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Pekka  Kilpeläinen

Pekka Kilpeläinen

University Lecturer

I work as a university lecturer in English Language and Culture. My research focuses on the traumatic cultural memory of slavery in contemporary African American literature.

School of Humanities, Philosophical Faculty

The political and social meanings of literature are at the very center of my research. I’m particularly interested in identities and the related intersectional phenomena, problems, and categories, such as those of race, ethnicity, sexuality, and gender. My research is, to an extent, based on Fredric Jameson’s views on the political significance of literature and culture. I have constructed my own version of the dialectic of ideology and utopia, which Jameson introduced, but left somewhat vague. The main idea is that utopia is much more than an idealistic vision of a perfect society of happiness. In my view, it is more rewarding to think of utopia as an impulse or desire, constructed in our efforts to solve problems. In literary texts, this happens both on the level of form and content. Related to these issues are also the concepts of space, mobility, and borders. My field is the literature of African Americans and the black diaspora, but these theoretical premises provide possibilities to probe into a large variety of other texts and phenomena. My current research project focuses on the representations and imaginary resolutions of the cultural trauma of the memory of slavery in contemporary African American literature.


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