About me

Dr. Mila Oiva

I’m a cultural historian specialized in Russian and Polish history. I’m enthusiastic about identifying patterns of transnational circulation of knowledge and ideas in a long temporal perspective. I think that detecting the gaps, overflows, as well as geographical and social differences between the circulating information and perceptions reveal global interconnectednesses and differences. Studying change and continuities of information circulation in long-term perspective explains how we know what we know, and what makes different groups of people to see the world in different ways.

I explore circulation of knowledge through case studies focusing on circulation of pseudohistorical contents in Russian language internet in the 2000s and circulation of ideas and footage in Soviet newsreels after World War II. In my research, I analyse text, audio-visual and metadata using computational text, image and network analysis methods in interdisciplinary collaboration with other scholars.

I received my PhD in Cultural History in 2017 from the University of Turku, Finland. My PhD “Creation of a Market Place. The Polish Clothing Industry, Soviet Union, and the Rise of Marketing, 1949-1961” focused on cultural history of trading practices during the cultural shift that took place in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe in the late 1950s. Alongside my home university, I completed my PhD as a member of the Finnish-Russian Network in Russian and Eurasian Studies in the Field of Social Sciences and Humanities (FRRESH) hosted at the Aleksanteri Institute, University of Helsinki. I was a visiting Fulbright scholar at the Institute of Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (ISEEES) at UC Berkeley in 2014-2015, and participated in the Culture Analytics long program at the Institute for Pure and Applied Mathematics (IPAM) at UCLA in spring 2016.

Currently I work as a senior research fellow at the ERA Chair for Cultural Data Analytics at Tallinn University, Estonia.