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Sanna Kaisa Spoof

Sanna Kaisa Spoof (nee Pesälä)
Born 1962, Lahti

Master of Arts (Finno-Ugric ethnology, art history, archaeology) 1987, Licentiate 1992, PhD (Finno-Ugric ethnology) 1998, University of Helsinki
Docent in Finno-Ugric ethnology, University of Helsinki, 2002–

Secretary General, 1 September, 2010–, Finnish Advisory Board on Research Integrity
Research and Postgraduate Studies Officer 2009–10, Faculty of Arts, University of Helsinki
Senior Training Officer 2007–09, Sibelius Academy's continuing education
Secretary general 2001–07, Lahti University Consortium
Research associate 1988–2001, Department of Cultural Studies (the Department of Ethnology until 13 July 1988), University of Helsinki
Researcher 1987, department of research, National Board of Antiquities

Photo: Ruusukuva
Written by Sanna Kaisa Spoof (Tiia Niemelä, ed.)
Translated by Matthew Billington

My best memories at the University of Helsinki

My best memories at the University of Helsinki are connected with the Department of Ethnology and my dissertation. When I was writing my Master's thesis on the history of ethnology, I was asked to substitute for a research associate at the Department of Ethnology, and the following year I was hired for the position. This opened up an academic career that I hadn't even known to dream of. Us research associates formed a good team, and Professor Juhani U.E. Lehtonen was a fair boss.

Professor of Ethnology Juhani U.E. Lehtonen and research associates Hanna Snellman and Sanna Kaisa Spoof in period finery at the opening of the Topelia building of the University. On the walls of the professor's office his predecessors look on; in the centre, a portrait of Kustaa Vilkuna painted by Professor Lehtonen. Photo: Collection Sanna Kaisa Spoof.

My most important teaching duties were proseminars. My forte became teaching a museum class at the Viikki Agricultural Museum of the University of Helsinki, among the ard ploughs and wooden pails. Running a fieldwork class on collecting textile handicraft traditions in Iitti, my family's native district, was a memorable experience. Teaching was fun and the students were nice.

In 1997, in my dissertation, I traced the evolution of the social and physical environment of the Jokela brickworks and its associated farm from the 1870s to the 1950s. These are the roots of the urban industrial area of Jokela, in the municipality of Tuusula, and to my surprise the people of Jokela gave the book an enthusiastic reception. My dissertation is still eagerly read in Jokela as local history, and since it is sold out, there have been requests for a reprint. I am also proud that my dissertation was splashed across the front page of Helsingin Sanomat, the leading newspaper in Finland.

Dr Sanna Kaisa Spoof lecturing on the history of Jokela as brickworks town on the culture walk of Jokela adult education centre, Jokela station, May 2015. Photo: Collection Sanna Kaisa Spoof.


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