Past Events

FALL 2019

27–29 August, Turku, Finland

The Hermeneutics of Violence 


This workshop is part of a larger project entitled Interpreting Violence: Narrative, Ethics and Hermeneutics, funded by the Joint Committee for Nordic research councils in the Humanities and Social Sciences ( The project begins with the assumption that the representation of violence in literature, film, history and journalism is an inherently ethical issue because it invites readers or viewers to imagine someone else´s pain. A story may encourage a reader/viewer to place herself in the position of victim, perpetrator, witness or rescuer. She may imagine the events narrated in the manner invited by the text or in a resistant fashion, but by engaging a depiction of violence at all, she deems it a pleasant or ethically worthwhile use of time and thought. The project investigates this phenomenon in two workshops. The first workshop, ”The Joys of Violence” was held at Uppsala University September 19-21 2018.
”The Hermeneutics of Violence” is the second workshop, to be held at Turku University August 27-29 2019. It will focus on the hermeneutics of violence, implying both the violent annulment of personhood sometimes inherent in interpretive acts themselves and the processes of interpreting narratives representing violence. In ”Violence and Metaphysics”, Jacques Derrida proposed that language itself violently arrests fluid meaning making. In part, this claim was a response to Emmanuel Levinas’s claim that we are, fundamentally, bound in networks of responsibility to known and unknown others whose vulnerability bids us not to commit violence. Some scholars still contend that the attribution and modification involved in naming or categorizing the other always involves violence, but this claim reads differently in the context of violence against the body. By foregrounding the tension between philosophical violence and embodied violence as well as their complex entanglements, scholars contributing to this workshop will explore the relationship between these different forms of violence. Is narrative, like other forms of language, inherently violent? Can stories direct our attention to that within the human that evades designation but nevertheless calls for protection? Is violence constitutive of subjectivity and intersubjectivity and, if yes, how should we conceptualize this? Is there non-violent interpretation and how should we theorize this possibility? Scholars will discuss phenomenological-hermeneutic and other contemporary conceptualizations of knowledge that escape naming and that call for new reconfigurations of intersubjectivity to address these questions in new ways.
The workshop programme can be found here
21–23 August, Turku, Finland


Please find all the details here.


14-16 February (University of Turku, Artium & Minerva, Kaivokatu 12)

CONFERENCE Uses & Abuses of Storytelling: Theorizing the Intersections of Narrative, Memory and Identity

While both interdisciplinary narrative studies and cultural memory studies have boomed in the twenty-first century and are continuing to expand in new directions, there is lamentably little dialogue between them. This symposium aims to bring discussions in these two fields into a more intensive dialogue by theorizing the intersections of narrative, memory and identity.  Read more…
Full programme is available here.
18 March, OP-sali (Turun kauppakorkeakoulu)

RESEARCH DAY Kulttuurinen muisti -tutkimuspäivä (in Finnish only)

Kutsumme tutkijoita ja tutkimusryhmiä kaikilta tieteenaloilta keskustelemaan yliopiston temaattisesta alueesta ”kulttuurinen muisti ja yhteiskunnan muutos” keskittymällä erityisesti kulttuurisen muistin käsitteeseen. Aamupäivällä (klo 10-12) tutkijat ja tutkimusryhmät esittelevät 5 minuutin puheenvuoroilla, minkälaisten suurten kysymysten kautta he lähestyvät kulttuurista muistia. Iltapäivän työpajassa (klo 13-16) tutkijat pitävät 10-15 minuutin puheenvuoroja kulttuurisesta muistista. Työpaja tähtää kulttuurista muistia käsittelevään julkaisuun. Ilmoittautuminen 28.2. mennessä.
Further information and a registration form, here.
9 April, Historicum (University of Turku), 15-17, Aikala
SEMINAR Encounters Between French Literature and Film
In this seminar, two new postdoctoral researchers of SELMA, Marta Laura Cenedese and Avril Tynan, present their new projects that deal wtih French literature and film. Both speakers give a 30-minute talk, followed by 30 minutes of joint discussion.
The Failures of Film: Reimagining Irène Némirovsky’s Suite française by Marta Laura Cenedese
This presentation will address the complex interplay between Irène Némirovsky’s novel Suite française (1940–42/2004) and its film adaptation (Suite Française, dir. Saul Dibb, 2015). Speaker’s argument is that the film tries to ‘correct’ and ‘make right’ certain perceived ‘failures’ of the novel, thus limiting its nuanced ethical potential for the sake of a safe and ‘established’ post-Holocaust narrative that misleads viewers’ postmemory of the events.
Marta Laura Cenedese is a Postdoctoral Researcher in comparative literature at the Turku Institute for Advanced Studies. She previously studied at the University of Venice Ca’ Foscari, Sciences-Po Paris, and the University of Cambridge. Her research deals with twentieth- and twenty-first century literature, narrative studies, transnational writers, multimodal storytelling, and life-writing.
Fathers in Francophone Literature and Film since 1945 by Avril Tynan
In this talk ‘Father or Failure: Fathers in Francophone Literature and Film since 1945’, the speaker will present the theoretical and methodological outlines of her postdoctoral project, drawing on research in the fields of gender and narrative studies.
Avril Tynan is a postdoctoral researcher in comparative literature at TIAS where she is working on her project ‘Father or Failure: Fathers in Francophone Literature and Film since 1945’. Her background is in French literature and Holocaust studies, and she has published on the ethics and aesthetics of Holocaust narrative. She has previously taught French language and culture at Royal Holloway, University of London.
12 April, Minerva, University of Turku, Kotimainen kirjallisuus seminaarisali E225
SEMINAR Archives, communities and activism
The speakers and participants will discuss intersections of archives, communities, activism, participation, silences, power, and oral history.
Rachel F. Seidman, Visiting Fulbright Scholar, Director, Southern Oral History Program at the University of North Carolina
Katherine Borland, Visiting Fulbright Professor, Associate Professor and Director of the Center for Folklore Studies, the Ohio State University
Tuula Juvonen, Research fellow at Turku Collegium, University of Turku
Seminar  is organized by Master’s degree studies of Records and Archives Management & The Archives of History, Culture and Arts Studies. For more information, please contact Kirsi Hänninen,
4 May, Koroinen (Koroistentie 2, Turku), 10-16
WORKSHOP Breaking the Silence
AgainNeverAgain event in collaboration with StepEurope
This all day interactive workshop will combine visual, digital and traditional storytelling to address the collective silences in transnational and transgenerational collective silences. The outcomes will be presented during the symposium“Remembrance, Trauma Transmission & Experiential Learning” in May in Turku. Families and individuals are welcome. Light  lunch will be served. For inquiries please contact:
15 May, Minerva E221 (University of Turku, Kaivokatu 12), 12-16

SEMINAR Literature, Ethics & Wellbeing

In this joint seminar organised by SELMA and LaWe (Centre for the Study of Language and Wellbeing), we explore various ways of understanding the potential of literature to promote wellbeing. We are interested in wellbeing in a broad, cultural sense and will discuss its links to ethical issues such as issues of ethical agency and ways of engaging with otherness. Speakers of the seminar include the visiting professors Colin Davis and Lydia Kokkola.
22-23 May, University of Turku (Sirkkala Campus)

CONFERENCE Reading Culture and Libraries in Change

Reading culture is changing rapidly today. Radical developments in use of time, values and attitudes towards reading in contemporary Western 24-h society as well as changes in book publishing and marketing have influenced our reading habits, which have been subject to major changes also due to the impact of digitalization and new reading technologies and platforms. The conference “Reading Culture and Libraries in Change” seeks for answers to the changes in reading cultures and library use, and for new ways of exploring these changes. The conference consists of keynote lectures and sessions by researchers from all career stages. For more information & programme, see here.
24 May, Janus Auditorium (University of Turku, Minerva, Kaivokatu 12), 12.15-17

SEMINAR Mitä on romanttinen mieli? (in Finnish only)

Kolmas tila ry:n, SELMA-keskuksen ja yleisen kirjallisuustieteen yhteinen seminaari
Mitä on romanttinen mieli? Millaisia ajatuksia liitetään romantiikan ajan taiteeseen? Entä romantiikan ajatusmaailmaan, elettyyn todellisuuteen ja filosofiaan? Millaisia merkityksiä ihminen ja yksilö saivat romantiikan aatemaailmassa ja taiteessa? Millaista romantiikka oli Turussa? Mitä romantiikan aikana pelättiin, toivottiin, vieroksuttiin tai pidettiin tavoiteltavana?
Mitä on romanttinen mieli –seminaari pohjustaa vuonna 2020 ensi-iltansa saavaa, Kolmas tila ry:n suurtyötä Romanttinen mieli, jonka käsikirjoittaa Seppo Parkkinen ja ohjaavat Susanna Airaksinen ja Juha Malmivaara. Musiikin säveltävät Ulf Långbacka ja Kari Mäkiranta.
12.15         Avaussanat Kaisa Ilmonen ja Seppo Parkkinen
12.30-13.00      Hannu Salmi: ”Tulikoe — Turku, tunteiden palo ja romantiikka”
13.00-13.30      Panu Savolainen: ”Romantiikka, tila ja arkkitehtuuri”
13.30-14.00      Jukka Sarjala: ”Turun romantiikka – nuorison kapina?”
14.00-14.30      KAHVI
14.30-15.00      Heli Rantala: ”Romantiikka entropiana?”
15.00-15.30     Tero Vanhanen: ”Verenpunaista romantiikkaa: Byronin ja Polidorin epäkuolleet intohimot”
15.30-15.40      TAUKO
15.40-16.10     Asko Nivala: Romanttinen kartografia: Tilallisuus saksalaisessa ja brittiläisessä romantiikassa
16.10-16.40      Jouni Teittinen: ”Ralph Waldo Emerson ja mielen kasvillisuus
16.40-17.00      Loppukeskustelu, päätössanat ja kommenttipuheenvuoro: Asko Nivala
27-29 May, University of Turku (Minerva, Kaivokatu 12)

SYMPOSIUM Remembrance, Trauma Transmission & Experiential Learning

This interdisciplinary international symposium seeks to bring together a group of scholars, artists, activists, practitioners, experts from memorial sites and museums, and other engaged individuals to reflect on the concealed hatreds, prejudices, and normalized oppressions that are learnt through unhealed and transmitted traumas, which are perpetuated daily through seemingly harmless everyday practices. It also seeks to determine how we can successfully break this pattern through systematic experiential learning. For more information & programme, see here.
14 June, Janus Hall & Minerva seminar rooms, University of Turku

SEMINAR Kertomuksen tutkimuksen päivä (in Finnish only)

More information follows.
25-28 June, Moncloa Campus of the Complutense University of Madrid (Spain)
This conference will highlight, among other things, the extending horizons of memory studies, inviting papers that discuss both transnational memory constellations and specific examples of local memory-making around the globe. Read more…