I am a University Lecturer in Cultural Anthropology. From September 2012 to August 2015 I shall be on leave, working as an Academy of Finland Postdoctoral Researcher in a project of my own, “Indigenous Lands, Colonial Empires, and Nation-States: Shawnee and Sámi Spaces and Borders in North America and Fennoscandia, 1500–1900.”
I received my doctorate in cultural anthropology at the University of Oulu in 2009. In 2010–2011 I worked at the Southern Methodist University (Dallas, USA), first as a Clements Center Fellow for the Study of Southwestern America, then as a Visiting Scholar funded by the Academy of Finland.
In my research I focus on the histories and cultures of the North American Indians, particularly the Shawnees. My special field is that creative mixture of anthropology and history known as ethnohistory. I am interested in Native politics and Indigenous-colonial interactions. In my doctoral thesis and subsequent research I investigated how the Shawnees consolidated from a series of local communities into a centralized nation from the seventeenth through the nineteenth century.
In my new project I shall compare the strategies and ideologies concerning Indigenous lands which emerged in the consolidating states in North America and Fennoscandia between 1500 and 1900. In addition, I will analyze the strategies and ideologies constructed in the Native communities in both areas in response to state efforts to incorporate their lands.
In terms of theory, I combine political anthropology, action theories, and symbolic anthropology. I focus on the intersections between individuals, cultural ways of thinking, and political structures of power. In addition, I analyze the ways in which people conceptualize and appropriate space. Borders, borderlands, and their political, economic, and ideological dynamics constitute an essential field of study for me.