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Personal profile

Description of research and teaching

Email: alex.snellman@outlook.com

For my publications 2014-2017 see:
https://helsinki.academia.edu/AlexSnellman

– Postdoctoral Researcher, Emil Aaltonen Foundation / University of Helsinki
– Coordinator of the Finnish Network for Artefact Studies ‘Artefacta’
– Coordinator of the Imperial Era Network
– Doctor of Philosophy in Finnish and Nordic history

PROJECTS

My postdoctoral project (2016–2019):
– Keisarivallan vaatteissa: siviiliunivormuilla luotu yhteiskunta 1809–1917
[In the Clothes of Imperial Power: A Society Constructed through Civil Uniforms 1809–1917]
Ongoing book projects in collaboration with other authors:
– Aatelin historia Suomessa -yleisesitys (2012–2019)
[The History of Nobility in Finland]
– Kenraaliadjutantti Anders Edvard Ramsayn elämäkerta (2016–)
[The Biography of General Adjutant Anders Edvard Ramsay]
My dissertation (2014):
– Suomen aateli: yhteiskunnan huipulta uusiin rooleihin 1809–1939
[The Finnish Nobility: From the Top of the Society to New Roles 1809–1939]

RESEARCH INTERESTS

– historical artefact studies
– material culture history
– history of nobility (in the 19th and 20th centuries)
– social history (the study of elites)
– history of the Finnish Imperial Era (1809–1917)

RESEARCH PROFILE

Historical artefact studies and the study of nobility are the focus of my research. I am mainly interested in social history and political history of the long nineteenth century.

I studied Finnish ennobled persons in my master’s thesis (2006) and the entire Finnish nobility 1809–1939 in my doctoral dissertation (2014), which presented a sociohistorical general view based on a dataset that included all the nobles – nearly 20,000 persons. In my dissertation, I introduced the concept of ‘status capital’ as an alternative to the concept of ‘symbolic capital’ by Pierre Bourdieu.

There was a digital humanities aspect in the dissertation, as I transformed text documents into the dataset using VBA language and ‘regular expressions’.

I have encouraged Finnish historians to take a closer look at historical paintings and ‘visual history’ and not simply regard them as illustrations of written history (in ‘Emanuel Thelningin maapäivämaalaus ja Porvoon tapahtumat’, 2008).

Recently, I encouraged Finnish historians to take artefacts seriously as Finnish material culture history tends to overlook artefact-based approaches (in Historiallinen Aikakauskirja 3/2016). The current state of artefact research in Finland concerns me. I proposed that Finnish historians should consider shifting their focus from a ‘material culture history’ of discourses, representations and identities to an interdisciplinary field of study that I call ‘historical artefact studies’. We must combine artefact-based approaches with theoretical insights and curatorial expertise with academic research. The 5.5 million artefacts in Finnish museums need scholarly attention – otherwise museums will lose their intellectual basis and artefacts will remain silent and mute.

My current postdoctoral project ‘In the Clothes of Imperial Power’ combines Finnish social and political history, artefact-based research and dress history with the theoretical framework of the ‘agency of artefacts’ by Bruno Latour. It is mainly based on the collections of the National Museum of Finland: circa 80 civil uniforms.

I am also involved in two book projects: a general survey of the history of nobility in Finland since the Middle Ages and the biography of General Adjutant Anders Edvard Ramsay (1799–1877), the most prominent Finnish officer in the imperial Russian army.

The Finnish Network for Artefact Studies ‘Artefacta’ (http://www.artefacta.fi/) was established on my initiative in 2011. I am the coordinator of the network and the editor of its peer-reviewed multidisciplinary journal Artefactum.

Recently, I established a research network ‘Keisariaika’ (Imperial Era, https://keisariaika.wordpress.com/) together with Docent Kristiina Kalleinen for those Finnish historians who are interested in Finnish-Russian interaction during the long nineteenth century. I believe that it is essential to strengthen our ties with our Russian colleagues. Finnish history – particularly in the nineteenth century – cannot be studied as if Finland were in a vacuum: imperial Russian context is essential.

I am also interested in manorial history. In 2015, I published a history of the Munkkiniemi Manor – the head office of the KONE Corporation – together with Dr Anna Ripatti. I studied manorial landholdings already in my dissertation.

External positions

Tutkijatohtori, Emil Aaltosen Säätiö

1 Sep 201831 Aug 2019

Tutkijatohtori, Emil Aaltosen Säätiö

1 Jun 201731 May 2018

Keywords

  • 615 History and Archaeology
  • Finnish and Nordic history

Publications 2006 2020

Suomen aatelin aika 1809–1919 (teoksen pääluku)

Snellman, A., Vuorinen, M. H. E. & Tandefelt, A. H., 2020, (In preparation) Aatelin historia Suomessa. Siltala, 80 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientific

Hyvä tarkoitus, epämääräiset käsitteet: Tarkkuutta kolonialismin ja vähemmistöjen tutkimukseen

Snellman, A., Dec 2018, In : Historiallinen Aikakauskirja. 116, 4, p. 479-480 2 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debateScientific

Open Access

The Professorial Uniform of Elias Lönnrot: Russian Imperial Materiality in Finland

Snellman, A., Vajanto, K. & Suomela, J., 1 Oct 2018, In : Artefactum. 2018, 9

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Open Access

Munkkiniemen kartano: Maaseudun aristokraattiasunnosta Koneen kaupunkikonttoriksi

Snellman, A. & Ripatti, A., Aug 2015, Helsinki: Kone. 215 p.

Research output: Book/ReportBookScientificpeer-review

Projects 2007 2016

Activities 2004 2017

Ennen ja nyt : historian tietosanomat (Journal)

Alex Snellman (Reviewer)
2017

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPeer review of manuscripts

International Conference: How Do We Study Objects? – Analyses in Artefact Studies

Alex Snellman (Secretary of organizing committee)
8 May 20149 May 2014

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesOrganisation and participation in conferences, workshops, courses, seminars

Ritarihuoneen arkistoekskursion järjestäminen opiskelijoille

Alex Snellman (Attendee)
17 Sep 2014

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesOrganisation and participation in conferences, workshops, courses, seminars

Scandinavian Journal of History (Journal)

Alex Snellman (Reviewer)
2014

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPeer review of manuscripts

Suomen ja Venäjän eliittien kohtaaminen 1800-luvulla ja 1900-luvun alussa: kansallisuus- ja kansalaisuustekijän merkitys suhteille

Alex Snellman (Speaker: Presenter)
7 Nov 2014

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesOrganisation and participation in conferences, workshops, courses, seminars

Press / Media

Haastattelu ohjelmaan YLE Radio 1 Tiedeykkönen

Alex Snellman

11/09/2014

1 media contribution

Press/Media: Press / Media

Joukossa on tietoa

Alex Snellman

03/11/2011

1 media contribution

Press/Media: Press / Media