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Personal profile

Description of research and teaching

Mikko Tolonen is an associate professor (tenure track) in digital humanities at the Faculty of Arts at the University of Helsinki. His background is in intellectual history and he is the PI of Helsinki Computational History Group (COMHIS) at the Department of Digital Humanities. He is the subject head of digital humanities and he has designed the DH teaching modules at the Faculty of Arts: https://www.helsinki.fi/en/helsinki-centre-for-digital-humanities/teaching. He has served in the executive board of European Association for Digital Humanities (EADH) and as the chair of Digital Humanities in the Nordic and Baltic Countries (DHNB). His current main research focus is on an integrated study of public discourse, knowledge production and book history that combines metadata from library catalogues as well as full-text libraries of books, newspapers and periodicals in early modern Europe. Tolonen's area of particular interest is the Enlightenment studies, including the intellectual develpment of Bernard Mandeville and David Hume. In 2016, he was awarded an Open Science and Research Award by Finnish Ministry of Education. 

For interviews, see: CSC interview (in Finnish) & 375 humanists (in English and other languages) & for twitter (@mikko_tolonen).

Curriculum vitae

(updated 3.1.2019)

Tolonen, Mikko Sakari (born 5 August, 1976, Finnish)

ORCID: 0000-0003-2892-8911 | Research website: https://bit.ly/2pzcwda

Personal status: married, 3 children (2001, 2010, 2011)

Current position and date appointed

8/2017- Professor (tenure track) of Digital Humanities, University of Helsinki 

Previous professional appointments

3/2015-7/2017 (2.5 years) Professor of Research on Digital Resources, Department of Modern Languages, University of Helsinki, Finland.

8/2012-3/2015 (2.5 years) Post-doctoral researcher, Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, University of Helsinki, Finland

8/2010-8/2012 (2 years) Postdoctoral researcher –Philosophical Psychology, Morality, and Politics Research Unit, a Centre of Excellence in Research at Universities of Helsinki and Jyväskylä, funded by Academy of Finland and directed by professor Simo Knuuttila

10/2012-12/2012 (2 months) career break (family leave)

Education and degrees awarded

1/2010 PhD, Department of History, University of Helsinki, Finland. Doctoral thesis: Self-love and Self-liking in the Moral and Political Philosophy of Bernard Mandeville and David Hume, Graded laudatur

12/2015 Title of docent: general history, University of Helsinki

Research abroad

5/2018-7/2018 (3 months) Visiting scholar, Edinburgh/St Andrews, UK

3/2012-3/2013 (one year) Leverhulme Visiting Fellow, University of St Andrews, Department of Philosophy

9/2005-6/2006 (9 months) Visiting scholar, University of Cambridge, UK

Most significant administrative duties

9/2018- Executive board of the National Library of Finland

7/2018- Executive committee of European Association for Digital Humanities (EADH)

3/2015- Coordination & implementation of digital Humanities teaching and graduate studies at University of Helsinki

5/2016-8/2018 MILDRED, University of Helsinki Research Data Infractructure Steering Group, Chair

9/2015-9/2016 HELDIG, Helsinki Digital Humanities Centre Steering Group, member, (2015-2016)

3/2015-7/2017 DIGITALIA, Research Center on Digital Information Management, Steering Group, member and Project Leader

Academic awards, prizes and honours

2016 Open Science and Research Award, awarded by Finnish Ministry of Education

2015 Nominated as Professor of Research on Digital Resources, University of Helsinki

2014 Shortlisted for acting professorship in general history, University of Helsinki

Most significant research funding awarded

5/2018-4/2021 NewsEye, Horizon2020 collaborative project with multiple partners (our budget covers one postdoc for 18 months).

9/2017-8/2019 DESIR: Humanities at Scale: Evolving the DARIAH-ERIC, Horizon2020 project with 15 partners (development of Dariah in Finland and possible partnership with Dariah, our funding covers part-time work of an assisting person and travel)

1/2016-12/2019 COMHIS: Computational History and Transformation of Public Discourse in Finland, 1640-1910. Academy of Finland, Digital Humanities Programme Funding, Total funding app. 300000€

3/2015-7/2017 DIGITALIA, Research Center on Digital Information Management, total funding app. 700000€ (together with National Library of Finland and Mikkeli University of Applied Sciences)

5/2013-4/2016 University of Helsinki funded project “History, Nature and Empire in Eighteenth-Century Europe” (2 postdocs and 1 PhD-student), 150000€

12/2014 Kone Foundation grant €42000 for working on “Big Data Approach to History of Political Thought” (this grant was not used due to appointment as professor)

9/2015-7/2017 MAKSU-project studying the relationship between rural areas and cities based on historical Finnish newspapers (part of a research group coordinated by Ruralia), 200000€

3/2012-9/2013 Post-doc Pool, Kone Foundation, for research abroad, 30000 €

9/2005-6/2006 Academy of Finland grant for research abroad to study in Cambridge, UK,

Academic leadership and supervision of research

1/2018- Helsinki Computational History Group (COMHIS) evolved from different funded projects into an actual research group of 12-14 people. In addition to Academy of Finland and Horizon2020 project it includes 3-4 postdocs. In 2018 COMHIS included Leo Lahti (senior researcher), Eetu Mäkelä (senior researcher), Simon Hengchen (postdoc), Ali Ijaz (postdoc), Mark J. Hill (postdoc), Tanja Säily (postdoc), Jani Marjanen (postdoc), Ville Vaara (doctoral student), Antti Kanner (doctoral student), Hege Roivainen (research assistent), Iiro Tiihonen (research assistent) and Ruben Ros (intern).

1/2016-12/2019 Project: Computational history and public discourse in Finland, 1640-1910 (Academy of Finland). Supervision of 1 senior researcher (Leo Lahti), 1 Post-doc Jani Marjanen, 1 doctoral student, Ville Vaara and research assistant (Hege Roivainen)

5/2013-4/2016 University of Helsinki funded project “History, Nature and Empire in Eighteenth-Century Europe” (2 postdocs and 1 PhD-student)

6/2014- Supervision of doctoral students (5): Harri Lindroos, primary supervision (2019-); Ville Vaara, primary supervision (2017-); Inés Matres, primary supervision (2015-); Juha Haavisto, secondary supervision (2014-2015); Anna Isomursu, secondary supervision (2015-); Arto Ruuska, secondary supervision (2014-)

9/2006- Supervision of MA students (2): MA thesis, supervisor, Political thought of William Temple (1628-1699), Juha Haavisto, 2012-2013, general history, University of Helsinki; MA thesis, supervisor, Lord Monboddo and eighteenth-century evolutionism, Jemina Sohlsten, 2006-2007, general history, University of Helsinki

9/2012-3/2013 Tutoring Mphil student, Bihotz Barrenechea, University of St Andrews

Other scientific expert positions and merits

memberships and positions of trust in scientific and scholarly societies: European Association of Digital Humanities (EADH), executive board (2018-); Digital Humanities in the Nordic Countries, member of the board (2016-); Associated Member, Academy of Finland Project, RIGHTS, (2012-15); Member, Centre of Excellence of the Finnish Academy (Philosophical Psychology, Morality and Politics Unit) (2008-2013), Member, Research Network “Meaning, Language and Changing Cultures” Multidisciplinary postgraduate studies network in the Humanities at the University of Helsinki (2004-2008), Core Member, Hume Society (2005-), Director, Finnish Historical Association (2004–2006)

membership in national or international expert groups, evaluation or steering committees, as well as other expert duties: Elsevier Negotiations Strategy, committee member (2015-), National Library of Finland; Digitization Project of Kindred Languages (2015-), National Library of Finland; Infrastructure committee for University of Helsinki central campus (2015-)

Pre-examiner of doctoral dissertation: Aalto University (2017)

Referee for MPhil dissertation: University of Sydney (2016)

Positions as member of editorial boards of scientific and scholarly journals and publication series: Editorial Advisory Board, Cogent Arts & Humanities(Taylor & Francis) (2014-), Editorial Board, COLLeGIUM (2013-2015)

Referee for scientific and scholarly journals: on average 3-4 articles per annum, journals include: MindHistory of European IdeasEuropean Journal of Political TheoryUtilitas

merits in the training of responsible conduct of research and innovation practices: Several invited lectures on digital humanities and open science (2015-2017)

Organised scientific events

- conference chair of more than 10 international conferences 2014-2018: https://www.helsinki.fi/en/researchgroups/digital-humanities-helsinki/events)

  • Organiser, Chair of organizing committee, "Does Intellectual History need Digital Humanities?" (11.-12.12.2018)

  • Organiser, Chair of organizing committee, “Digital Humanities in Nordic Countries, 3rd annual conference” (6.-9.3.2018), >300 participants
  • Organiser, Chair of organizing committee, “Philosophy and History of Open Science” (30.11-1.12.2016)
  • Organiser, Chair of organizing committee, “Digital History in Finland” (9.12.2015)
  • Organiser, Chair of organizing committee, international conference: “Conceptual Change: Digital Humanities Case Studies” (7.-8.12.2015)
  • Organiser, “Open Science Show & Tell” (10.3.2015)
  • Organiser, “Rethinking the digital humanities – critical, expanded, material” (12.1.2015)
  • Organiser, Chair of organizing committee, “Helsinki Digital Humanities Day” (3 December 2014)
  • Organiser, Chair of organizing committee, international conference: “Big Data in History” (1-2 December 2014), gathered funding 15000 €
  • Organiser, Chair of organizing committee, international conference: “Fable of the bees after 300 years” (12-14 June 2014), 22 international guests, gathered funding 25000 €
  • Organiser, international symposium: “Sociability and Human Nature” for Philosophical Psychology, Morality and Politics Unit, Academy of Finland (August 2010)

Fields of Science

  • 615 History and Archaeology
  • Digital Humanities
  • intellectual history
  • History of Ideas
  • History of Philosophy
  • book history
  • Computational history
  • computational humanities

International and National Collaboration

Publications and projects within past five years.