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News- Women on the Move at the Christmas School

     Research Day at University of Turku

    by Pauliina Räsänen (University of Turku, Finland)

    In Finland, we have only two programs of culture history, one at the University of Turku and another at the University of Lapland in Rovaniemi. We have a tradition of organising an annual Research Day called ”The Christmas School” including topical news about current research and projects. The name ” The Christmas School,” is actually a joke, because the research day takes place after Christmas — academically late after the holidays.

    Our Christmas School was held both in person and in hybrid at the University of Turku, 20 January 2023. There were over 40 participants in the event including culture history staff and reseachers from both universities. I was honoured to give a presentation about ”Women on the Move”, our international network funded by COST. After presenting our management structure and the objectives of our four working groups, I described my own path into this network as a scholar of travelling women performers in the circus and magic field.

    In my presentation, I referred to the visual content provided by the Women on the Move’s website. In more detail, I showed the interactive map of landmarks and virtual tours. The participants from the University of Lapland were impressed to see women migrant landmarks up above the Artic Circle by the Lake Inari. The Inari region is not a typical place for any migrant to settle as it is considered a remote and a harsh location even by the standards of Finland. Once again, it shows how widespread women migration is—yet still unknown.

    The participants of the Christmas school engaged in a lively in the discussion session after my presentation, that further demonstrated how topical, interesting and important our collaboration in this field is. One theme that came up, was the future of the network after the COST: Is there a possibility for Women on the Move to to continue and evolve into and international research project? Let’s hope so!