FINTERDIS – The Finnish Interdisciplinary Society Board of Directors 2020-21

Kirsi Cheas

President, Founding member

My work is dedicated to analyzing and enhancing communication and collaboration across regional, disciplinary, institutional, and societal boundaries. My postdoctoral project focuses on cross-regional collaboration in investigative journalism related to abuses against asylum-seekers in the U.S.-Mexico border region. I am also passionate about internationalization of research, and my world view has been enriched by my background as an ASLA -Fulbright alumna. I am an At-large Board member of the Association for Interdisci-plinary Studies (AIS), member of the new ITD Alliance Early-Career working group, and member of the Latin American NODO ESIT – Estudios sobre Interdisciplina y Transdisciplina -network. I wanted to found FINTERDIS so that interdisciplinarians in Finland would also have a better chance of networking nationally and internationally.

Jori Grym

Vice-president

Master of Science (Economics and Business Administration), Business Economics, Hanken School of Economics, Finland. I research how human beings make choices using decision theory as a doctoral candidate at the Hanken School of Economics and part of the behavioral economics research group at the Helsinki Graduate School of Economics. I’m especially interested in ethical decision making and moral judgement. I study these subjects in a broad context but lately have been concentrating in the world of digital money and cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. My field of research, behavioral economics, is an interdisciplinary field that combines elements from psychology, social psychology and economics. Fascination with this field has given me an ongoing curiosity of interdisciplinary science and a thirst to learn from many schools of thought and science. I am also a member of the Heterodox Academy, which cultivates diversity of thought among academia.

Mikko Salmela

Board member

I am Associate Professor at the Center for Subjectivity Research at the University of Copenhagen and Docent in Practical Philosophy at the University of Helsinki. My doctoral thesis (UH, 1998) was on the history of Finnish philosophy, and my path to interdisciplinarity began in my post doctoral research on emotions that is a multi-disciplinary research area itself. Within this area, I am interested in both theoretical and applied research. In recent years, my research has focused on collective emotions and their functions in the dynamics of social groups, on the role of emotions in interdisciplinary interaction, on the role of shared emotions in the construction of communality in urban housing; as well as on the emotional dynamics of populist political movements and polarization.  

Ruta Kazlauskaite

Board member

PhD (Political science). I am a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Media, Aalto University. My research interests include politics of history and mediated (re)presentation of contested pasts. As an interdisciplinary scholar, I work at the intersections of memory studies, media studies, heritage studies, philosophy of history, and embodied cognition. My current project examines the use of virtual reality in school-history education on difficult histories. I am a member of Systems of Representation research group at the Department of Media and the Virtual Cinema Lab at the Department of Film, Television and Scenography at Aalto University. I am also an affiliated researcher at the Centre for Research on Ethnic Relations and Nationalism at the Swedish School of Social Science, University of Helsinki.

Jarkko Vikman

Board member

Doctoral candidate, University of Helsinki, Biblical studies.
My dissertation handles the evolution of religious expertise in the city of Ephesus during the first three centuries CE.

Mikko A. Niemelä

Vice president

MSSc (Philosophy, Master’s Degree Programme on Civil Society). Previously, I have worked as a teacher of humanistic and social studies in secondary schools. Currently, I am preparing a doctoral dissertation in educational sciences in curriculum integration. My particular interest is in multidisciplinary content and the challenges it poses for teachers.

Nina Strandén

Board member

I am studying to be a class teacher at University of Helsinki, aiming for the dual teaching qualification (class teacher and subject teacher of mathematics). I have also completed basic and intermediate studies in Special Education. Through my previous qualification as a Kindergarten Teacher and Head Teacher, I have 16 years’ experience of working with children, students and colleagues in English. I travel often to USA, Florida to visit my relatives with my husband and children. I am very actively involved in many organizations. To mention few, I am a board member of Suvikyky, Support group of foreign language and immersion teaching of Finland and a member of Comprehensive School at Helsinki. I am also active in many University organizations developing teaching and preparing International programmes. My interests are education, languages, teaching methods, internationalization, agency, digitalization and special education

Anna-Leena Riitaoja

Deputy board member, Founding member

Ph.D. (Education) in 2013. Currently I work as a postdoctoral researcher in social work and am a member of the Centre for Research on Ethnic Relations and Nationalism, CEREN, in the Swedish School of Social Science at the University of Helsinki. My current research project focuses on social work professional knowledge in encounters between migrants and the welfare state.

Harri Kettunen

Deputy board member

I carry out interdisciplinary research projects in Area and Cultural Studies at the University of Helsinki, combining history, linguistics, epigraphy, iconography, anthropology, archaeology, biology, and geography. Currently, my research and teaching focus is on Mesoamerica-related topics, comparative writing systems, as well as interdisciplinary methodologies and research strategies.