PhD., Master of Education

Jaana Kouri

Research Associate, Social Sciences


At present I work as a researcher in a project concerning climate change and the Baltic Sea, funded by the Tiina and Antti Herlin Foundation (2018–2020), and in the project Living with the Baltic Sea in a changing climate: Environmental heritage and the circulation of knowledge, which is funded by the Academy of Finland (2018–2022). Previously I worked as a University Teacher of Comparative Religion at the School of History, Culture, and Arts Studies in the University of Turku.

I have done two Master’s theses: one in Comparative Religion, in which I examined the position of the Seneca-Iroquois women before the year 1848, and the other in Education. I have also worked as a schoolteacher for fifteen years.

I have always been interested in creative (academic) writing as well as the writing process itself, and that is also something that I have practised and studied at the University. I have co-ordinated and edited several books, one of which I used as research material for my dissertation. I am also the chief editor of the book used for the entrance examination at the Department of Cultural Studies in the University of Turku.

I spend half the year living on a small island in the Finnish archipelago, and I enjoy spending time by or at the Baltic Sea.

Professional interests

In my doctoral thesis, Vesi kuljettaa ääntä - Autoetnografinen tutkimus Lypyrtin kylän historiantuottamisesta (2017), I studied the history production of the old pilot village Lypyrtti, which is located in the south-western archipelago in Finland. The oral and written source material of the study was diverse, and an essential part of it was formed by ethnographic interviews, my research diary, and the book Lypyrtti-Lypertö, Kylä väylien varrella (2011), which I wrote on the village before conducting the thesis. While the thesis is autoethnographic, I also applied research methods used in oral history, microhistory, memory studies and environmental history.

Currently, I am combining two themes in multidisciplinary research. Firstly, I will continue the deduction of my dissertation by examining the experience-based knowledge of the people living by and with the Baltic Sea, mainly in the Turku archipelago. I will focus on water-related mythic and folklore material collected around the Baltic Sea. I examine nostalgy and imagination in the process of environmental heritage and the circulation of knowledge. Secondly, I examine imagination as a broader theoretical and analytical framework for tacit, situated and experience-based knowledge. As a special focus in my own discipline, in the study of religions, I will examine animism as a social imaginary as well as shamanism as a technique of co-imagination. I bring into the discussion the manifold agency of a researcher as someone who observes, experiences and conceptualises. My standpoint is strongly methodological. I am organising workshops to produce up-to-date data, focusing e.g. in creative writing, future research or shamanistic methods, together with other researches, stakeholders and practioners in the field.

In my work as a researcher and a teacher, I have practised and produced co-operative and interdisciplinary views. I am a founder member of Wave Riders (AHA–Aallonharjalle in Finnish), a research and teaching laboratory for the Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Turku and Åbo Akademi University specialising in the study of maritime and other water systems.

I am currently editing a collection of articles on religion and techniques of imagination (in Finnish) together with Tiina Mahlamäki and Aila Viholainen, and on climate change and local knowledge on waterscapes with Nina Tynkkynen and Tuomas Räsänen. I am also writing article(s) on modern shamanism in Finland, in which I link it to the context of discourse in European modern shamanism.


Previously in my work as an University teacher, I taught introduction to the comparatative religion together with Terhi Utriainen, seminar in basic studies, religions in Asia and religions in Middle East, and introduction to cultural studies in Open University of Turku. As a university teacher my work included also the devising the personal curriculum of the basic studies with the students, coordinating of TurkuMcNet, Turku Network for Research on Multiculturalism and Societal Interaction, and upgrading and updating the webpages of the subject.

At present I supervise three master's thesis and one doctoral thesis.

Peer-reviewed publications

A1 Journal article (refereed)
Toimijat esiin - Tekstualisaation malli etnografisessa tutkimuksessa (2017)
Jaana Kouri
Uskonnontutkija - Religionsforskaren
A3 Book section, Chapters in research books
Co-composing a Village History in the Archipelago of South-western Finland (2016)
Jaana Kouri
C2 Edited book
Askel kulttuurien tutkimukseen (2015)
Jaana Kouri
Turun yliopisto
C2 Edited book
Näkyvä ja näkymätön uskonto. (2015)
Jaana Kouri
Turun yliopisto
A2 Review article, Literature review, Systematic review
Listening the Troubled Waters: Ethnographical Work as a Reciprocal Activity (2010)
Jaana Kouri
Anthropological Journal of European Cultures

Other publications

B1 Non-refereed journal articles
Rumpu nykyshamanismissa - tapaustutkimus luontoyhteydestä (2020)
Elina Hytönen-Ng, Jaana Kouri
Hybris - Tiedelehti
O2 Other
Vesi muistuttaa ja ihmiset muistavat (2018)
Jaana Kouri
Hiiskuttua 2.0
B2 Book section
Opintopoluilta työelämään (2015)
Kirsi Hänninen, Jaana Kouri, Jere Kyyrö, Pekka Tolonen, Timo J. Virtanen
Turun yliopisto
B2 Book section
Ruumiillisuus (2015)
Johanna Ahonen, Anna Hynninen, Jaana Kouri, Tiina Mahlamäki
Turun yliopisto
E2 Popularised monograph
Lypyrtti-Lypertö: Kylä väylien varrella (2011)
Jaana Kouri
E1 Popularised article, newspaper article
Maisema muistuttaa: Ääni kulkee vettä pitkin (2011)
Jaana Kouri
O2 Other
Muistoista Lypyrtin kylän kirjaksi (2011)
Jaana Kouri
D4 Published development or research report or study
Wisdom Working group: Report on Sense-scape Workshop 'Sensing the Wisdom that Sits' (2011)
Walters Victoria and Jaana Kouri

Other Research Activities

Last updated on 2019-29-10 at 10:32