COLLeGIUM: Studies across Disciplines in the Humanities and Social Sciences

 

COLLeGIUM is a scholarly, open-access journal published by the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, a research institute for advanced study in the humanities and social sciences at the University of Helsinki. The journal consists of electronic volumes written or edited by the Fellows of the Collegium. The first volume appeared in June 2006 and the second volume in July 2007. All studies published in the series are internationally refereed.

ISSN 1796-2986

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  • De Graeve, Katrien; Rossi, Riikka; Mäkinen, Katariina (Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, 2017)
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  • Unknown author (Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, 2017)
  • Unknown author (Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, 2017)
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  • Löytty, Olli (Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, 2017)
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    The article discusses Hassan Blasim’s precarious position in the Finnish literary field. Blasim is an Iraqi-born author who came as a refugee to Finland in 2004. Since then, he has become an internationally acclaimed author whose short stories, written in Arabic, have been translated into more than 20 languages, including Finnish. However, his inclusion in the Finnish literary field is questionable: while he has gained increasing recognition in the form of awards and grants, he cannot join, due to the original language of his work, either the national writers’ union for Finnish speakers or its Swedish-language counterpart. Blasim’s status as an immigrant makes him a stranger in Finland, part insider and part outsider. The article elaborates on the sociological concept of “stranger”, as explicated by Georg Simmel, in reference to writers like Blasim. It also examines the media reception of Blasim and his books in Finland. The analysed material consists of journalistic texts on Blasim as well as his books published in Finnish newspapers and magazines from 2009 to 2014, from the first articles about him in the Finnish media to the news of him receiving the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize.
  • Koivunen, Anu (Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, 2017)
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    This chapter examines the contemporary revisiting and reimagining of the histories and memories of Finnish migrants in Sweden. Since 2000, a new generation of children and grandchildren of the Great Migration in the 1960s and 1970s has entered the public arena in Sweden, articulating new narratives in pop music, literature, theatre and film. While these “third-generation” Sweden Finnish artists themselves embody success stories of migration, enjoying positive publicity and the appreciation of Swedish mainstream audiences, it is argued that the new narratives are essentially stories about living with, managing and rejecting shame. To be either a cultural producer or an audience of new narratives about Sweden Finns is to engage with an affective legacy of shame, a sense of history and a repertoire of representations – and politics of pride as its rejoinder. Drawing from affect theories by Sara Ahmed and Margaret Wetherell, as well as Beverley Skeggs’ work on the production of class, this chapter investigates two novels, Svinalängorna by Susanna Alakoski (2006) and Ingenbarnsland by Eija Hetekivi Olsson (2012); two television programmes, Emigranterna SVT (2006–2007) and Kansankodin kuokkavieraat YLE Teema (2011); and a musical documentary, Ingen riktig finne/Laulu koti-ikävästä (Mika Ronkainen 2013). In this way, the study highlights an affective practice, a pattern in process and an economy of pride and shame mobilized for purposes of identity construction and community building.
  • Byrne, Bridget (Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, 2017)
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    Citizenship ceremonies have been practiced for at least a century in the United States. This article explores what citizenship ceremonies – the rituals created to ‘make’ new citizens – can tell us about understandings of citizenship and the nation. Focusing on the case of the US, the paper asks who is being held up as the welcomed citizen and who is excluded in these public events. What does it mean to ‘welcome’ a new citizen and how are migration and national history imagined in these events? These questions become increasingly urgent in the context of securitization and given current debates about the withdrawal of citizenship from suspected ‘extremists’.
  • Fortier, Anne-Marie (Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, 2017)
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    This article interrupts the linear narrative that posits the conferment of citizenship (legal naturalisation) as the ‘natural’ outcome of citizenisation. Where the scholarship on citizenship and migration privileges the institutional life of citizenisation – where naturalisation appears as a discrete event at the end of the ‘citizenisation’ continuum – the social life of citizenisation includes naturalisation as an ontological process but is not reducible to it. ‘Ontological process’ refers to the ways in which different categories or locales of existence (the self, society, culture, the state, the nation, histories, geographies) are combined to produce understandings of what citizenship ‘really is’. Drawing on critical policy studies, ‘the social life’ of citizenisation and naturalisation rejects a conception of policy as a coercive instrument of the state or as a fixed document. I then turn to feminist science and technology scholars Annemarie Mol’s (2002) ‘ontological politics’ and Charis Thompson’s (2005) ‘ontological choreographies’ as useful frameworks to work with for tracing ontological processes within practices of citizenisation and naturalisation. To illustrate, the article builds on the widely used opposition between ascribed (birthright) and chosen citizenship (naturalisation) to show how the distinction falls apart when we understand naturalisation as part of the normalisation of such assumptions and their effects on global inequalities. The analysis demonstrates how the proposed analytical framework puts into relief joint processes of ontologising, normalising, subjectification, and stratification. Understanding how citizenisation and naturalisation function in tandem institutionally and socially is important if we are to gain a fuller grasp of how old and new forms of inequalities are refigured in twenty-first century citizenship.
  • De Graeve, Katrien; Mäkinen, Katariina; Rossi, Riikka (Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, 2017)
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  • Newby, Andrew G. (Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, 2017)
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  • Newby, Andrew G. (Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, 2017)
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    This article provides an interim report, and gazetteer, on the enumeration and categorisation of memorials to Finland’s Great Famine Years, an element of the Academy of Finland’s 2012-17 project, “‘The Terrible Visitation’: Famine in Finland and Ireland ca. 1845-68 – Transnational, Comparative and Long-Term Perspectives”. To outside observers, it can sometimes seen as though Finland’s famine of the 1860s has been “forgotten”, particularly in comparison with catastrophes in Ireland (1845-51) and Ukraine (1932-3). In the latter cases, political circumstances have influenced historic narratives, and placed the Great Famines at the centre of a national narrative that emphasises the baleful role of an external other. In Finland, which was responsible for its own economic and political administration by the 1860s, commemoration has been more local in focus. The memorials nevertheless highlight the existence of an idealised national autostereotype, which stresses stoicism and forbearance, along with a persistent belief that the nation could be crystallised by shared suffering.
  • Ertem, Özge (Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, 2017)
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    This article analyzes the Ottoman famines of the 1870s – that killed tens of thousands of people in Anatolia due to starvation and disease – from a global comparative perspective. It focuses on two famines in particular that struck the central and eastern provinces of the empire in 1873-75 and 1879-1881 (just following the Russo-Ottoman War of 1877-78), respectively. They were triggered by climatic causes, yet their devastating effects were also a product of the global and domestic economic and political environment of the decade. Local, imperial and global man-made reasons exacerbated the severe impacts of nature and climate. The article addresses these famines as significant traumatic disasters, the memories of which were overshadowed by later catastrophic events in Ottoman history and historiography, and which have been almost invisible in European and global famine historiography of the nineteenth century. It summarizes the political-economic environment of the decade, attempts to investigate Ottoman famines in a global historical context and outline a comparative research agenda for an Ottoman history of famine and empire in the late nineteenth century.
  • Vuorela, Miikka (Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, 2017)
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    The article examines criminality and the use of the criminal justice system during the Finnish famine of 1866–1868. The main research objective of the study is to provide insight on how and why famine affects crime. To provide background for the examination, a description of the trends in crime and crime control during the years 1842–1890 is presented. The latter half of the century and the nascent urbanisation of Finland brought about a considerable increase in the number of criminal convictions for minor crimes but the convictions for serious crimes were on a downward trend. The crime trend was interrupted by the famine when property crime rates quadrupled. Interestingly, the levels of recorded violence and homicides remained stable or even reduced slightly. In order to provide explanations for the phenomenon, theories of modern criminology are used in conjunction with an analysis of individual, structural and cultural factors affecting hidden crime. The conclusion of the analysis is that the reduction of violence is most likely a statistical illusion caused by a multitude of factors discouraging the exposure of violent crimes. After the famine, the downward trend of serious crimes halted and stabilised to a level slightly higher than before.
  • Ludvigsson, David (Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, 2017)
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    In the 1970s, historical documentarists Olle Häger and Hans Villius at the Swedish Broadcasting Corporation made both a documentary and a dramatic television production about the famine years of the 1860s. The productions indicate that a class perspective dominated popular culture at the time. Yet, not least the documentary (“Ett satans år,” [One Year of Satan] 1977) is evidence of how media producers sought to communicate seriously about famine in the past, at the same time relating to contemporary issues
  • Reese, Heidi (Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, 2017)
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    In 1867 Finland was faced with a serious crop failure. An insufficient amount of food was imported and when the winter came, there was not enough grain to feed the hungry. Traditionally this event in Finnish history has been explained as a crisis of outdated agriculture and an inescapable natural and economic catastrophe. When examining the political aspects of the crisis, it is noticeable that the failure to import a sufficient amount of food was based not only on a lack of resources, but also on inefficient transfer and use of information and, indeed, a lack of will to help the hungry. In the 1860s the Grand Duchy of Finland was a part of the Russian Empire. Finland formed a separate financial state from the Russian Empire that had to take care of its own financial operations. The department for financial affairs of the Senate of Finland, and its head, Johan Vilhelm Snellman, were responsible for finances and poor relief in Finland. The harvest reports, letters and telegrams of governors as well as the reports of the rapidly-developing local press provided Snellman with the possibility of staying informed on the food stocks and crop forecasts. Snellman’s political views are visible in his public writings and letters to the governors. All of the above are used as central source material in this article.
  • Voutilainen, Miikka (Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, 2017)
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    On the basis of recent findings, independent rural households formed a safeguard against the excess mortality during the Finnish 1860s famine. In this article, an analysis of deanery level longitudinal panel data shows that an increase in the number of unmarried adults reduced the number of households. This suggests that the ability to marry not only had a role in determining the household structure but also by increasing the within-household inequality it facilitated the economic hardships in the pre-famine rural Finland.