My grandmother used to tell me stories about her childhood in 1920s rural Finland. Ever since I have been fascinated about the past; about the stories how life has been back in the days. In my Master’s Thesis I examined the artisan crafts in Hansa towns. After finishing the Masters, I felt that I had only scratched the surface.
So when the opportunity came, to write a PhD Thesis about the crafts, I took the chance with great enthusiasm. In my PhD study I wanted to find out what it meant to be a craftsman and a craftswoman in late Medieval and Early Modern Northern town. What was the craft trade culture around the Baltic Sea area? I discovered that it was flexible and dynamic. It was full of controversies and balancing between the common good and self-interest. (Does it sound familiar?) More about my findings you can read from my monograph Protection, Continuity and Gender: Craft trade culture in the Baltic Sea Region (14th-16th centuries), available free online at Tampere University Press website http://tampub.uta.fi/handle/10024/96147
After spending several years with coopers, tanners and other craftspeople I still don’t know everything about their everyday life. The forthcoming article ‘Urban funeral practices in the Baltic Sea Region’, in Lived Religion and the Long Reformation in Northern Europe c. 1300−1700, ed. by Peltomaa-Katajala Sari and Raisa Maria Toivo, examines one important social ritual, the funerals, in the context of craft trade culture. Many crafts need water in the process of making goods. Access to water and the use of water in urban area is the topic of my other forthcoming article ‘Water and urban space in medieval Stockholm’, in Water as Social and Cultural Space, ed. by Costlow, Jane and Yrjö Haila and Arja Rosenholm.
My current post doc research project Migration, Movement of Labour and Multiethnic Cities from the Middle Ages to the Present joins together historians and social scientist. This international and multidisciplinary project connects the past with the present and comments the public debate about mass migration. You can find the project website at University of Tampere webpages: www.uta.fi/yky/migration. As the leader of the project I have a chance to improve my skills in organizing, informing, promoting and making budgets as well as book proposals. It is challenging but also very interesting and exciting!
List of publications in chronological order 1.4.2016
− Book Ijäs, Miia & Ojala, Maija. Tuntematon tukija opiskelijan takana. Lääkintöneuvos G.R. Idmanin ja ministeri K.G. Idmanin säätiön historia (The unknown supporter. The history of the Idman foundation). Tampere, Lääkintöneuvos G.R. Idmanin ja ministeri K.G. Idmanin säätiö, 2015.
− PhD Thesis Protection, Continuity and Gender: Craft trade culture in the Baltic Sea region (14th−16th centuries), Acta Universitatis Tamperiensis 1974, Tampere University Press 2014. Available online http://tampub.uta.fi/handle/10024/9614.
− Book review ‘Work, Work and Work’ of book Arbete: Skillnadsskapande och försörjning i 1500-talets Sverige by Christopher Pihl, (Studia Historica Upsaliensia 246), Uppsala Universitet: Uppsala 2012, in journal Mirator 15:1/2014, 79−83.
− Referee article ‘Religious Participation in Craft Ordinances around the Baltic Sea’, in Religious Participation in Ancient and Medieval Societies, ed. by. Katajala-Peltomaa and Vuolanto, Acta Instituti Romani Finlandiae vol 41, Roma 2013, 79−90.
− Book review ‘Vaihtelevat näkökulmat (Changing Perspectives)’ of book Turun tuomiokirkon suojissa: Pohjoinen hiippakuntakeskus keskiajan ja uuden ajan alun Euroopassa (Under protection of Turku Cathedral: The Northern bishopric centre in medieval and early modern Europe), ed. by. Räsänen (et al.), Turku 2012, in journal Mirator 14:1/2013, 52−56.
− Article ‘Widows’ Opportunities to continue Craft Trade in Northern Baltic Cities during the 15th and 16th Centuries’, in Law and Marriage in Medieval and Early Modern Times, ed. by Andersen (et al.), DJØF Publishing, Copenhagen 2012, 191–211.
− Referee article ‘Tuntematon käsityöläinen, keskiajan käsityöläiset lähteissä ja tutkimuksessa (The unknown craftsman: medieval craftsmen in sources and research)’, in Genos: Journal of the Genealogical Society of Finland 2/2012, 41–49 with English summary 71.
− Translation (made of order): 5 Letters of Commander Peter Hollander Ridder to the state administration of Sweden in 1640–1644. Language Middle Low German with influences from Holland.
2. Forthcoming publications
− Article ‘Sex matters? Artisan widows and the urban labour market in northern Europe’, in Craftsmen and Guilds in the Medieval and Early Modern Periods, ed. by Jullien, Eva and Michel Pauly. Vierteljahrschrift für Wirtschaftsgeschichte, Sonderband.
− Referee article ‘Water and urban space in medieval Stockholm’, in Water as Social and Cultural Space, ed. by Costlow, Jane and Yrjö Haila and Arja Rosenholm. Rodopi.
− Referee article ‘Urban funeral practices in the Baltic Sea Region’, in Lived Religion and the Long Reformation in Northern Europe c. 1300−1700, ed. by Peltomaa-Katajala Sari and Raisa Maria Toivo. Brill.
− Chapter/Article ‘Mestarin lesket (Artisan widows)’, in Perheen jäljillä, ed by. Ilmakunnas, Johanna and Anu Lahtinen.
Themes: Medieval History, Early Modern History, Urban History, Gender History, History of Everyday life, Guilds and Crafts, Old Handwritings, Middle Low German, Migration and Mobility, Labour Markets