Research team

Matti Peikola is Professor of English at the University of Turku. His research addresses Late Middle and Early Modern English texts and their language in their communicative and material contexts. His recent publications include The Dynamics of Text and Framing Phenomena: Historical Approaches to Paratext and Metadiscourse in English, co-edited with Birte Bös for John Benjamins (2020). Peikola is the PI of the EModGraL project.

Marjo Kaartinen is Professor of Cultural History at the University of Turku and currently Vice Rector for education at the University of the Arts Helsinki. She has studied English Henrician Reformation polemics. Among the projects she has led was the digital humanities project Profiling Premodern Authors which aimed to define methods for Latin authorship attribution. Currently, her early modern research interests focus on one hand, again, on Henry VIII and especially on his writing and on the other on pope Leo X’s religious politics.

Aino Liira is postdoctoral researcher at the Department of English, University of Turku. Her prior research has focused on paratextuality in late medieval and early modern English manuscripts and printed books, particularly John Trevisa’s Middle English translation of Ranulf Higden’s Polychronicon. Her area of expertise is the interplay of visual and textual elements in books. In EModGraL she will primarily focus on studying graphic devices in the material context of the page.

Otso Norblad is an MA student in Finnish Language at the University of Turku and a research assistant in EModGraL, with his main tasks being compiling and classifying the project data. He has previously worked on the digitisation of 17th-century Finnish texts for the Dictionary of Old Literary Finnish during an internship at the Institute for the Languages of Finland. His interests include language variation and change as well as corpus-based research.

Sirkku Ruokkeinen is a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of English, University of Turku. She has previously published on Appraisal Theory, historical paratextuality and historical discourses on the book. Ruokkeinen will focus on the use of graphic devices from the paratextual perspective. She investigates how paratextual devices such as prefaces are used to frame graphic devices within the work, and how they are used to communicate expected literacy levels of the readers.

Janne Skaffari is a senior lecturer at the Department of English, University of Turku. He is a specialist in multilingual practices and language contact phenomena, the history of English lexis, and grammatical description of Present-Day English. In EModGraL, his work focuses on graphic devices printed in early modern grammars, particularly books on English in English from the seventeenth century.

Mari-Liisa Varila is a lecturer at the Department of English, University of Turku and a postdoctoral researcher in EModGraL. Her research focuses on late medieval and sixteenth-century English book production in manuscript and print. Her PhD (2016), combining historical discourse linguistics with book studies, examined 16th-century English textual practices in scientific writing. Varila has also published on paratext in early English print. In EModGraL, Varila works on developing a classification model for graphic devices and investigates the use of graphic devices in medical texts. She is the vice PI of the project. Twitter: @mlvarila

Key collaborators

Outi Merisalo, Professor of Romance Philology at the University of Jyväskylä, has published extensively on Old French documents, Old and Middle French translations from Latin, Renaissance texts in Latin and Italian and book history from the Middle Ages until the eighteenth century. She is currently the PI of the Academy of Finland and University of Jyväskylä project Late Medieval and Early Modern Libraries as Knowledge Repositories, Guardians of Tradition and Catalysts of Change (2017-2022).

Wendy Scase has published extensively on early English literature and book history, including books and essays on Piers Plowman, Chaucer, Gower, Lollardy, medieval and early modern satire and complaint, and a complete edition of the famous Vernon manuscript. She is currently investigating the acquisition of literacy and how the processes and experiences of learning to read and write have left traces in pre-modern vernacular books for a new monograph, Visible English: Graphic Culture, Scribal Practice, and Identity, c. 700-c. 1550 (Brepols, forthcoming). She is Emeritus Geoffrey Shepherd Professor of Medieval English Literature at the University of Birmingham.

Carla Suhr is University Lecturer in English Philology at the University of Helsinki, Finland. Her research revolves around the effects of increasing (genre) literacy and availability of texts in the early modern period on developments in popular and learned genres in news and medical discourse. She is especially interested in the interplay of verbal and visual or graphic communication in texts aimed for newly literate audiences, and the relationship of transferring knowledge in texts and marketing texts. Her research methods draw on (corpus-assisted) historical pragmatics and genre studies as well as book history. 

Jukka Tyrkkö is Full Professor of English Linguistics at Linnaeus University. He has previously served as Professor of English at the University of Tampere, as a Research Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Social Research (Tampere), and as a Visiting Professor of Digital Humanities at the University of Turku. He is Chair of the Helsinki Society of Historical Lexicography (HSHL) and a board member of the iInstitute at Linnaeus University, the International Computer Archive of Modern and Medieval English (ICAME), and the Finnish Society for the Study of English (FINSSE). His research interests include corpus linguistic and machine learning methodology, the study of lexis and phraseology in English, historical lexicography, political language use, and history of the book with particular reference to paratextuality and graphic literacy.