The first Selma workshop on Friday the 11 of September was full of interesting and inspiring talks from historians, literary scholars, ethnologists, folklorists, music scholars, media scholars and philologists. During the day we found many connecting topics; perhaps the most debated ones were related to the study of memory and trauma, to different ways of approaching autobiographicality, to transcultural and postcolonial perspectives. We discussed, for example, on French fiction, Finnish children movies, contemporary classical music scene in Finland, travel writing, self-healing processes in autobiographical writing, 19th century letter writing in Finnish archipelago, Jewish girls’ diaries, Nordic documentary movies just to mention few of the topics.
The day showed that there are many overlappings within SELMAs research field, and maybe the most intensive discussions concerned the ethics of research, multidisciplinary approaches to similar kinds of sources, and SELMAs situatedness in-between the academic and more general discussion in society and culture. SELMA wants to take part in on-going debates concerning, for example, the difficult situation in Europe and its close surroundings, war and migration policy. In the future, SELMAs goal will be to organise both methodological and theoretical symposiums on its main topics, but also wide-ranging symposiums on topics that move us at the present-day society. We are at the moment preparing the future programme for the centre and hope to get some financial support for it from the University – so stay on-line to hear about the current news!