Foto av Sirkka Knuuttila
1979 …2021

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Personlig profil

Utbildning information

PhD, Licentiate in Medicine ABD

Utbildning information

Artistic education

1981 Finnish Academy of Fine Arts, graphics
1977-78 Free Art School
1967-69 Helsinki University Drawing Institute
1975-94 Art History, University of Helsinki





2012 Docent of comparative literature, University of Helsinki

I am studying the concept of subjectivity from the current viewpoints of an enactive "embodied mind". My main interest is to study how unconscious and non-conscious aspects of mind are working in literature through the cooperation of memory and imagination. A further focus is individual and collective value-formation through arts amidst our present digital era.

My earlier research topics in the field are three. In the doctoral thesis on Marguerite Duras's trauma fiction, I studied the aesthetics of postcolonial trauma narratives. Second, I investigated literary emotions in the light of Peircean semiotics as well as late Roland Barhes's ideas about affective image. Third, building on the basis of my research on Friederike Mayröcker's lyrics, I published an extensive Finnish selection of her poems, with an afterword concerning Mayröcker's literary career and style (Elämän käpälistä, ntamo 2018).

Besides, in my art exhibitions and performances between 1988 and 2008, I have combined written and spoken lyrics with instrumental, dance and voice improvisations of various professional artists and lay groups.  


Ongoing works

I deal with problems of corporeal subjectivity from the perspective of an enactive "embodied mind" in literature. The chapter From implicit memory to cultural counter-memory: Marguerite Duras rewriting colonial trauma is coming up in the volume on cultural memory, ed. Suzanne Nalbantian et. al. from University of Long Island.


Academic teaching 

Comparative Literature, University of Helsinki 

2015-16 Representing consciousness in literature in the era of internet, I & II, practicum 

2012 Studying trauma narratives, practicum 

2012 Literary trauma studies, a methodological lecture  

Semiotics, University of Helsinki

2010 Trauma fiction of Marguerite Duras and Sofi Oksanen, a lecture in the series of Studia Semiotica: Freedom and Necessity

2007 Roland Barthes' affective image - lectures in the series on Barthes's semiotics

2002 Measured-experienced-narrated: semiotics of medical case histories - a lecture in the series of Studia Semiotica

Comparative Literature, University of Tampere

2006 Trauma narratives in the light of Marguerite Duras's works. A lecture in the common series of literature and medicine Art and Illness 

Comparative Literature, Women Studies, and Sociology of Arts, University of Joensuu

1996-99 Woman in literature and institutions of literature - a practicum series

1995 Narratology of Marguerite Duras's works, a hermeneutic viewpoint - a lecture 

Utbildning / akademisk kvalifikation

Comparative Literature, PhD, Helsingin yliopisto

sep 199912 dec 2009

Tilldelningsdatum: 29 jan 2010

Medicine, Licentiate of Medicine ABD, Physician, Helsingin yliopisto

1 jan 196831 dec 1974

Tilldelningsdatum: 31 dec 1974

Externa befattningar

Cognitive psychotherapist Advanced level

1 jun 200518 maj 2018


28 aug 1988 → …


1 jan 197521 dec 2016


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