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university of tampere: institute for advanced social research: speakers series, university of tampere:
Institute for Advanced Social ResearchUniversity of TampereInstitute for Advanced Social Research

IASR Lectures 2015-2016, Spring

Lecturers' power point presentations (pdf) will be added

IASR lectures from Fall 2015 and earlier lectures available in Radio Moreeni as podcasts here (forthcoming)

Time: On Tuesdays, at 16.15-17.45, starting from 19 January 2016
Place: University of Tampere, Lecture Hall Pinni B, B1096


Programme

Updated on 13 April 2016


19.1. Radicalization: Anti-, Counter-, De-. What are we doing? (pdf)

Dr Robert Imre, IASR

In this lecture I deliver a set of definitions regarding counter-strategies to the problem of political radicalization. Grounded in political resistances to the state, broadly conceived, and expressed as both religious and social ideologies, radicalization has delivered significant violent consequences both in the pre- and post- 9/11 era. Nation-states around the world have taken vastly different approaches to dealing with this issue and a comparative approach can enlighten us as to the successes and failures of these policies. Some of the direct causes of radicalization are context-specific, and some are similar if not the same in terms of their origins. In this discussion I examine a wide variety of state-level responses from different countries around the world.


16.2. Making Holidays Work

Dr Jessica de Bloom, IASR

‘How long should a man’s vacation be?’ was the title of an article in which leading businessmen, academics and politicians discussed whether vacations for the working classes were necessary and how they may impact health and productivity. This article was published in the New York Times in 1910.

Today, European workers enjoy a minimum of 20 days paid annual leave and the tourism industry employs more than 260 million people worldwide. Does that mean we have the answers to the intriguing questions raised in a newspaper more than 100 years ago? Not quite.

During this lecture, De Bloom will take you on journey which will pass major theories and milestones of research on recovery from work and major findings on vacation effects.


1.3. Are Our Lives Political? (pdf)

Dr Heikki A. Kovalainen, IASR

My lecture analyzes the different senses in which our lives in Western societies such as Finland are political. In brief, we will look at different arguments both for (the so-called yes-camp) and against (the so-called no-camp) the claim that our lives are political. In the yes-camp, we will look into classical notions such as the parallelity between the personal and the political, as well as interpersonal recognition at different levels. In the no-camp, I will discuss different arguments for keeping the private and the public realms of life separate (such as broached by Hannah Arendt and Richard Rorty).

 
15.3. How Multilingual was the Roman Empire? Reflections on cultural exchange and polyglottery (pdf)

Dr Christian Laes, IASR

In this lecture, I focus on several vital questions, which are seldom raised when dealing with Roman history. First, I collect the (rare) evidence on people in the Roman world who, according to modern standards, might be classified as polyglots. Second, I illustrate the profoundly multilingual context of the Roman Empire. After this, comments on multilingual encounters by ancient authors will be discussed. This evidence will be used to answer the question why, despite the multilingual context, polyglots did not matter in the ancient world. Before moving to the conclusions and offering a prospectus of further possible research in the field, I try to formulate some answers about the role of Christianity for the issue.


12.4. On Running Barefoot in the 21st Century

Dr Jarkko Bamberg, IASR

Barefoot running knocked out the running world recently. Scientific discussion around barefoot running emerged, focusing particularly on the benefits and constraints of barefoot running. Influential books were written and the new style of running received wide media attention.  Running shoe industry has promptly joined in and new types of running shoes have been designed and marketed to fit the new running style. Thousands of recreational and fitness runners have been keen to try this new style of running. What is behind this phenomenon? What are people actually doing when they are running barefoot in this day and age? Why are they doing it? How do they do it? What kind of meanings are attached to the practice of barefoot running? In this lecture, I will tap into these questions. In doing so, I also seek to illuminate some characteristics of our contemporary society that form a part of everyday life for many people.



26.4. Media and Globalization: The Domestication Perspective

Dr Marjaana Rautalin, IASR

This lecture discusses the role of the media in the process in which national policies take their form. The lecture departs from the idea that the media are one of the central actors (if not the most central one) through which actors in national contexts become aware of far-away events and through which these events become integrated with domestic policy discourses. However, this process is more complex than that. On the one hand, media professionals are central players in deciding what is topical or newsworthy for domestic audiences. They also decide about the frames within which these events are covered in domestic sites. On the other hand, in domestic contexts, there are many other actors that aim to influence the public understanding of the reported events. These actors bring far-way events into their political argumentation in their attempts to advance their own political interests and desires. Interpretations that appear widely convincing are typically taken up and reported by the media. Starting from these premises, the lecture suggests that the media serve not merely as an arena through which far-away events are introduced to local audiences. If anything, the media can be seen as a forum or cultural site where different discourses meet. In media, far-away events are claimed, contested and domesticated by a range of national actors who use them as capital or assets in the domestic political field and affect the existing domestic political discourses. After being naturalized, these discourses convert into domestic policy decisions and practices. 


10.5. Multilingual Dynamics in 19th Century Tampere, or How Did They Manage to Make it All Happen?

Dr Jukka Tyrkkö, IASR

During the nineteenth century, the city of Tampere expanded rapidly as a result of the blossoming industrialisation that started with Finlayson & Compagnie in 1820. In the decades that followed, hundreds of migrant workers and their families from Britain, Sweden, Germany, Russia, and numerous other countries flocked to Tampere, changing what had been a monolingual and monocultural little town into the “Manchester of the North”. Although plenty of attention has been paid in Finnish history writing to how urbanisation developed in Tampere and how industrialisation changed the lives of workers and the concept of work itself, comparatively little has been written about the experiences of the migrant workers and about how the multilingual dynamics actually worked in their daily lives. How did English-speaking factory foremen instruct their Finnish workers, most of whom were uneducated women and children? How many languages did people typically speak and was there a lingua franca? Did the different language groups mix outside of working hours? And why don’t contemporary newspapers hardly ever mention language issues at all?

In this talk I will try to answer these questions and more by applying the methods of historical multilingualism and historical sociolinguistics to the evidence available. I will recount the early history of how Scotsman James Finlayson ended up founding a factory in the little town of Tampere, discuss the impact of language proficiency — or lack there of — in the events as they unfolded, and provide an overview of the language demographics across the social strata. Drawing examples from contemporary newspapers, biographies and archival sources, I will discuss the extent and nature of multilingualism in Tampere both in the factories and outside them, highlighting the key role of polyglots like Ferdinand Uhde, Gustaf Lundahl and Katarina Ekblom.

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What is the IASR? – The Institute for Advanced Social Research, IASR) is the research collegium of the University of Tampere. It grants annually one- or two-year research positions for Professorial Fellows, Senior Research Fellows and Postdoctoral Research Fellows studying society to promote high-level multidisciplinary research and international interaction in the university.

What are the IASR Lectures? – The IASR Lectures is a series of Studia Generalia Lectures in the Study of Society, which the University of Tampere Institute for Advanced Social Research organizes bimonthly. IASR Lectures are given by research fellows as well as distinguished guests of the institute. Please check the IASR website www.uta.fi/iasr/ and bulletin boards regularly. Most doctoral students can also get 2 ECTS for attending a minimum of six IASR Lectures, altogether 6 ECTS at the maximum. These 2 ECTS for attending 6 lectures can be earned during two successive terms.

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IASR Lectures 2015-2016, Autumn


Lecturers' power point presentations (pdf) will be added

IASR lectures from Spring 2015 and earlier lectures available in Radio Moreeni as podcasts here

Time: On Tuesdays, at 16.15-17.45, starting from 15 September 2015
Place: University of Tampere, Lecture Hall Pinni B, B1096

 

Programme

Updated on 8 November 2015


15.09. Can the European Union Survive? (pdf)

Professor Risto Heiskala, IASR

The European Union is a political community originating from a succession of international treaties and waves of enlargement which have turned the original coal and steel union of six countries from 1952 into a political union of the current 28 member states. The EU still does not possess all of the qualities of a federal state but can nevertheless be described as an empire in the making. Considering the increasing problems having to do with inequality, environment and security, there is a need for a coordinating political force on the European level. Today, however, the union is facing several tensions that threaten to halt it or even break it up. The tensions are ideological, economic, military, political, infrastructural and environmental in nature. The lecture describes these tensions and discusses some of the possible future scenarios.

 

29.09.  Recognition and Acknowledgement (pdf)

Dr Heikki A. Kovalainen, IASR

The intertwining thematics of recognition and acknowledgement have a long history, and in recent social philosophy, the two terms have been increasingly discussed. One feature of the contemporary discussions (e.g. Honneth, Ricoeur, and Laitinen) is that they give conceptual precedence to recognition while understanding acknowledgement as a rudimentary form of (albeit a precondition for) interpersonal recognition. In the talk, I argue that there are three overlooked and underdiscussed senses of ‘acknowledgement’, conforming to English usage in the following phrases: "I acknowledge your suffering"; "I acknowledge the existence of the world"; and "I acknowledge the reality of God." In a word, I flesh out a grammatical difference between ‘recognition’ and ‘acknowledgement, thus hoping to make amendments to the contemporary debates on recognition. To accomplish the task, I will talk about Stanley Cavell’s original ideas on acknowledgement vis-à-vis the theories of recognition such as broached by Arto Laitinen.



13.10. Has War Declined? (NB! Time and place: Pinni B, lecture hall 1097, at 10.15-11.45)

Professor Michael Mann, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

For 250 years liberal optimism has dominated theories of war and violence. It has been repeatedly argued that war and violence either are declining or will shortly decline. There have been exceptions, especially in Germany and more generally in the first half of the 20th century, but there has been a recent revival of such optimism, especially in the work of Azar Gat, John Mueller, and Robert Pinker who all perceive a long-term decline in war and violence throughout history. Critiquing Pinker’s statistics on war fatalities, I show that the overall pattern is not a decline in war through history but substantial variation throughout history and pre-history. War has not declined and current trends are in the opposite direction. There is more support for their view that homicide has declined in the long-term. This is consistent with a shift in the modern period from “ferocious” to “callous” warfare which does not indicate a decline in war but rather renders war less visible and less central to modern culture.

In cooperation with Tampere Peace Research Institute, TaPRI

 

27.10. Spaces Lead - But How and Where to? (pdf, link to the film on the last slide)

Professor Arja Ropo, IASR

After a strong emphasis on social constructionism and language-based knowledge production, organization studies have experienced a 'material turn'. In that vein, it has been noted that physical places and objects shape human interaction and practices at workplace. Parallel to the material and spatial turn in organization studies, the leader-centric views of leadership have been increasingly challenged and plural views have been introduced. These plural views attach leadership to groups and collectives, but also to material places, events, technology and systems.

Beyond social relationships between people, typically between the leader and the led, leadership is also constructed and performed in human-material relations. I will outline in the lecture the conceptual background of leadership as a socio-material phenomenon and discuss its epistemological underpinnings with the focus on aesthetic and embodied experience. I will also show some glimpses of a documentary film to illustrate how spaces lead in different workplaces.

 

10.11. The World Culture of Rock

Professor Pertti Alasuutari, TaSTI, IASR

The main argument put forward in the lecture is that the central position which the United States acquired after World War II in world politics is reflected in the cultural hegemony that pop-rock enjoys in the global field of music. Consequently, the former position of the European classical music tradition is facing a crisis due to a greying audience. In that sense the relocation of the political power center from Europe to the other side of the Atlantic is paralleled by a shift from the European classical to the Afro-American music tradition. The lecture will illustrate this historic change by discussing post-war fluctuations in the Finnish field of popular music and by relating it to the global picture. I will also discuss the implications of this global transition.

 

24.11. Stress in adolescent girls and boys  (NB! Place: Pinni B, lecture hall  B1097)

Dr Petra Lindfors, Stockholm University

This lecture presents findings from an interdisciplinary Stockholm-based research program investigating stress, health and well-being in mid-adolescent girls and boys in their daily life setting at school. Specifically, the talk will focus on stress and describe different aspects of stress, including subjective reports of perceived stress and objective biomarkers of stress, and discuss variations between girls and boys.



08.12. When Classicists Need to Speak up: Antiquity and Present Day Pedophilia - Pederasty (pdf)

Dr Christian Laes, IASR

In this lecture, I will deal with the delicate issue of of boy love in Antiquity. I will show how the practice of pederasty highlights vital ancient concepts about children, which should always be borne in mind when tempting to compare with modern society. This, however, does not mean that Antiquity can unambiguously be used to make a straightforward plea for the acceptance of what we commonly but not quite rightly call paedophile relationships.

As such, the study of ancient sexuality forces us to consider whether it is possible to think in another way than we think and to perceive in another way than we are used to perceive.



****************************************************************************************************************************

What is the IASR? – The Institute for Advanced Social Research, IASR) is the research collegium of the University of Tampere. It grants annually one- or two-year research positions for Professorial Fellows, Senior Research Fellows and Postdoctoral Research Fellows studying society to promote high-level multidisciplinary research and international interaction in the university.

What are the IASR Lectures? – The IASR Lectures is a series of Studia Generalia Lectures in the Study of Society, which the University of Tampere Institute for Advanced Social Research organizes bimonthly. IASR Lectures are given by research fellows as well as distinguished guests of the institute. Please check the IASR website www.uta.fi/iasr/ and bulletin boards regularly. Most doctoral students can also get 2 ECTS for attending a minimum of six IASR Lectures, altogether 6 ECTS at the maximum. These 2 ECTS for attending 6 lectures can be earned during two successive terms.

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