Johanna Skurnik works as an Academy of Finland postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Philosophy, History and Art Studies at the University of Helsinki. She specializes in the history of geographical knowledge and science, map history and colonial history.
Her current research project focuses on the production and mobilities of geographical knowledge concerning areas outside of Europe in the Finnish society from the mid-nineteenth century to the interwar period. The project approaches these processes from a transnational perspective and focuses on the different agents that were actively involved in producing materials to circulate information about world geography to Finns, including map publishers, missionaries, teachers, geographers, and writers. The project seeks to analyse how these agents and the materials that they produced – maps, globes, books, periodicals – contributed to the development of geographical and cartographic literacy and shaped Finnish global geographical imaginations. A special focus of the project is to analyse how coloniality and colonial ways of knowing shaped the forms of global geographical knowledge circulated in Finland.
During her visit to LUCK in October–November 2022, Johanna will be working on a book manuscript emerging from the project and organizing a workshop that examines the intersections of material culture studies and the history of knowledge.