A senior researcher at the University of Helsinki specialising in European intellectual history, his previous work on topics related to this project includes studies on the transnational strategies and socio-cultural conditions of Nordic avant-gardes, centre-periphery relations in nineteenth- and twentieth-century European intellectual life, the professionalisation of writers, and his PhD dissertation on the appropriation of Henri Bergson in Finland. He has recently published The Politics of Debt and Europe’s Relations with the ‘South’ (Edinburgh University Press 2020) and, with Marja Jalava and Johan Strang, Decentering European Intellectual Space (Brill 2018).
Donna Roberts is an expert in surrealist art and literature. Her research is motivated by the pursuit of connections, such as those between text and image and the ways of thinking and seeing in different historical eras. Her interdisciplinary approach specifically addresses the historically shifting and contested notion of ‘nature’ and in her writing and teaching she seeks to explore relations between the critical views of nature developed by the historical avant-gardes and those found in current debates. Roberts’ work aims to situate the surrealist movement within a historical yet ongoing critical discourse on nature. The main goal of her research is to connect the broad ambitions of the surrealists to contemporary concerns with ecology, the human place in nature, and the manifold problem of the gross reduction of Life, inflicted both by humans on other species and by humans upon one another.
Sami Sjöberg (the project PI) is a researcher driven by enthusiasm for countercultures, artistic experimentation and interdisciplinarity. Sami is an Academy of Finland Research Fellow at the University of Helsinki and an Adjunct Professor at the universities of Helsinki and Tampere. His areas of expertise and interest include avant-garde and experimental literature, science in modern literature, 20th-century history and philosophy of science, and East-Central European modernisms. He is also the Associate Editor of the Journal of Avant-Garde Studies
Iida Turpeinen is a PhD student in the Universities of Helsinki and Gießen. Her forthcoming thesis examines the ways in which contemporary Anglo-American experimental literature represents, negotiates and challenges scientific ways of knowing, focusing on works by Christian Bök and Ben Marcus. She pursues her doctoral studies under the European PhDnet Literary and Cultural Studies, a joint doctoral programme of six European universities.