Hannah Kaarina Yoken

PhD 2021

HEI: University of Glasgow

Funding: AHRC DTP

Title: Nordic transnational feminist activism: the new women’s movements in Finland, Sweden and Denmark, 1960s-1990s 

Supervisors: Dr Maud Anne Bracke and Prof Lynn Abrams  


What was your research about?

My doctoral research uncovered the transnational history of so-called second wave feminist activism in the Nordic region during the 1960s–1990s. I examined how border-crossing circulations shaped feminist ideas, practices and experiences in three Nordic countries – Finland, Sweden, and Denmark. My thesis was based on archival research across three countries and over 30 oral history interviews with (former) feminist activists 

What made you apply for the SGSAH AHRC DTP?

From an intellectual perspective, I wanted to merge my longstanding interest in Nordic history with my bourgeoning understanding of feminism. In practical terms, I was curious about academia as a career option and a PhD seemed like the logical first step towards achieving this goal.

Which aspects of your PhD did you enjoy the most?

I loved communicating with others – be that at conferences, via publications or in the classroom. The PhD allowed me to make connections with colleagues, many of which have turned into meaningful friendships.  

How has your PhD helped you to decide on a career path?

The PhD gave me the confidence to seriously pursue a career in academia. It helped me discover my passion for research, project management and teaching – all of which are part and parcel of an academic’s everyday job.  

And now?

I currently split my time between Scotland and Finland. At present, I’m back in Glasgow turning my PhD thesis into a monograph, funded by the Ella & Georg Ehrnrooth Foundation.  

Like many early career researchers, I’ve held multiple short-term and part-time posts over the past two years. Directly after completing my PhD, I worked as a lecturer and tutor in the History department at the University of Glasgow. I also assisted on various projects, ranging from gender history research housed in the School of Law to administrative assistance for the ArtsLab initiative Emotions Across the Disciplines.   

From the late summer of 2021 I shifted gears and began working as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Jyväskylä in Finland, where I developed new research projects and taught undergraduate and postgraduate courses (in Finnish!). I’ll be returning to Jyväskylä in 2022 as an Academy of Finland postdoctoral researcher, investigating how emotions and gender shaped anti-nuclear protest in 1980s Finland. I’m also the Principal Investigator on an Emil Aaltonen Foundation funded project exploring the history of the Finnish publishing house Lehtimiehet oy (which roughly translates as ‘Magazine Men’).  

One piece of advice you would give an incoming PhD researcher?

Don’t be afraid to take ownership of and responsibility for your project. You’re working on becoming an expert in your area, so trust your own abilities and gut feelings. You already know more about your topic than you think! 

Where can people find you?

Twitter: @hannhkarina

University of Jyväskylä profile: https://www.jyu.fi/hytk/fi/laitokset/hela/en/hela-staff/yoken-hannah

This article was published on 10 June, 2022