(updated 30/07/2020)

Hirsjärvi, Irma Maria

Ph.D (FT)

Born May 8th 1960 in Juva, Finland


• Post-graduate student, University of Jyväskylä, Department of Arts and Culture Studies, Research Centre for Contemporary Culture 2002–2009

• Graduate student, University of Jyväskylä, Department of literature 1987–1994


• Ph.D , University of Jyväskylä, Research  Centre for Contemporary Culture 2009

• M.A, University of Jyväskylä, Department of Literature 1993


• Library Assistant, 1982.


• University of Jyväskylä, Department of Music, Art and Culture Studies.
Project Researcher, 3/2017-9/2018, Coordinator and researcher of the Media fuzz -project. Funded by Finnish Culture Foundation.

• The Uses of fantasy -project
Project Manager, Research Centre for Contemporary Culture, 3/2016-3/2017. The project was part of a global The World Hobbit -project, the largest ever audience response research project.

• Populism as movement and rhetoric, Finnish Academy project
Resarcher 8/2014-2/2016, Research Centre for Contemporary Culture

• Jyväskylä university and Jyväskylä open university.
Part time teacher in creative writing, 1/1995-5/2015

• A book project "The myths and stories of two lands", Finnish-somalian book project. Kone foundation.
Project manager, 6/2013-1/2014

• Global Comparative Youth Media Participation project on youth media participation: Argentina, India, Egypt, and Finland
Coordinator, researcher 1/2009-9/2010.

• University of Jyväskylä, Research Centre for Contemporary Culture
Research student 4/2005 - 3/2006 (The Academy of Finland, project)

• South Ostrobotnia high school
Part time University Lecturer 10/2002-2/2005, lessons in creative writing, TV-drama and fantasy writing and literature, all together over 260 hours.

• Jyväskylä Open University, Unit of Literature
Teacher in literature 2002 – 2005

• University of Jyväskylä, Department of Communication
Visiting lecturer in Journalism (drama) 1996, 1998

• University of Jyväskylä, Department of Social Sciences and Philosophy
Research assistant 9/1993 – 11/1993 (The Academy of Finland, project)

• University of Jyväskylä, Department of Education
Research assistant 9/1984 – 3/1986 (The Academy of Finland, project)
Research assistant 9/1988 – 11/1988 (National Directory of Supervisors of Theses in Education)
Librarian 3/1991 – 5/1991 and 12/1991
Research assistant 7/1992 – 8/1993 (the Academy of Finland, project)
Research assistant 1/1993 – 11/1994 (the Academy of Finland, project)


• Activating and networking people with creative writing. A regional development project of four communes: Karstula, Kannonkoski, Kivijärvi, Kyyjärvi. Funded by ministry of education and the communes.
Project manager, 9/2018 – 31.12/2019

• European audience research network Transforming audiences, transforming societies‚ (COST Action ISO906)
Finnish team, board member 2010 –

• Hybrid Organization - Media Brands as Sites for Co-Production research project
Board member 2011 – 2012 (The Finnish Adademy project)

• Jyväskylä Arts Festival
Project manager 9/1996 – 8/1998 (EU-project)
Consultant 9/1998 – 11/1998 (Central Finland’s Cultural Tourism)
Project manager 1/1999 – 11/2000 (EU-project)

• Council of Central Finland
Project secretary 7/1996 – 10/1996 (Culture and EU in Central Finland, project)
Consultant 1/1996 – 5/1996 (Plan: Marketing Cultural Events and Tourism)

• Library of Health Sciences, Central Finland
Library assistant 11/1986 – 11/1987

• City Library of Jyväskylä
Library assistant 9/1983 – 9/1984
Library assistant 4/1981 – 5/1983


• The Finnish Cultural Foundation 14000 euro, 2003

• The Finnish Cultural Foundation 17500 euro, 2004

• Sobey PhD Bursary 500 USD, 2004

• International Writers’ and Translators’ Centre, Greece, residence 12/2004

• The Finnish Cultural Foundation 16000 euro, 2005

• Finnish Union of Univ. Teachers and researchers 250 euro, 2005

• The University of Jyväskylä, Humanistic faculty 4300 euro, 2007

• The Department of Arts and Culture studies, The University of Jyväskylä 3600 euro, 2007

• Jenny and Antti Wihuri foundation 6000 euro, 2009

• Finnish Union of Journalists Association 3000 euro, 2011


• Populism and rhetoric, Finnish Academy project
Main organizer of the Conference on Populist rhetoric 8.9.2017

• Uses of fantasy -project
Co-organizer of Uses of fantasy in changing media landscape, 20.-21.9.2016

• European COST initiative
Member of the organizing committee of the Second Finnish Transforming Audiences, Transforming Societies from Audiences to Users and Beyond -conference 06.-07.6. 2011.

• Jyväskylä Arts Festivals

• Research Centre for Contemporary Culture
Organizer of the 3rd Fan research Conference 2008

Organizer of the 1st Fan Research Conference 2006

• Finnish Science Fiction Researchers Association (FINFAR)
Co-organizer of the 10th sf researchers meeting 2008 – 2010

Co-organizer of the 8th sf researchers meeting 2008
Co-organizer of the 7th sf researchers meeting 2007
Organizer of the 6th sf researchers meeting 2006
Organizer of the 5th sf researchers meeting 2004

• Baltic Ring project I (2001 – 2002) EU/Culture 2000 project
Chairman of the international seminar 2.7.2002
Chairman of the follow up-meeting 3.7.2002

• Jyväskylä Arts Festivals, Jyväskylä Fesetivals and Finncon
Main Organizer of Finncon 2010

Member of the Finncon committee 2007 – 2008
Co-organizer of the seminars 2006

Member of the 50th anniversary festival committee 2004 – 2005
Chairman of the Finncon committee 1995, 2001, 2004
Organizer of the seminars 1996 – 2001

• Jyväskylä Arts Festival
Organizer, Science Fiction and fantasy seminars 1992 – 1995


• The Publication Series of the Research Centre for Contemporary Culture
Member of the editorial board 2011-

• Culture 2000, Baltic Ring Project III (2006-2007)
Member of the Finnish follow-up committee 2006 – 2007
Member of the International follow up committee 2007

• Jyväskylä Festivals
Member of the board 2005 – 2007

• National Finncon Society
Chairman of The Finncon society (founded in 2003) 2003 – 2004, 2006 – 2010

• Culture 2000, Baltic Ring Project I, II and III (2001-2005)
Member of the planning committee of the Baltic Ring Project III 2004 – 2005
Member of the international reception studies group of Research Centre for Contemporary Culture 2003 – 2004
Board member 2003 – 2004
Member of the planning committee 2002
Member of the organizing group of three seminars spring 2002
Board member 2001 – 2002
Chairman of the international planning meeting spring 2000

• Writers of Central Finland
Member of the board 2002 – 2004

• The Network of Culture Studies in Finland (Society from 2009 on)
Member 2002 –

• FINFAR, The Finnish Network of Fantasy Research 2001 –
Member & co-organizer of the seminars

• Jyväskylä Arts Festival
Board member 1991 – 1995


The papers presented in national seminars and conferences since 1985 include topics such as ”Women’s horror in fiction”, ”Housewife ideology as a modern utopia”, ”Representations of motherhood as a modern utopia” and “SF-fandom as anti-political, anti-religious, active global network”, “Science fiction people, activism in our culture”, “Sf fandom – people of an internet village”, “Fantasy – genre and readers”, “SF-fans network”, “Science fiction and literary institutions”, “Fan as a fan – fan as a researcher”, “How should one read science fiction”, ”Fandom and fans relation to a story”.

Papers at international congresses and conferences:

In 2003:
• ‘Crossroads in Cultural Studies’ about “Fan of his fans?”
• ‘The 10th Summer School of Cultural Studies’ about “SF-fandom as an anti-political, anti-religious, active global network of intellectuals?”
• ‘The 34th Science Fiction Research Conference about’ “The Streams of Early Finnish Fantasy”.

In 2004:
• ‘The 25th Conference for International Conference for Fantastic in the Arts’ about “Finnish Fandom - from early Influences to the Audience and Fandom”
• ‘Crossroads in Cultural Studies about “Did Wives dream of electric brooms? – Critical culture studies and science fiction”
• ‘22nd SCOS Standing Conference on Organisational Symbolism’ about “Rising Shadow –Notes on the fantastic literature and the organizing consumption”.

In 2005:
• ‘The 26th Conference for International Conference for Fantastic in the Arts about “What? Fan? Where? Young people reading fantasy”.
• 63rd Interaction, Academic track about “Reception of Le Guin’s fantasy story”.
• 63rd Interaction, Academic track panellist in “Science fiction of 1950’s” -panel
• 63rd Interaction, a moderator of Johanna Sinisalo discussion group

In 2006:
• Cult and Identity, International Conference on Cult studies about “The Cultic Glimpse of Finnish Science Fiction Fandom”
• The 27th Conference for International Conference for Fantastic in the Arts about “Negotiating the Genre. Science fiction and fantasy in the discourses of literary canon and fandom in Finland”
• The 27th Conference for International Conference for Fantastic in the Arts, panelist in ‘The Frontier of Fantasy: Locating the boundaries of fantasy in visual and auditory arts’-panel
• Finncon-Animecon, 2006 about “Literary Institutions vs. Fandom”
• Cult, memory, museum conference arranged by Academy of Science in Hungary and Academy of Finland projects about Cult research about “Memorizers of the future”

In 2007:
• The 28th International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts about “The Battle of the Sexes – the Nordic Style”
• The 28th International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts, member of the panel about sex and gender in the fantasy stories
• The 2nd national conference on fandom studies, University of Tampere, Constructing Nationalities, consuming identities about “Gendered generations in Finnish scifi-fandom”
• Conference on the Study of Cults and Audiences - Cult and Identity. University of Jyväskylä, about “The Seventh Sex: Sex and Gender in SF-literature. Vonnegut, utopias and Finnish speculative writing competitions”

In 2009:
• The 30th International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts in Orlando about “Time warping in Finnish sf”
• Nordmedia; The 19th Nordic Conference for Media and Communication Research in Karlstad about “Media users as producers - spreading media literacy through science fiction fandom”

In 2010:
• The 31th International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts in Orlando about “Gender and fandom”
• World Summit on Children, Young and Media in Karlstad about “Science Fiction Fandom” and joint presentation with Professor Samy Tayie, Egypt about “Children and the New Media Literacy: An Egyptian Case Study”
• Le fantastique et la science fiction en France, en Estonie et en Finlande colloquium in Paris, France; plenarist about “Mediation of the fantastic genre and its Fandom in Finland”

In 2011:
• The 32th International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts in Orlando about “Gender and fandom”
• The International Conference on Comunicacio i Educació: Estratègies d'alfabetització mediàtica in Barcelona about “The Networks of fans – media participation”
• The Second Finnish Transforming Audiences, Transforming, Societies Conference connected to European COST project in Helsinki about “From audience to users and beyond”
• The 11th Nordic Youth Research Symposium in Turku about “The multiple faces of youth media participation
• The 3rd Transforming Audiences Conference Online & Mobile Media, Everyday Creativity and DIY Culture about “Fandom Positions in the International Comparative Research on Youth Media Participation”


A total of 30 lectures given in international conferences about fantasy, fandom research, media and audience research.

A total of 62 lectures and series of lectures given in Finnish universities and seminars since 1985. The topics include fan research, science fiction, creative writing and literature as well as feminist science fiction and feminist film studies.

A total of seven lectures given in various events around Finland in years 1985–1987 about common housing experiment in Jyväskylä.

A total of 21 lectures given at universities and seminars arranged by regional councils and art organizations around Finland in 1997–2000. The topics: regional development of European Union and different cultural events.

Visiting lecturer of the Open University of Jyväskylä University in creative writing and literature since 2000.


• Co-moderator of the Virtuaalinen vapaa-aika (Virtual leisure time) session of The Finnish Youth Research Society in Helsinki, 2010

• Editorial secretary of the publication series of the Research Centre for Contemporary Culture 2006 – 2011

• Member of the Finnish Union of Journalists Association 2005 –