Dr Niina Hämäläinen

Niina Hämäläinen. Kuva: Gary Wornell


E-mail: niina.hamalainen(at)helsinki.fi

Phone: +358 (0)44-9736819

Research interests:

  • Kalevala meter poetry
  • Kalevala and the study of the epic
  • textualization research
  • cultural history of feelings and the family

Niina Hämäläinen is doing post-doctoral research on the collection and publication of Kalevala-meter folk poetry in 19th century Finland. Her doctoral dissertation (2012) dealt with Kalevala-themed poetry and presented the poetry of lamentation that focused mainly on worry and grief chosen by Lönnrot. In this way Lönnrot made the language and style of Finnsh folk poetry and the national epic comprehensible to Finland’s bourgeoisie, a largely Swedish-speaking readership. Hämäläinen’s post-doctoral research will centre on Lönnrot’s lesser-studied works (the Kanteletar of 1840 and the Kantele brochures of 1829-1831), and on other authors of Finnish folk poetry and their collections. Her research argues that the literary presentations based on oral  poetic tradition were not only influenced by historical social factors but were also linked in an ideological sense to contemporary principles of selection. The key question of the research is to what extent and to what ends certain parts of the oral poetry material that were chosen and promoted represent Finland’s national culture and heritage.

Selected publications:

  • Why Is Aino not Described as a Black Maiden? Reflections on the Textual Presentations by Elias Lönnrot in the Kalevala and the Kanteletar. In Journal of Finnish Studies 18, 1 / 2014: 91-129.
  • Do not, folk of the future, bring up a child crookedly! Moral intervention and some other textual practices by Elias Lönnrot. In Limited Sources, Boundless Possibilities. Textual Scholarship and the Challenges of Oral and Written Texts. A special issue of RMN Newsletter. Volume 7, December 2013: 43−56. 2013.