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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

My dreams

A career in research is not easy. If I could go back in time and decide whether to choose a career in research or one in a museum, which was my original plan, I do not know what I would do. I have never been out of work during my research career, but I have come very close. New ideas for research have often come to me during these intervals between projects.

After completing my dissertation on the Kemijoki log drivers, I wrote a monograph on the concept of time held by the Khanty people in West Siberia, and subsequently moved on to study the Finnish population  living in Sweden from different angles. I started my research in the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies by looking at Finnish-American cookbooks. Not a day goes by when I don’t dream about continuing this work.

My post-doctoral work lasted ten years and during that time I wrote three monographs, contributed to many journals, wrote my own articles, and conducted research for long periods of time in Sweden and Canada. Whether working at foreign universities, or for the University of Helsinki, I’ve always felt at home.

As the Vice-Dean, I thought hard about the lot of post-doctoral researchers in the Faculty of Arts at the University of Helsinki. On the one hand, how does one encourage researchers to fly from the nest if the opportunity presents itself? On the other hand, how can we take care of the post-doctoral researchers who are a part of our scientific community?

Holding various positions and working on various topics in academia is a precondition for a more secure position. Not everyone can be employed by the university, so post-doctoral researchers should be encouraged to work in other areas that benefit society. But my dream is that those who do their post-doctoral work in the Faculty of Arts in the University of Helsinki have a sense of belonging.

Hanna Snellman, Laura Hirvi and Kristina Myrvold celebrate their project’s publication Where is the Field? (eds. Laura Hirvi & Hanna Snellman, 2012).​
Hanna Snellman, Laura Hirvi and Kristina Myrvold celebrate their project’s publication Where is the Field? (eds. Laura Hirvi & Hanna Snellman, 2012).​


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