Ulla Savolainen


    Research areas

  • 6160 Other humanities - Folklore Studies, Oral History, Life Writings, Memory Studies, Vernacular Literature, Narrative research, Narratology, Space, Place and Matter

Curriculum Vitae


Ulla Savolainen is a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Helsinki in the Department of Philosophy, History, Culture and Art Studies. She holds a PhD in Folklore Studies (University of Helsinki, 2015). Her research interests include oral history and memory studies; folklore; narrative theory; vernacular literature; relationship of memory and narrative with space, place, matter and body; and experiences of migration, diaspora and transnationality. Her doctoral dissertation focused on the life writings of former Karelian child evacuees in Finland and the poetics of life writings and reminiscing as a genre of vernacular expression.


Project description:

Ulla Savolainen’s current ongoing work is oral history research on the internment, and its aftermath, of German and Hungarian citizens during 1944–1946 in Finland after the war with the Soviet Union. The research explores memories and narratives of individuals (usually children of German fathers and Finnish mothers) who were minors during the internment. The study explores issues relating to silence, agency and nationality on personal and societal level. The research materials include oral history interviews conducted by Savolainen. In addition, the role of visual materials and objects as well as the relationship between public memory and personal/private memory are explored. The study also takes into account the reception of the law of compensation (in Finland 2014).


Ulla Savolainen’s research is a part of part of the multidisciplinary and international research project entitled Livingmemories: Living together with difficult memories and diverse identities (1 Oct 2015 – 30 Sept 2017, PI: Kirsti Salmi-Niklander). Funded by ‘ERA.NET Plus with Russia’, the multidisciplinary project of Livingmemories focuses on different memories and diverse identities related to conflicts in Russia, Finland, Latvia, Estonia, Germany, and Turkey. It addresses the questions: How can people live together after violent conflicts and with traumatic memories? How is it possible to allow difficult memories instead of silencing them? The project is coordinated by the University of Helsinki.


Latest publications

  1. Totuudenjälkeisen jäljillä

    Savolainen, U. & Kaarlenkaski, T. May 2017 In : Elore. 24, 1

    Publication: Contribution to journalB1 Unrefereed journal article

  2. Vaikeat muistot - menneisyyden ja nykyhetken vuoropuhelua

    Salmi-Niklander, K. A., Savolainen, U. E., Laine, S. & Taavetti, R. M. May 2017 In : Elore. 24, 1

    Publication: Contribution to journalB1 Unrefereed journal article

  3. Tellability, frame and silence: the emergence of internment memory

    Savolainen, U. 2017 In : Narrative Inquiry. 27, 1, p. 24-46 23 p.

    Publication: Contribution to journalA1 Refereed journal article

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Latest activities

  1. University of Tartu

    Savolainen, U. (Visiting researcher)
    1 Jan 201731 Mar 2017

    Activity: Visiting an external institutionAcademic visit to other institution

  2. Elore (Journal)

    Savolainen, U. (Editor in chief)
    2016 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workEditor of research journal

  3. Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seura (Journal)

    Savolainen, U. (Reviewer)

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workPeer review of manuscripts

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Latest projects

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