University of Jyväskylä

Academy Research Fellow Tuuli Lähdesmäki wins 2017 Jutikkala Prize from the Finnish Academy of Science and Letters

– At its best, doing research is a flow state where the work continually produces new discoveries. It is rewarding to realise that you understand your object of study and can solve research problems, says Tuuli Lähdesmäki, the winner of 2017’s Jutikkala Prize, awarded by the Finnish Academy of Science and Letters (FASL).

Tuuli Lähdesmäki (b. 1976) is an Academy Research Fellow at the University of Jyväskylä. She received her Ph.D. in Art History from the University of Jyväskylä in 2007, and again in Sociology from the University of Eastern Finland in 2014.

Lähdesmäki has studied the role of culture in the expression and production of different identities. Outside of Finland, she has conducted research in Italy, Ireland and Hungary. Lähdesmäki is a Docent at the University of Jyväskylä. Scientific research is Lähdesmäki’s chosen career.

– My research career is the result of determined career-building, where I have made conscious choices to further my position and to develop my expertise. Lähdesmäki says.

Lähdesmäki’s current research concerns the EU’s politics of cultural heritage and using cultural heritage to build a common European identity. The project conceptualises meanings related to cultural heritage and theorises about the power dynamics of the process.

– Research has the ability to quickly and flexibly react to changes in culture and society – and in the best case scenario, it can produce changes that lead to a more equal, dialogical, and diverse society, Lähdesmäki muses, regarding the implications of art and culture research.

The aim of Lähdesmäki’s current research is to enhance understanding of the meanings of cultural heritage, and to offer tools for the critical evaluation of this process for both researchers and lawmakers.

The research of Lähdesmäki is interdisciplinary, bringing together perspectives from both EU research and cultural research. She has published dozens of articles in international, peer-reviewed journals.

– My aim is to influence the important international dialogue within my field. I also wish to affect the development of the EU’s future politics of cultural heritage, Lähdesmäki sums up.

In 2014, Lähdesmäki received the highly coveted European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant. The ERC grants financing for top researchers and their teams in order to support groundbreaking research. The Academy of Finland awarded Lähdesmäki for displaying scientific courage in 2015.

FASL’s Jutikkala Prize is awarded annually to a scholar of humanistic sciences in the beginning of their career who has already gained some international recognition. The value of the prize is 15,000 euros. The winners are rising stars in their respective fields. The prize has been given out annually since 2011. 2017’s prize was presented to Tuuli Lähdesmäki at a FASL event in Helsinki on October 9.


The office of Finnish Academy of Science and Letters, e-mail, tel. 050 4620 890
Tuuli Lähdesmäki, e-mail, tel. 040 805 3839
More about the Jutikkala Prize on the FASL website

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