I completed an interdisciplinary Master’s Degree at the University of Turku, Finland, in 2002. In my Master’s Thesis, I examined Finnish women’s international marriages in North America in the post-World War II era. I was set to continue with this topic in my Ph.D. research, until 2004 when I made a decision that changed the direction of my life: I decided to spend a semester in Minnesota, USA, in order to conduct interviews with Finnish women living in the state. Instead of spending one semester at the University of Minnesota, I ended up doing my whole Ph.D. degree there.
In Minnesota, I had the great fortune of being immersed in an interdisciplinary group of scholars engaged in migration research (e.g. at the Immigration History Research Center and the Minnesota Population Center). These interactions that crossed disciplinary boundaries profoundly broadened my perspective and enriched my intellectual grounding. In December 2010, I defended my dissertation titled Elite Migration, Transnational Families, and the Nation State: International Marriages between Finns and Americans across the Atlantic in the Twentieth Century.
In 2011, after completing my Ph.D., I returned to “where it all started”: to the Department of General History of the University of Turku. Currently I am working on my post-doctoral research project at the Turku Institute for Advanced Studies. My research investigates international marriages and migration in Finland, focusing on the time period spanning from the 1980s to the present. By examining public discourses surrounding international marriage migration in Finland, I ask how borders of “Finnishness” were constructed during the time period when global power relations were redefined and Finland increasingly sought its place among “Western” nations.
Areas of specialization:
- Gender and migration
- International marriages and migration
- Transnational families
- Highly skilled migration
- Finnish immigrants in the U.S., Americans abroad
- Modern U.S. & Finnish history
- Reading, movies, traveling, exercising: running, cross-country skiing, yoga, Pilates, gym.
Visiting the town of Finland in Minnesota, USA, in October 2010.