Risto Turunen: Shades of Red: Evolution of the Political Language of Finnish Socialism, 1895–1917

Lecture | 11 May 2021 14-14:45

Risto Turunen.

Risto Turunen presents results from his doctoral thesis Shades of Red. In his academic work he scrutinizes the evolution of Finnish socialism from the late 19th century until the Civil War of 1918.

While the first wave of quantitative studies of labour history focused on ”hard” numerical sources, nowadays it is also possible to analyze large datasets of machine-readable texts computationally. A simple method from corpus linguistics will be introduced as an example. The computational analysis of Finnish labour press shows its surprisingly wide conceptual variation over time. This would be difficult to grasp with more traditional methods. According to the main argument, the political language of socialism is not an autonomous system but constantly changes in interaction with its complex societal environment.

In addition to describing and explaining the major trends of the evolution of Finnish socialism, the lecture also comments on the prospects and pitfalls of ”digital turn” for the future study of proletarian imaginations.

Risto Turunen is a doctoral candidate in history at Tampere University. He is defending his thesis Shades of Red: Evolution of the Political Language of Finnish Socialism in the spring 2021. During his dissertation project he has published articles on labour history, conceptual history and digital humanities.

The seminar is free of charge but requires registration before 10 May, through filling in the web form below. You will receive a zoom-link by e-mail.

See our other digital seminars in the spring 2021.