Soup with Paul Auster 1

Soup with Paul Auster
There is something surreal about eating the same soup as Paul Auster. All of a sudden, the intangible, enigmatic, almost disembodied author, whose books I read, whose films I watch and whose activities I follow in the media, is scooping mashed potatoes (and soup) on his plate (not the one that had the soup) at ...

Shakespeare 400 revisited

The Shakespeare 400 course was organised jointly by the University of Turku and Åbo Akademi University in autumn 2016. After the first lecture on the history of English and the early printing history of Shakespeare’s works, the students delved deeper into other topics in Shakespeare studies. Aino Mäkikalli discussed Shakespeare’s sonnets, situating them in their ...

Greetings from Gorgeous Galway 1

Greetings from Gorgeous Galway
While our historical linguists were enjoying the heatwave in Essen, another delegation from the English department went on a similar mission to a place with just one letter’s difference: ESSE – the European Society for the Study of English biannual conference in gorgeous Galway, Ireland. Our research project funded by the Academy of Finland, Out ...

Postmodern feminist challenging of dominant discourses: Mehdi Ghasemi’s doctoral defence

Postmodern feminist challenging of dominant discourses: Mehdi Ghasemi’s doctoral defence
The second one of the two doctoral defences at the Department of English in the spring 2016 was Mehdi Ghasemi’s “Quest/ion of Identities in African American Feminist Postmodern Drama: A Study of Selected Plays by Suzan-Lori Parks”. The public examination of the dissertation took place at the University of Turku on 10 June, 2016. The ...

Shakespeare 400 in Turku

Shakespeare 400 in Turku
Last week, our department – along with the rest of the world – celebrated Shakespeare as Saturday April 23rd marked the 400th anniversary of the Bard of Avon’s death. Why death, you ask? Well, because we do not know his exact day of birth, and in order to celebrate, we need a date! So, a ...

Seven Wonders of the Frankfurt Book Fair

Seven Wonders of the Frankfurt Book Fair
Have you ever considered how brain waves can be transferred into poetry? Don’t worry. The Helsinki-based Brains on Art collective has solved the problem for us. With the help of a tinfoil hat – i.e. a sensor helmet – and computer magic, brain waves create poems. This is first of the wonders I found in ...

”Once upon a Time There Was University: Yliopistoon! To the University!”

”Once upon a Time There Was University: Yliopistoon! To the University!”
In the summer of 2005, I happened to read a Finnish detective novel by Matti Hälli, titled Sopimatonta kuolla yliopistolla (1943) [It Is Unbecoming to Die at the University]. The text intrigued me so much that I wrote a short piece on it to the University Employee Unions’ magazine, Acatiimi. What was then just an ...

Hard Work Made Easy

Hard Work Made Easy
On the last day of January, 2014, a fifty-strong crowd gathered in the Tauno Nurmela auditorium to listen to the defence of Elina Siltanen’s doctoral dissertation “Hard Work? Reciprocal Communication in Contemporary American Experimental Poetry”. The opponent who discussed the dissertation with Siltanen was professor emeritus Charles Molesworth (Queens College, The City University of New ...

Mixing and Switching

Mixing and Switching
”Etkö voisi please auttaa tässä?” ”And then she was like, no ei se mitään.” As language users – speakers, writers, listeners, readers – we are constantly surrounded by linguistic data, and some of the material we observe is bi- or multilingual. The examples above may not be authentic (as in ‘cited from a corpus of ...

Our Literary Lady in London

Our Literary Lady in London
I still often think of the hours spent reading for my MA dissertation in the English department seminar library in Juslenia in 2007-2008. At least in two distinct ways, those hours were to have a lasting influence on my life. First of all, they installed in me the desire to do further research. I had ...