Foto av Rūta Kazlauskaitė
  • PL 54 (Unioninkatu 37)




Forskningsoutput per år

Personlig profil

Information om forskning och undervisning

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 research examines perceptual/emotional engineering and memory politics in immersive digital storyworlds (VR/AR/MR). Through both ongoing and past projects, I aim to chart the experiential geography of populism in virtual spaces. My work has been featured in prominent academic journals across disciplines, including Rethinking History, Memory, Mind & Media, International Journal of Heritage Studies, Journal of the Philosophy of History, Emotions and Society, and Ethnicities. I am affiliated with the Helsinki Hub on Emotions, Populism and Polarisation.

I am currently working in a Horizon Europe project “Politics of Grievance and Democratic Governance” (PLEDGE), in which I examine the role of immersive virtual reality content in shaping anti-/pro-democratic expressions of grievances. I will also produce future scenarios regarding the opportunities and threats immersive virtual experiences pose for democracies, focusing on affective polarization as well as perceptual and emotional engineering.

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 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.

I have also 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:

Externa befattningar

Advisory Board Member, History Education Research Journal

2024 → …

Vice-President, Finterdis - Finnish Interdisciplinary Society


Board Member, Finterdis - Finnish Interdisciplinary Society

2018 → …


  • 517 Statsvetenskap
  • Right-Wing Populism
  • Nationalism and identity
  • 5201 Politisk historia
  • History and Memory
  • Politics of history
  • History education
  • Philosophy of history
  • 611 Filosofi
  • Philosophy of history
  • 5141 Sociologi
  • Sociology of emotions