How we became curious, curiosity

Dividing the World through Wonder: How We Became Curious

Project description

Curiosity project I: Dividing the world through wonder: How we became curious

This research project employs Foucault-influenced genealogical modes of inquiry to examine the presence of “curiosity” across a range of discourses, particularly those currently circulating in the fields of education and childhood. As such, the study is interested in the historical formation of the knowing, learning, and feeling subject, and focuses primarily on academic, curricular and pedagogical texts in its analysis. This project engages scholarship within the fields of geography, history, and education, as well as theoretical-methodological questions around interdisciplinary and transnational studies.

Curiosity project II: “This doesn’t concern me:” Distance, relationality and responsibility amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic

The main project (I) includes an additional sub-project (II) that has received funding through the Academy of Finland Covid-19 special call. Working with the theoretical and philosophical orientations of the main project, this sub-project examines the conditions that make possible different cultural negotiations and articulations around the Covid-19 pandemic. In so far as the pandemic is mobilized as a thing and event to “learn” from and be “taught” about, the project is interested in the problematics, ethics, and politics of concern and care – questions that connect to the main project’s focus on formations of the knowing, learning, and feeling subject. Through these themes of care and concern, the sub-project seeks to understand how pandemic space is constituted as an interplay of inclusion and exclusion, nearness and distance, knowledge and ignorance.

This post-doctoral research project has received funding from the Emil Aaltonen Foundation (2017), the Finnish Foundations' Post Doc Pool / Alfred Kordelin Foundation (2017-2019) and the Academy of Finland (2018-2022, decision numbers 315141 & 335579).

Research team members

Dr. Tuomo Alhojärvi, University of Oulu


Prof Kristiina Brunila, University of Helsinki
Prof Christopher Kirchgasler, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA
Prof Maija Lanas, University of Oulu
Prof Anssi Paasi, University of Oulu
Prof Thomas Popkewitz, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA
Dr Kaisa Vehkalahti, University of Oulu

Research groups

  • LAPANEN Northern Research Group for History of Childhood and Education


Johanna Sitomaniemi-San

Post-doctoral research fellow

Tuomo Alhojärvi

Postdoctoral Researcher