel Foucault. The structure of the analysis follows the structure of the shared knowledge concerning romantic male-female relationship: the first phase of analysis presents the script of a hetero-relationship and then moves into the actual structure, the cultural model of a relationship. The components of the model of relationship are, as mentioned in the title of the research, woman, man, love and sex. The research shows that all the writers share this basic knowledge concerning a heterosexual relationship despite their age, background or gender. Also the conflicts described and experienced in the relationships of the writers were similar throughout the timespan of the early 1900 s to 1990 s: lack of love, inability to reconcile sexual desires, housework, sharing the responsibility of childcare and financial problems. The research claims that the conflicts in relationships are a major cause for the binary view on gender. When relationships are harmonious, there seems to be no need to see men and women as opposites. The research names five important discourses present in the meaning giving processes of autobiographers. In doing so, the stabile cultural model of male-female relationship widens to show the complexity and variation in data. In this way it is possible to detect some age and gender specific shifts and emphasis. The discourses give meaning to the components of the cultural model and determine the contents of womanhood, manhood, sexuality and love. The way these discourses are spread and their authority are different: the romantic discourse evident in the autobiographies appeal to the authority of love supreme love is the purpose of male-female relationship and it justifies sexuality. In this discourse sex can be the place for confluence of genders. The ideas of romantic love are widely spread in popular culture. Popular scientific discourse defines a relationship as a site to become a man and a woman either from a psychological or a biological point of view. Genders are seen as opposites. These ideas are often presented in media and their authority in science which is seen as infallible. The Christian discourse defines men and women: both should work for the benefit of the nuclear family under the undisputed authority of God. Marital love is based on Christian virtues and within marriage sexuality is acceptable. The discourse I ve named folk tradition defines women and men as guardians of home and offspring. The authority of folk tradition comes from universal truth based in experience and truths known to the mediators of this discourse grandparents, parents and other elders or peers. Societal discourse defines the hetero relationship as the mainstay of society. The authority in societal discourse stems from the laws and regulations that control relationship practices.
  • Mäkelä, Hanna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    My doctoral dissertation, Narrated Selves and Others: A Study of Mimetic Desire in Five Contemporary British and American Novels , explores the relationships between fictional characters as demonstrated by the self s desire to imitate the being of another. The novels studied in the dissertation are The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1961) by Muriel Spark, Sula (1973) by Toni Morrison, The Secret History (1992) by Donna Tartt, Amsterdam (1998) by Ian McEwan, and What I Loved (2003) by Siri Hustvedt. In the thesis, I will deal with René Girard s mimetic theory and develop it further in the literary realm, both through a close-reading of individual novels and through a partial synthesizing of Girard s thought with some key concepts of current narrative theory, such as the implied author and narrative perspective structure. The key issue, however, is to determine the timeliness and continuing fecundity of Girard s thought as a tool in analysing contemporary English-language fiction, as opposed to the more established classic works read by Girard himself. According to Girard s thought, which combines literary studies with a broader base of cultural studies and philosophical anthropology, imitation, or mimesis , is characteristic of all humans, but because of its tendency to become rivalrous, it leads to conflict, both between individuals and in society at large. Girard furthermore thinks that archaic religion was founded on the surrogate victim mechanism the goal of which is to salvage the community from ever-spreading conflict and strife by channelling violence into a scapegoat. However, with the advent of Judaism and Christianity, history became aware of the essential innocence of the victim and destroyed the credibility of the scapegoat mechanism, rendering the current social and cultural context more vulnerable to reciprocal violence, with an apocalyptic choice between renouncing violence and succumbing to it looming at the historical crossroads. One purpose of this study is to make Girard s thought as a whole more appealing to the mainstream of literary studies and fortify the appeal of literature as a privileged medium of knowledge with regard to mimetic theory, without undermining its deliberately inter-disciplinarian focus. Although explicit conversions of characters signalling the end of idolatry of other characters are less common than in Girard s nineteenth-century and older examples, the implied author still recommends the possibility of this conversion in those cases where it fails to take place on the level of story or narration.
  • Kettunen, Harri (Helsingin yliopisto, 2005)
  • Wiljanen, Anna-Maria (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    This dissertation deals with the Önningeby artists colony in Åland. The colony's heyday occurred during 1886-1892, but operations continued sporadically until 1914. Victor Westerholm (1860-1919) became the colony's promoter. He invited several artists to Åland. The artists' network contributed to the colony that was attended by several Finnish and Swedish artists. After it ceased to be, knowledge of the colony has been forgotten. The artists colony hasn t been the subject of academic research. The purpose is to explain the history of the Önningeby artists colony, why and how it started and why it ended, and to identify what kind of impact the artists' social networks had on the colony. The thesis is an empirical context study, based on correspondence between the artists (mainly that of the inner circle) and the approach is historical descriptive, from the sociological point of view. First, the history of the colony and its activities is reconstructed. Through various sociograms, the complexity of the artists colony s leadership is determined. In addition, the paintings' subjects, painting manner and subject choices are examined. Jacob L. Moreno s Who shall survive? (1953) and Ylva Hasselberg s, Leon Müller s and Niklas Stenlås Åter till historiens nätverk (2002) have offered a theoretical framework and tools for constructing the sociograms. Rubert Brown s Group Processes. Dynamics within and between Groups (1988) has been useful when trying to understand different relationships within the group and the group membership. Griselda Pollock and Janet Wolff have offered critical approaches when discussing the position of women in the colony. Artists Colonies formed an important phenomenon, especially during the latter half of the 1800s, but they have been overlooked in European Art history. The colonies had no common agenda concerning the paintings, but the main principle was the same: the artists gathered at the small, picturesque villages in the countryside, where they could paint and live without society's conventional rules. The colonies were expanded, as a result of the artists networks. This was true, even in the Önningeby artists colony. The thesis shows that the artists colony phenomenon of Önningeby was born and ceased due to the individual artists' social networks. Its existence would not have been possible without a strong promoter and individual artists, whose actions and networks made the colony known in artistic circles. Sociometric analysis shows that the colony s structure was hierarchical and that the leadership was not as clear as previously thought. The leadership was a fragmented structure and could be divided between several people. A majority of colony artists were women, something that differed from the European artists colonies. The women had different roles, both in the colony and in their relationships. This dissertation shows that they had an important role not only in the development of Önningeby art but also in the matter of the colony's leadership. The impact of the Önningeby artists colony cannot be overlooked. The colony introduced a new way of living life as an artist, far away from the strict rules of academies and society. There was an Önningeby identity, but also Önningeby art, whose characteristics are described.The colony functioned as a kind of laboratory for new trends in art, artist life, artistry and leadership.