Research Director+358 50 351 2170

Research interests

  • Experience, emotions and memory in the humanities
  • Trauma theory and cultural trauma
  • History of nationalism and experiencing the nation
  • Social and cultural history of the Second World War and its aftermath
  • Gender history, especially war and masculinity in the 20th century
  • History of psychiatry, psychology and mental health
  • Dreams and nightmares

I’m a social and cultural historian and the director of the interdisciplinary research department of the Finnish Literature Society since the beginning of 2024.

I have specialized in the history of the Second World War and the war’s individual, cultural, and societal consequences. Theoretically and methodologically, I have focused on experience, emotions, memory, trauma, and gender as intertwined phenomena. Previously in 2018–23, I led the “Lived Nation” research team at the Research Council of Finland’s Centre of Excellence in the History of Experiences; as a nationalism scholar, I’m especially interested in the history of feeling and experiencing the nation and in the post-Second World War nationalism. I wrote my PhD thesis (2013) on the Finnish soldiers’ traumatic war experiences and military psychiatry. From this basis, I have studied the histories of psychiatry, psychology, and mental health. Lately, I have been doing research on the memory of war in post-war dreams and movies.

Besides working as the research director of the Finnish Literature Society, in 2023–27 I’m leading the Research Council of Finland research project “Unequal War: Vulnerability, Stress and Survival in the Finnish Army during World War II” at Tampere University.

Monographs and edited books

Ville Kivimäki & Tanja Vahtikari, eds, Eurooppalainen kaupunkikohtalo: Viipuri toisessa maailmansodassa. Helsinki: Viipurin Suomalainen Kirjallisuusseura, 2023.

Ville Kivimäki & Peter Leese, eds, Trauma, Experience and Narrative in Europe after World War II. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, 2022.

Ville Kivimäki, Sami Suodenjoki & Tanja Vahtikari, eds, Lived Nation as the History of Experiences and Emotions in Finland, 1800–2000. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, 2021 (

Johanna Annola, Ville Kivimäki & Antti Malinen, eds, Eletty historia: Kokemus näkökulmana menneisyyteen. Tampere: Vastapaino, 2019.

Ville Kivimäki & Petri Karonen, eds, Continued Violence and Troublesome Pasts: Post-war Europe between the Victors after the Second World War. Helsinki: SKS, 2017.

Ville Kivimäki & Anssi Männistö, Sodan särkemä arki. Helsinki: WSOY, 2016.

Ville Kivimäki & Kirsi-Maria Hytönen, eds, Rauhaton rauha: Suomalaiset ja sodan päättyminen 1944–1950. Tampere: Vastapaino, 2015.

Ville Kivimäki, Murtuneet mielet: Taistelu suomalaissotilaiden hermoista 1939–1945. Helsinki: WSOY, 2013. Estonian (2016) and Swedish (2023) translations.

Ville Kivimäki, Battled Nerves: Finnish Soldiers’ War Experience, Trauma, and Military Psychiatry, 1941–44. PhD thesis in Nordic history: Åbo Akademi University, 2013.

Tiina Kinnunen & Ville Kivimäki, eds, Finland in World War II: History, Memory, Interpretations. Leiden: Brill, 2012.

Tiina Kinnunen & Ville Kivimäki, eds, Ihminen sodassa: Suomalaisten kokemuksia talvi- ja jatkosodasta. Helsinki: Minerva, 2006.

News and topics

20.5.2024 - News

New book explores the diverse linguistic landscapes of European cities

11.4.2024 - News

The European Commission has awarded the Kalevala with the European Heritage Label

22.2.2024 - News

A new comprehensive volume on current international trends in genetic criticism