Mikko Viitamäki


Description of research and teaching

Research interests

- Urdu poetry

- Persian literature in India

- Sufi practice and ritual in South Asia

- Islamic reform in South Asia

- Mystical philosophy in South Asian Sufism


Teaching (University of Helsinki 2007-)

- Hindi on all levels from introductory to advanced

- Urdu on all levels from introductory to advanced

- Sanskrit texts

- Introduction to Islam

- Islam in South Asia

- Indian literatures

- Religious radicalism


Curriculum Vitae

Mikko Viitamäki works as University Lecturer in South Asian Studies at the University of Helsinki. He received the PhD degree at the University of Helsinki in 2015 majoring in Arabic and Islamic studies. In his dissertation, he studied the relationship of a poetic text and musical performance in the context of Sufi religious practice in Delhi and Hyderabad.

At present, Dr. Viitamäki teaches South Asian languages (Hindi, Urdu, Sanskrit) as well as courses on South Asian literatures and cultures. His teaching and research interests cover topics such as politics of language in India and Pakistan, aesthetics, history and performance contexts of Persian and Urdu poetry, Islamic reform and contemporary Islamic debates in South Asia. He is also working on a translation of an anthology of Urdu poetry into Finnish.

Highlighted publications

  1. Retelling Medieval History for Twentieth-century Readers: Encounter of a Hindu Prince and a Sufi Master in Khwaja Hasan Nizami's Nizami Bansuri

    Viitamäki, M. 2017 Literary and Religious Practices in Medieval and Early Modern India. Aquil, R. & Curley, D. L. (eds.). Abingdon ; New York, NY: Manohar Publishers & Distributors, p. 191-212 22 p. 7

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

  2. Perfumed Islam: The Culture of Scent at the Nizamuddin Basti

    Viitamäki, M. 2016 Roots of Wisdom, Branches of Devotion: Plant Life in South Asian Traditions. Ferrari, F. M. & Dähnhardt, T. (eds.). Sheffield: Equinox Publishing, p. 79-97 19 p. 4

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

  3. The Delicate Balance: Adab and Mystical States in the Musical Assemblies of Sufis in Medieval India

    Viitamäki, M. 2016 Ethics and Spirituality in Islam: Sufi adab. Chiabotti, F., Feuillebois-Pierunek, E., Mayeur-Jaouen, C. & Patrizi, L. (eds.). Leiden: Brill , p. 584-607 24 p. (Islamic Literatures: Texts and Studies)

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

  4. Pyhä maantiede ja muistin hallinta: Kulttuuriperinnön tuhoaminen osana modernia jihadia

    Viitamäki, M. 2015 In : Niin & näin : filosofinen aikakauslehti.. 87, 4, p. 63-66 4 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  5. Modern conveyances, traditional destinations: Khvāja Ḥasan Niz̤āmī's Tour to the Middle East in 1911

    Viitamäki, M. 2013 Travelling through Time: Essays in honour of Kaj Öhrnberg. Akar, S., Hämeen-Anttila, J. & Nokso-Koivisto, I. (eds.). Helsinki: Finnish Oriental Society, p. 213-232 20 p. (Studia Orientalia; vol. 114)

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

View all (21) »

Highlighted activities

  1. Literary creativity in Urdu and the popular appeal of qawwali

    Viitamäki, M. (Speaker)
    8 Sep 2017

    Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation

  2. Urdu translation of the Shahname: Adopting a Persian epic into Urdu literature

    Viitamäki, M. (Speaker)
    5 Jul 2017

    Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation

  3. Printing Press and the Popularization of Sufism through New Literary Genres

    Viitamäki, M. (Invited speaker)
    11 May 2017

    Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk

View all (37) »



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