Pirjo Lyytikäinen


Description of research and teaching


Pirjo Lyytikäinen is a specialist of Finnish fin de siècle symbolism, decadence and early modernism. Lyytikäinen’s works on Finnish symbolism and decadence, in particular her monograph Narkissos ja sfinksi (‘Narcissus and the sphinx’ 1997), are widely recognized in the field. In English, the articles “Decadent Tropologies of Sickness,” in Decadence, Degeneration, and the End (2014) and the article “Female Monsters, Visionary Protagonists: Epiphanies in Nordic Decadence” in States of Decadence (2016) represent the most recent contributions to this field.

Her interests in Finnish literature also cover areas of modernism (a monograph and articles on Volter Kilpi, a modernist of the 1930’s), romantic writing (a monograph on the nineteenth-century author Aleksis Kivi) and contemporary allegorical writing (a monograph and articles on Leena Krohn).

Her theoretical work has focused on literary genres and modes (a, monograph and an edited volume Lajit yli rajojen & articles in Finnish and the edited volume Genre and Interpretation (2010) & articles in English), and questions of mimesis (Rethinking Mimesis (2012) in English).

Lyytikäinen’s most important recent research area is literature and emotions: as a project-leader of the area she has already published articles on the topic in Finnish and the  article “How to Study Emotion Effects in Literature” 2016 in English. Her focus on this field is on the poetics of moods, including the study of fin de siècle moods. 



Lyytikäinen has taught a great number of courses at all levels for thirty years. In recent years her teaching comprises yearly seminars in the master’s programme of Finnish literature and in the doctoral programmes, including national doctoral programmes and international doctoral training (mainly the PhDnet Literary and Cultural Studies).


Her lecture series include courses on Symbolism and Decadence, Literature and Nature Fantasy, Leena Krohn’s allegorical fantasy, Genres in Literature, Mimesis, and Emotions in Literature.




Latest publications

  1. Leena Krohn ja Valeikkunan unet

    Lyytikäinen, P., Sep 2018, Muisti ja uni kirjallisuudessa. Kajannes, K. (ed.). Helsinki: Acta Semiotica Fennica, Vol. LIV. p. 96-109 14 p. (Acta Semiotica Fennica; vol. LIV).

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review

  2. Leena Krohn: hyönteisiä ja ihmisiä

    Lyytikäinen, P., Aug 2018, 3 p. Helsinki : Suomen Kansallisteatteri.

    Research output: Other contributionResearch

  3. Uhrautujia ja viettelevä paholainen - Canzion naiset

    Lyytikäinen, P., Aug 2018, Ihmissydän: Henkilöitä ja kohtaloita A. Kiven maailmoissa. Holopainen, R., Katajamäki, S. & Kokko, O. (eds.). Helsinki: ntamo, p. 19-24 6 p.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterGeneral public

View all (53) »

Latest activities

  1. Reply to Jeremy Page on Caracciolo &van Duuren, 2015

    Pirjo Lyytikäinen (Speaker)
    9 Nov 2018

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation

  2. Esseen voima

    Pirjo Lyytikäinen (Speaker)
    28 Oct 2018

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation

  3. Pilviä maailmanlopun taivaalla

    Pirjo Lyytikäinen (Speaker)
    28 Oct 2018

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation

View all (131) »

Latest prizes

  1. Tietokirjailijapalkinto

    Pirjo Lyytikäinen (Recipient), 25 Oct 2014

    Prize: Prizes and awards

  2. Tietokirjailijapalkinto

    Pirjo Lyytikäinen (Recipient), 25 Oct 2014

    Prize: Prizes and awards

View all (2) »

Latest projects

  1. Leena Krohn - Matkalla toiseen todellisuuteen

    Lyytikäinen, P.


    Project: Research project

  2. Styles of Mimesis

    Lyytikäinen, P., Polvinen, M., Rossi, R., Isomaa, S., Nyqvist, S. & Kivistö, S.

    Suomen Akatemia


    Project: Research project

View all (3) »

ID: 80352