Death and the Apocalypse in Popular Culture

Bar Ö, Turku (Linnankatu 7), Tue the 18th February, 2020. 6-9 pm.

A pre-event for the Histories of Death symposium (University of Turku,, co-organized with the International Institute for Popular Culture (IIPC,

The talks start at 19:00 sharp, but feel free to come earlier! Even if it’s about death and the apocalypse, there will be good time & lively discussion. Free entry.


MA Marika Ahonen (Cultural History, University of Turku): Romanticized Death in Popular Music

Dr Kimmo Ahonen (Pori Department, Tampere University): The Images of Collective Death in Science Fiction Movies of the 1950s

Docent Kimi Kärki (Cultural History, University of Turku): Cinematic Talking Machines at the Point of Dying

FB event:

Rockfestivals: History, Ideology and Content (EDIT: Cancelled due to Coronavirus pandemic)

Rockfestivals: History, Ideology and Content, Seminar for the 50th anniversary of Turku Ruisrock Festival
Special IIPC-keynote by Professor Simon Frith (title to be confirmed) and panel including Professor Sara Cohen and Professor Simon Frith (more panelists to be confirmed).
Tuesday 14th of April 2020, time 15-17, venue Janus hall, Sirkkala, Kaivokatu 12, Turku.

Cold War, Aesthetics and Popular Culture

IIPC, Media Studies and Musicology Proudly Presents


Cold War, Aesthetics and Popular Culture


13.12 Sirkkala campus, University of Turku, Janus hall

13.00-13.15 Opening Words: Kari Kallioniemi: Different Cold Wars and their Cultural/Aesthetical Elements

13.15-14.00  Eva Näripea: Otherness in Grigori Kromanov’s The Dead Mountaineer’s Hotel (1979): Bending Genre and Gender

14.00-14.45 John Williamson: The Rearguard of the Revolution?  Communism, the state and musicians in Britain at the start of the Cold War.

14.45-15.15 Coffee

15.15 Snapshots of Cold War Aesthetics in Popular Culture

Pertti Grönholm: Talking machines and total destruction in science fiction

Laura Antola: Soviet Super-Soldiers vs. The Avengers: Superheroes and the end of the Cold War

Kimmo Laine: Cold War Film Compositions

Kimmo Ahonen: Invaders from Mars (1953) and the Fear of Brainwashing

Kari Kallioniemi: ’When the Wind Blows’: Culture and Aesthetics of British Cold War Invasion Fantasies

17.00-18.00 Screening of document ‘Billy Bragg Goes to Moscow’ (dir. Hannu Puttonen, 1989, 45 min.) The director will introduce the piece.

Assessment: 5 op (ECTS) essay, lecture diary or lecture pass (2 op)

If you are interested of submitting an essay or lecture diary, a student can contact the teacher responsible of the marking: Paavo Oinonen (Cultural History), Laura Saarenmaa (Media Studies,  METU1051, METU0146), Kari Kallioniemi, Musicology


EUPOP 2020
Jagiellonian University, July 22nd – 24th, 2020
Deadline: 29th February, 2019
Individual paper and panel contributions are welcomed for the ninth annual international conference of the European Popular Culture Association (EPCA), to be held at Jagiellonian University, Kraków, Poland, July 22nd – 24th, 2020.
EUPOP 2020 will explore European popular culture in all its various forms. This includes, but is by no means limited to, the following topics: Climate Change in Popular Culture, European Film (past and present), Television, Music, Costume and Performance, Celebrity, The Body, Fashion, New Media, Popular Literature and Graphic Novels, Queer Studies, Sport, Curation, and Digital Culture. We also welcome abstracts which reflect the various ways of how the idea of relationship between Europe and popular culture could be formed and how the current turmoil in European identity (e.g. the legacy of totalitarianism and fascism), union, its borders and divisions are portrayed in popular cultural themes and contents.
Papers and complete panels for all strands will be subject to peer review. Proposals for individual presentations must not exceed 20 minutes in length, and those for panels limited to 90 minutes. In the latter case, please provide a short description of the panel along with individual abstracts. Poster presentations and video projections are also warmly welcomed.
There will be opportunities for networking and publishing within the EPCA. Presenters at EUPOP 2020 will be encouraged to develop their papers for publication in a number of Intel-lect journals, including the EPCA’s Journal of European Popular Culture. A full list of Intellect journals is available at:
Proposals comprising a 300-word abstract, your full name, affiliation, and contact details (as a Word-file attachment, not a PDF) should be submitted to Kari Kallioniemi ( by 29.02.2020. Receipt of proposals will be acknowledged via e-mail, and the decision of acceptance will be notified within two weeks of submission.
The conference draft program will be announced in May 2020, along with the conference regis-tration and accommodation details. The likely conference fee will be 150 euros (student), and 200 euros (other). The fee includes coffees, lunches, evening reception & dinner, and EPCA Membership (includes subscription to the European Journal of Popular Culture, Intellect Press).
The keynote speakers:
Dr Tomasz Z. Majkowski (Jagiellonian University)
Professor Mari Pajala (University of Turku)
Professor Małgorzata Sugiera (Jagiellonian University)
The European Popular Culture Association
The European Popular Culture Association (EPCA) promotes the study of popular culture from, in, and about Europe. Popular culture involves a wide range of activities, material forms and audiences. EPCA aims to examine and discuss these different aspects as they relate both to Europe and to Europeans across the globe, whether contemporary or historical.
EUPOP 2019 is organised by:
European Popular Culture Association (EPCA):
International Institute for Popular Culture (IIPC):
Kind Regards,
EPCA President, Kari Kallioniemi,
EPCA Vice-President, Pamela Church Gibson,
EPCA Secretary, Kimi Kärki,
EPCA Membership Secretary, Graham Roberts,
Local Organiser Contact: Anna Svetlova, and Olga Grzelak,

IIPC Debate 14 November

IIPC debate 106

Thu 14 November, 4-6 pm (Lecture Hall Hovi, V105, Kaivokatu 12, turku)

Professor Susanna Paasonen (University of Turku)

Dr Kylie Jarrett (Maynooth University)

Professor Ben Light (University of Salford)


The hashtag #NSFW (not safe for work) acts as both a warning and an invitation. NSFW tells users, “We dare you to click on this link! And by the way, don’t do it until after work!” Unlike the specificity of movie and television advisories (“suggestive dialogue,” “sexual content”), NSFW signals, nonspecifically, sexually explicit content that ranges from nude selfies to pornography. The debate looks at how and why social media content is tagged “not safe” and shows how this serves to conflate sexual content and risk. More specifically, we argue that the notion of “unsafety” extends beyond the risk of losing one’s job or being embarrassed at work to an unspecified sense of risk attached to sexually explicit media content and sexual communication in general. We further argue against the categorical effacement of sexual content by means of an all-purpose hashtag and urge us to shift considerations of safety from pictorial properties to issues of context and consent.

The debate is also a book launch event for NSFW: Sex, Humor, and Risk in Social Media (MIT Press, 2019, co-authored by Paasonen, Jarrett and Light.

Susanna Paasonen is Professor of Media Studies at the University of Turku, Finland. She is the author of Carnal Resonance: Affect and Online Pornography and Many Splendored Things: Thinking Sex and Play.

Kylie Jarrett is Head of the Department of Media Studies at Maynooth University, Ireland, and author of Feminism, Labour and Digital Media: The Digital Housewife.

Ben Light is Professor of Digital Society at the University of Salford, UK, and the author of Disconnecting with Social Networking Sites.

IIPC Debate 6 November

IIPC Debate 105

Ke 6.11., klo 16-18 (Mediatutkimus E323, Minerva, Kaivokatu 12, Turku)

YTT Tommi Kotonen (Jyväskylän yliopisto)

Äärioikeisto ja populaarikulttuurin kuvastot

Luento käsittelee populaarikulttuurisen kuvaston hyödyntämistä nationalistisessa ja äärioikeistolaisessa viestinnässä suomalaisten ja kansainvälisten esimerkkien valossa. Huolimatta siitä, että liike ja sen toimijat mieltävät itsensä kansallismielisiksi ja näkevät kansallisvaltion politiikan keskeisenä kiinnekohtana, liike ammentaa myös kansainvälisen populaarikulttuurin teemoista ja kuvastoista. Inspiraatiota on haettu Mikki Hiirestä ja Darth Vaderista aina Tolkienin taruihin, suomalaisia esimerkkejä toki unohtamatta. Populaarikulttuuri on tarjonnut myös toiminnan malleja. Esimerkiksi oman käden oikeus eli vigilantismi, jota osaltaan toteuttaa myös suomalainen katupartioliike, on yksi Hollywood-elokuvien kestoteemoista. Tässäkin suhteessa äärioikeisto nojaa siis yleisiin kulttuurisiin käytänteisiin ja muotoihin.

Tommi Kotonen, YTT, on politiikan tutkija joka työskentelee Jyväskylän yliopiston tutkimuskoordinaattorina Suomen Akatemian profilointihankkeessa Kriisit Uudelleenmääriteltynä. Kotonen on aiemmin tutkinut politiikan ja taiteiden välisiä kytköksiä muun muassa amerikkalaisen poliittisen runouden kautta. Nykyisessä tutkimuksessaan Kotonen on keskittynyt äärioikeistoliikkeiden kehitykseen ja niiden luomaan vastakulttuuriin. Hänen tuoreimpiin julkaisuihinsa kuuluu suomalaisen äärioikeistoliikkeen kehitystä kylmän sodan aikana käsittelevä teos Politiikan juoksuhaudat (Atena 2018) sekä tutkimusartikkeli suomalaisten skinheadien underground-julkaisuista.

Studying The Creative Industries

The Faculty of Humanities and International Institute for Popular Culture (IIPC)


Studying The Creative Industries: Stardom, Locality and Practice


A Panel with:

Professor Richard Dyer, Professor Sara Cohen, Professor Martin Cloonan and Dr Tiina Kapyla

Chaired by Professor John Richardson


Thursday 26 September 2019, 15–18

Venue: Janus, Kaivokatu 12, Sirkkala Campus


Join a panel of distinguished experts to explore and discuss how to research and study the Creative Industries. Amongst the topics to be addressed will be the following:

What are the Creative Industries and how should they be researched?

Is the best approach top-down or bottom up?

What issues arise when research the Creative Industries?

What methodologies should be employed and what not?

How do ensure that they meet equal opportunities’ requirements?

How are practitioners best engaged in research activities.

Each of the panelists will make opening statements explaining their interests in the Creative Industries and how they research them. The Chair will then facilitate a discussion amongst the panelists, before opening up the fllor to questions from the audience.

Sara Cohen is Professor of Music, IPM, University of Liverpool. She have specialised in research on popular music, with a particular interest in anthropological and ethnographic research on music as a social and spatial practice and how people engage with places through music. This has involved a long series of projects on music and cities, including those exploring the development of local music cultures and identities, and how music is related to urban regeneration and landscape, and to cultural tourism, promoting popular music as national heritage, musical migration – in such places as Liverpool – and how popular music is related to the vernacular remembering of local audiences, practices of autobiographical remembering and relating music to ideas and experiences of ageing.

Richard Dyer is Emeritus Professor of Film Studies, King’s College, London. Dyer is the well-known specialist on film studies and he has specialised on entertainment and representation and the relations between them as well as music and film (including melodrama), Italian cinema (especially in its popular forms) and gay/lesbian/queer cultures. He is the author of classic books like Stars (1980), White: Essays on Race and Culture (1997), The Culture of Queers (2001) and Heavenly Bodies: Film Stars and Society (2003) and long-standing reviewer for Sight and Sound and different BBC channels and programs.

IIPC Debate 24 September

IIPC Debate 104
Tue 24th September, 4-6 pm, Seminar Room Hovi (Artium, Kaivokatu 12, Turku)
Professor Sara Cohen, University of Liverpool (Faculty of Humanities Visiting Professor, University of Turku)
Mapping the Musical City: Heritage, Memory and the Popular Music Past in Urban England

This paper considers the impact of music on how people live in and engage with the world, by exploring how music is related to place and why this matters. More specifically, the paper explores efforts to map music, particularly popular music, by drawing on research conducted in the city of Liverpool and across England more generally. This research was driven by an anthropological concern with music as a social practice and experience, and by an interest in practices of remembering the musical past and constructing music as heritage.

The first part of the paper discusses how the musical past has been mapped across various social and institutional contexts. It compares, for example, the creation of maps featuring sites of music heritage for place-marketing purposes, with the life-mapping undertaken by individuals as they remember their own personal musical past. The second part of the paper explains that while these practices of mapping and remembering anchor music in space and place, they also highlight the complex, dynamic and contested ways in which people engage with places through music. This provides a basis for two concluding points: firstly, to understand music as both a social and spatial practice, it is important to trace the journeys through which people engage with and navigate places through music; secondly, music offers people a unique means of mapping and placing themselves in the world, which helps to explain why it matters.

Sara Cohen is Professor of Music, IPM, University of Liverpool. She have specialised in research on popular music, with a particular interest in anthropological and ethnographic research on music as a social and spatial practice and how people engage with places through music. This has involved a long series of projects on music and cities, including those exploring the development of local music cultures and identities, and how music is related to urban regeneration and landscape, and to cultural tourism, promoting popular music as national heritage, musical migration – in such places as Liverpool – and how popular music is related to the vernacular remembering of local audiences, practices of autobiographical remembering and relating music to ideas and experiences of ageing.

cfp: IABA World Turku 2020

IIPC is co-organizing, popular culture papers welcome!

Life-Writing: Imagining the Past, Present and Future
9–12 June 2020
Turku, Finland

SELMA: Centre for the Study of Storytelling, Experientiality and Memory warmly welcomes proposals to the 12th IABA World Conference, which will be held at the University of Turku (Finland), June 9-12, 2020. Through the theme of Life-Writing: Imagining the Past, Present and Future, IABA World 2020 will explore the multiple temporalities shaping the dimensions of life storying and life writing research. Temporality impacts the writing and shaping of life narratives, as well as the ways in which we analyze life narrative documents. The temporal is at the core of how we understand the centuries-long histories of how the self is written about and the genealogy of life writing research. Temporality, however, does not mean only gazing to the past, but also understanding how the present moment and orientation to the future are visible in life writing and/or how history makes its presence known in different moments and spaces. The temporal approach also invites us to explore how the future is imagined in life narratives and to discuss our visions for the future of life writing studies.

This interdisciplinary conference encourages dialogues across boundaries of theory, methodology, genre, place, and time. The Conference invites not only traditional conference papers and panels, but also unconventional presentation formats, creative sessions, as well as artistic performances. We encourage cross-disciplinary and transnational contributions. Proposed works may consider life storying through themes including for example:

  • Narrating and imagining life courses (for example childhood, youth, and aging in life writing)
  • Ethics of storytelling
  • Cultural memory and societal change
  • Non-human life storying / Life writing in posthumanism
  • Autobiography, diary, letters, and life writing in historical research
  • The histories and futures of different genres of life writing
  • Digital history and the future of biographical and prosopographical research
  • Sensory and/or Emotive narratives
  • Life storying in popular culture (music, film, theatre, games)
  • Visual life narratives (photography, graphics, visual arts etc.)
  • Hidden/forgotten lives vs. Public/celebrated lives
  • Interrelations: Family and life writing
  • Life storying migrations, displacements, and belongings
  • Life writing illness and wellness / disability and ability
  • Imagining futures in life narratives
  • Life writing and artistic research
  • The histories and futures of life writing studies across disciplinary boundaries
  • Methods, genres, and definitions in life-writing/autobiographical/life story/ego-document research


We invite both 20 minute individual presentations and 90 minute full panel, roundtable, or workshop sessions (3-4 presenters, including Chair). We encourage proposed full sessions to be interdisciplinary and international. Creative sessions and performances can also be proposed and if you are uncertain about how to submit these, please contact the organizers:

The conference language is English.

All presenters must submit a max. 300 word abstract and a 150 word bio.

Please note: when you propose a full session all the presenters must submit their own abstract to the system and mention that it is part of XXX session.

Link to abstract submission:

Abstract submission guidelines:

  • Register to Oxford Abstracts to submit
  • You may amend your submission until the final submission deadline. Please note that uncompleted abstracts will not be reviewed.
  • Remember to complete the abstract and answer all the required questions before the deadline.
  • If you have any questions regarding the submission process, please contact

Practicalities and schedule:

Deadline for proposals 30.9.2019

Notification of acceptance: 1.12.2019

Registration opens: 1.12.2019 / Early bird fee until: 29.2.2020 / Final registration by: 15.4.2020

The Conference Fee will be ca. 200/150 EUR (early bird), 250/200 EUR (the exact amount will be notified when the registration opens)

Information about publication plans:

The conference team will publish a special issue of Biography in conjunction with the 2020 IABA Turku. Information will be available on the conference website by August.

Conference organizer: SELMA: Centre for the Study of Storytelling, Experientiality and Memory, University of Turku

Conference co-organizers:  Åbo Akademi University, the City of Turku, International Institute for Popular Culture, and the Finnish Literature Society

Study Day: Ambient Sound and Silence in Cinema and Television 

September 27th, University of Turku
Organised by the Musicology Department and the IIPC
Arje Schein Lecture Hall, Dentalia, 10 – 15 (exact schedule to be confirmed)
Keynote speaker: Richard Dyer, King’s College 

Ambient sounds and silence in audiovisual artefacts serve to create the space, time, and mood of scenes without strictly speaking consisting of “music”. In some ways, they are integral to constructing the “messages” of films and television – in essence, producing the sonic differences between familiarity and strangeness, and evoking qualities such as eeriness or temporal stasis. In approaches ranging from the consideration of sound as a tool for producing immersion to more explicit communication, studies of ambient sound delve deeper in this often neglected area of soundtrack design. In this study day, we will delve into the nature, construction and meanings of ambient sound in audiovisual contexts and discuss its functions, slippages and newest forms. 

Students may earn 2 ECTs by attending this conference and writing a lecture diary with additional reading summaries. The submission deadline for this is October 31st. Contact Anna-Elena Pääkkölä ( for additional details and readings, preferably before the event already.