Dr. Viliina Silvonen

Viliina Silvonen. Kuva: Gary Wornell.
Postdoctoral Researcher

Research areas:

  • folklore studies, ethnomusikology
  • karelian lament tradition
  • performance, practice, genre
  • affects, emotions
  • archival material

Viliina Silvonen is a folklorist specialising in Karelian lament tradition, emotions and affects. She is interested in how traditions live, change and gain meanings in changing sociocultural contexts. In her doctoral dissertation, she analysed Olonets Karelian laments on archival audio material combining views from performance and practice theories into interdisciplinary affect and emotion theories. Methodologically the study bases on text, music and sound/voice analyses and an application of sensory ethnography. In the project Kyynelkanavat – Laments in contemporary Finland, she concentrates on the continuum of varying lament tradition from ritual practice in Karelia to the practices and performances in contemporary Finnish society, and particularly on the artistic performances of the modern lament practices with her working partner, musician Emmi Kuittinen. Affiliated as a postdoctoral researcher at the UEF Karelian Institute, she works at the multidisciplinary research community of Finnish Literature Society.

Silvonen defended her doctoral dissertation in Folklore Studies at the University of Helsinki in January 2022. She graduated with a Master of Arts degree in Folklore Studies from the University of Turku in 2014. Silvonen is a member of the editorial board for the Elore Journal and one of the editors in The Finnish Yearbook of Ethnomusicology Journal. She has founded a popular science blog Päivystävä folkloristi (‘a folklorist on-call’) with her colleagues.