Workshop: Experts, Communities and the Negotiation of the Experience of Modernity

Alkaa kello
Päättyy kello

Main building, lecture hall A3 (Address: Kalevantie 4)


Experts, Communities, and the Negotiation of the Experience of Modernity -project

The workshop will examine the mediating role of experts in the processes of modernisation and community building from the early twentieth century to the present.

The focus will be on two interrelated aspects:

  • First, the workshop will look at the mechanisms by which expert knowledge has been used to control the experience of modernity and to (re)build communal belonging. We are interested in both urban and rural communities and environments, as well as various groups of experts: urban planners, architects, social scientists, geographers and historians. Common to all these professional groups has been their key role in explaining and legitimating change, and in embedding expert knowledge into ‘tradition’ and ‘common sense knowledge’.
  • Second, the workshop will explore to what extent and in what ways the authority of expert knowledge to shape societal transformations has been negotiated and contested by other professional groups and by laypersons.

The workshop is open for everyone and free of charge. For catering purposes, we kindly ask you to register by 15.9.2017 to Henrik Mattjus ( Welcome!


Thursday, 21.9.2017
University Main building A3

10:15 Opening: Marjaana Niemi (University of Tampere)

Theme 1: Abodes – Ideas and experiences of everyday living in the twentieth century  

  • Keynote Maja Willén (University of Stockholm), To (re)create authenticity. The idea of modernity and historicity in the contemporary processes of home making
  • Henrik Mattjus (University of Tampere), Producing modern domestic space in the Finnish countryside during 1920s and 1930s
  • Leena Enbom (University of Helsinki), Beyond the poverty knowledge. Urban poverty as a lived experience in the mid-20th century Helsinki

12:00–13:15 Lunch

Theme 2: Expert knowledge and nostalgia in constructing post-war communities

  • Salla Jokela (University of Helsinki), Nostalgic tourism spaces and the construction of socio-spatial identities in post-war Helsinki
  • Tanja Vahtikari (University of Tampere), Local history as urban knowledge in postwar Helsinki
  • Aura Kivilaakso (National Board of Antiquities & University of Turku), Communicating cultural heritage – nostalgia, expert knowledge and the antithesis of cultural environment protection

14:45–15.00 Coffee

Theme 3: Lost in translation: different ways of knowing cities and landscapes

  • Keynote Helen Sooväli-Sepping (University of Tallinn), One landscape, multiple knowledges – on heritage, experts and locals
  • Hannele Kuitunen (University of Tampere), It could have become a slum: A city renewal process in Tampere during the 1950s and 1960s
  • Marjaana Niemi (University of Tampere), The rural-urban fringe: The place on its own right

Concluding remarks: Peter Clark (University of Helsinki) and Marjatta Hietala (University of Tampere)

The Workshop is organised by the project Experts, Communities, and the Negotiation of the Experience of Modernity funded by the Kone Foundation.



For more information, please contact:
Professor Marjaana Niemi /
Henrik Mattjus/
Tanja Vahtikari/