School of Social and Political Science

Jaana Loipponen

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Telling Absence. War Widows, Loss and the Work of Memory

Research Interests: My concern is with how the social, the self, memory, war and narrative connect and intertwine at the moment of contingency and tumult, as well as afterwards, as individuals live with the consequences of what has been for generations to come.


Prof. Liz Stanley, Sociology & Director of Centre for NABS.

Educational and professional background

  • M.Phil in literature, linguistics, art education, social politics, journalism, philosophy.

  • Senior lecturer in communication, Lahti Polytechnic

  • Freelance journalist and writer

  • Current Position: Doctoral Researcher at the University of Edinburgh.

Thesis Overview:

This study is analytically reflexive in the sense that it focusses locations and positions taken during the research and writing process itself. Researchers tend to think their PhD work as a journey, which is something that my thesis confirms. Journeying has been both the physical circumstances (Finland, Scotland, Sweden, Galicia) and the contents of the mental endeavour of this work. Futhermore, changing circumstances and the continuous confrontations with 'how I used to think', including new directions then explored as a consequence, have turned out to be fundamental to the whole research. I may have started with my main research question being about war widowhood, and even more fundamentally about loss, but it soon grew to a rhizome of connected questions: What is war? What is time? How to tell about time or duration? How to tell? And above all, how do I know about telling? Or how may I claim to know altogether? Thus my doctoral research has developed in two directions, one towards trying to understand loss and the other towards reflexive thinking about research and knowledge in and of itself.

Latest Publications:

Fingerroos, Outi & Loipponen, Jaana (eds.) (2006) Nykytulkintojen Karjala [Interpreting Karelia Anew]. Jyvskyl: Jyvskyl University Research Centre for Contemporary Culture.

Loipponen, Jaana (2006). 'Sodan ajat ja kerronta. Sotalesket ja muisti' ['War's Times. Memory and War Widows']. Ihminen sodassa. Suomalaisten kokemuksia talvi- ja jatkosodasta. [Individuals at War. The Experiences of the Finns in the Winter and Continuation War] Tiina Kinnunen & Ville Kivimki (eds.) Jyvskyl: Minerva Publishind, 329-341.

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