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Personal profile

Description of research and teaching

Google scholar: https://scholar.google.lt/citations?hl=en&user=nHDtfBgAAAAJ

Trained as a political scientist at the University of Helsinki, Finland, I am an interdisciplinary scholar, working at the intersections of media studies, memory studies, and political psychology. My current project explores how Polish history museums and cultural institutions employ immersive virtual reality (VR) representations of Polish history in memory politics. I am affiliated with the Helsinki Hub on Emotions, Populism and Polarisation.

Previously, I was a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Media in Aalto University and a member of the Systems of Representation research group. My project examined politics of truth and empathy in virtual reality history education. I explored what new forms of historical knowledge and consciousness immersive digital media produce, what effects these media hold for students’ understanding of contested pasts, and how they shape the dynamic of engagement and detachment in historical understanding. I am also a member of the Virtual Cinema Lab at Aalto University. More information on my research activities in Aalto university can be found here: https://research.aalto.fi/en/persons/ruta-kazlauskaite

Previously, I worked in two postdoctoral projects, in which I focused on emotions of shame and pride as resources of political right-wing mobilization. In an Academy of Finland funded project "Whirl of Knowledge: Cultural Populism in European Polarised Politics and Societies (WhiKnow)" I examined affective polarization in public debates during the run-up to the 2019 Polish parliamentary elections as well as the 2019 European Parliament elections. In a project funded by the Helsingin Sanomat Foundation "Mobilizing the Disenfranchised: Post-Truth Public Stories in Finland, France, and the United States” I studied the rhetoric of shame and pride in right-wing online media outlets in the US and Poland.

My PhD project (2018) "Towards an Embodied History: Metaphorical Models in Textbook Knowledge of the Controversial Polish-Lithuanian Past" demonstrates how metaphors shape human understanding of the past and lived experience; and how they can create or diminish a potential of openness to a different narrative of experience. Abstract and full text available here: http://helda.helsinki.fi/handle/10138/234219

Fields of Science

  • 517 Political science
  • Right-Wing Populism
  • Nationalism and identity building
  • 5201 Political History
  • Politics of history
  • Memory and history
  • History education
  • Philosophy of history
  • 611 Philosophy
  • Philosophy of history
  • 5141 Sociology
  • Sociology of emotions