Photo of Jaana Kouri
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20102020

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Personal profile

Research 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.

Biography

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.

Teaching

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.

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