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Hanna Snellman

Hanna Kyllikki Snellman
Born 16 April, 1961, Sodankylä

Master of Arts, 1986 and Doctor of Philosophy 1997 (European ethnology), University of Helsinki

Vice-Rector 2018–, Professor of European Ethnology 2012, Dean 2017–2018Vice-Dean 2014–2016, Acting Dean 2014–15, University of Helsinki
Assistant, Finno-Ugric Ethnology, 1987–2004, University of Helsinki
Acting Assistant, Cultural Anthropology, 1991, University of Oulu
Docent, Finno-Ugric Ethnology, University of Helsinki, 2001
Academy Research Fellow, 2004–2007 and Research Fellow, Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, University of Helsinki
Finnish Chair, Lakehead University, Canada
Docent, European Ethnology, University of Oulu, 2010
Professor of Ethnology, 2009–2012, University of Jyväskylä

Publications, research projects and other academic activities

Photo: Ari Aalto
Authors: Hanna Snellman and Riitta-Ilona Hurmerinta (ed.)
Translated by John Calton

A born collaborator

Hanna Snellman was elected vice dean of the Faculty of Arts for the years 2014-2017. During the academic year 2014-2015 Snellman is serving as the acting dean. As vice dean, Snellman's responsibilities include research matters, social interaction, international affairs, matters of equality and bilingual matters. She serves as the president of the Docent Committee, the Committee for Postgraduate Studies, the Committee for External Relations and Communication, and is also the president of the faculty's Scientific Advisory Board.

Hanna Snellman works for many of the management groups and committees that serve the entire university. She is the vice president of the board of the University of Helsinki Library and a board member of the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, Palmenia Centre for Continuing Education and the University of Helsinki Open University, as well as a deputy board member of the Ruralia Institute. In addition, Snellman is a member of the Research Council (TINE),a board member of the Doctoral School in Humanities and Social Sciences (HYMY), member of the Steering Committee for the Helsinki University Centre for Environment and also sits on the Ethical Advisory Review Board in the Human Sciences.

Working in scientific organisations is an essential part of what it means to be a professor. Hanna Snellman is the vice president of the Kalevala Society, founded in 1911, and a deputy board member of the Finnish Society of Sciences and Letters, founded in 1838. Ethnologists have typically been employed by museums, and while Snellman's interests touch on museums, she has not worked in one since her time as a student. For a long time she served as a representative for the Helsinki University Museum Foundation, elected by the Finnish Literature Society, and is now a board member. Snellman is also a representative for the Gallen-Kallela Museum Foundation.

The Kalevala Society in Iceland. Photo: Elina Lampela.​

One can clearly detect Snellman's wish to collaborate with museums in her research. The touring exhibition Maat, metsät, tehtaat ('Lands, forests, factories'), displayed at The Finnish Labour Museum Werstas, Sarka – the Finnish Museum of Agriculture, Lusto – the Finnish Forest Museum,  was put together in collaboration with Hanna Snellman's Onnen maa ('Happy days') project, funded by the Academy of Finland.

Previously, Snellman has been actively involved with, for example, the Association of Finnish Ethnologists 'Ethnos', Suomen Muinaismuistoyhdistys (the Finnish Antiquarian Society), Työväen historian ja perinteen tutkimuksen seura (‘the Finnish Society for Labour History’ () and Oulun historia seura (‘the Oulu History Society’). Hanna Snellman is also a founding member of the Finnish Forest History Society.

In the years 1999-2000, the research project Metsäammattilaiset metsätalouden murroksessa (‘Forestry professionals in a changing forest economy’), led by Snellman, interviewed over a thousand forestry workers. The data is archived at Lusto and is available to researchers. Two doctoral theses have been completed utilising the data under Hanna Snellman's supervision: Leena Paaskoski Herrana metsässä. Kansatieteellinen tutkimus metsänhoitajuudesta ('Being a University-educated Forester. An Ethnological Study on Finnish Forest Professionalism') for European ethnology at the University of Helsinki in 2008 and Tiina Suopajärvi’s Sukupuoli meni metsään - Luonnon ja sukupuolen polkuja metsäammattilaisuudessa ('Gender, Nature and Forest Professions') for cultural anthropology at the University of Oulu in 2010. In addition, the data gathered for the research project has been used as the main source in a number of doctoral theses in different fields of study.

Working in scientific societies often involves publishing. Hanna Snellman was the editor-in-chief of the journal Kansantieteellinen Arkisto ('The ethnological archive'), published by the Finnish Antiquarian Society, as well as the Finnish Literature Society's Studia Fennica Ethnologica series. She had to give up these posts due to lack of time when she became vice dean. Despite her hectic schedule, she remains an editor for the American Journal of Finnish Studies. The journal, rated level two by the Publication Forum, provides an opportunity to make Finnish research better known internationally.

Professor Hanna Snellman has also been active on the international front. She has done field work based on her research in the years 2000-05 in Gothenburg and Västerås. Snellman worked as a visiting scholar at the Centre for Research in International Migration and Ethnic Relations at the University of Stockholm in 2006. In addition, Snellman was a visiting professor at the Lakehead University in Canada in 2007as well as at York University in Canada (Center for Women’s Studies in 2004 and Centre for Research on Work and Society in 2008) and took part in an Erasmus exchange programme in 2011, visiting the University of Debrecen in Hungary.

On Finland's National Board of Antiquities' spring trip to Langinkoski in 1984. Hanna Snellman and Seija Tervala (front), Paula Jaakkola (back). Photo: P. Uino.​

Translated by Johanna Spoof

Revised by John Calton

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