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Hiilisuo Daycare. Neuvosto-Karjalan 15-vuotiaan taipaleelta (Finnish Federation: New York, 1935).

Building That Bright Future: Finnish North Americans in Soviet Karelia

In the 1930s, 6,500 Finns from Canada and the United States moved to Soviet Karelia to build a new workers’ society


The Department of History hosts a talk by visiting scholar Dr. Samira Saramo (PhD) on Finnish North American migration to Soviet Karelia.

Date: Monday, Sept. 19
10 am
Arts Building Room 211, 9 Campus Dr., Saskatoon

Free and open to the public

Dr. Samira Saramo (PhD)
Dr. Samira Saramo (PhD)

About this event

This presentation delves into the letters and memoirs of Finnish North Americans who moved to Soviet Karelia in the 1930s with the hope of building a new workers’ society. It offers a History of Everyday Life view of what it meant to be caught up in the uncertain, shifting, and dangerous transition of both North American socialism and Soviet policy.

About the speaker

Samira Saramo is a transdisciplinary historian whose research focuses on place, emotion, migrant settlerhood, community-building, and the everyday in both historical and current contexts. Most often, Samira’s work centers on the histories of Finnish migrants in Canada, the United States, and Soviet Karelia. She engages methodologically with the challenges and opportunities of life writing, qualitative research practices, mapping, and multi-sensory storytelling. Saramo is currently a Kone Foundation senior researcher at the Migration Institute of Finland. She is a docent of cultural history at the University of Turku and holds a PhD in history from York University. Saramo is the founder and chair of the international History of Finnish Migration Network and the vice-chair of the Finnish Oral History Network.


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