Government of Finland/David and Nancy Speer Visiting Professorship

The Government of Finland/David and Nancy Speer (GOF/DANS) Visiting Professorship was created in 1989 to stimulate interest in Finland; to raise awareness of unique and important Finnish contributions in cultural, political, and social spheres; and to establish new networks between scholars in Finland and the United States. GOF/DANS professors work at the University of Minnesota from one to three years and have represented many fields of research across the arts, humanities, and social sciences.

Current GOF/DANS Professors

Juhana Aunesluoma 

Department of History

Juhana Aunesloma graduated from the University of Helsinki (Master in Social Sciences) in 1993 and received his doctorate from Oxford University in 1998 (Modern History Faculty & St. Antony's College). In 1998-2001 he worked as a post-doctoral researcher in Nokia Corporation, the Finnish Association of Graduate Engineers, and the University of Helsinki. In 2001 he was appointed senior lecturer in contemporary history at the University of Helsinki. In 2010 he was appointed director (research director) of the Network for European Studies, a multidisciplinary research and teaching unit in the University of Helsinki devoted to the study of Europe in all its historical and contemporary diversity.

His work as a historian and European studies scholar is located at the intersection of European political and economic history in the 20th and 21st centuries and in the present and recent past.


Mari Pajala 

Department of Communication Studies

Mari Pajala’s research has focused on television as a cultural form, particularly in the context of Finnish media history. Her doctoral research discussed how an annual television event, the Eurovision Song Contest, has participated in constructing nationality in Finland since the early 1960s.

In her other work, she has studied the formation of cultural memory in contemporary television culture and analyzed representations of class and gender in popular media. Her ongoing research looks at the relations between Finnish television and socialist television cultures in the 1960–1980s. Pajala is a member of several research networks focusing on the study of European television and a member of the editorial board of the open-access journal View: European Journal of Television History and Culture.

Previous Visiting Professors

  • Matt Jutila
  • 2009-13: Erkki Huovinen
  • 2009-11: Minna Rainio
  • 2009-11: Mika Aaltola
  • 2009-11: Jukka Savolainen
  • 2004-05: Juha Suoranta
  • 2003-05: Pauliina Raento
  • Spring 2000: Leena Ahtola-Moorhouse
  • Spring 1999: Marjatta Hietala
  • Winter 1999: Eero Tarasti
  • Fall 1998: Hannu Nurmi
  • Spring 1998: A. William Hoglund
  • Winter 1998: J. P. Roos
  • Winter 1998: Max Engman
  • Fall 1996: Risto Alapuro
  • Winter 1996: Clas Zilliacus
  • Fall 1994: Kaarle Nordenstreng
  • Spring 1994: Elina Haavio-Mannila
  • Fall 1992: Raimo Väyrynen
  • Fall 1992: Aulis Aarnio
  • Spring 1992: Pertti Pesonen