I am a REXSAC (Resource Extraction and Sustainable Arctic Communities) PhD student in cultural anthropology, based at the University of Oulu in Finland. My home, heart and work are all located in the circumpolar North. It took me a while to realize that I belong here, but now I couldn’t be happier to live on the 65th parallel and conduct research on topics that are important to northern communities.
My PhD project looks into fairness in natural resource governance in Arctic and sub-Arctic places. I have familiarized myself with many past and present-day mining cases in Finland, Canada, Greenland, Sweden and Norway. Within this broad context, last year my research began to shift toward a focus I had expected, but which I now consider to be extremely important. During my fieldwork I began to look more specifically into women’s perspectives and approaches to fairness in the context of mining developments.
I am exploring questions such as: What do women in northern communities think about the connections between mining, social justice, culture and environmental risk? How are women dealing with these matters in their everyday lives?
I did my fieldwork in Rankin Inlet, Nunavut in 2018-2019. Although I was almost 5000 km away from home, I found many things I could relate to and many similarities – even direct linkages – between my home country and the Kivalliq region where I was staying. Living in Rankin Inlet taught me more about women’s strength and resourcefulness than any other place I have lived in before.
Besides ethnographic fieldwork, in my research I explore similarities and differences between northern places, cultures and developments more broadly. REXSAC network has made it possible to participate in interdisciplinary Arctic courses and events in Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Iceland. These experiences have highlighted the relevance and urgency of working across disciplinary boundaries and beyond national borders.
When I was an undergraduate student, I studied political science, economics and business administration in Finland and abroad. During my master’s degree, I took courses in development studies and environmental politics in Sweden and Denmark. I received my master’s degree from the University of Copenhagen in 2017.
If you want to learn more about my work, you can connect with me via:
Twitter account: @JasmiiniP
The REXSAC project website: https://www.rexsac.org/.
I have also reflected on my journey as a PhD student in blog entries:
Pylkkänen, Jasmiini. n.d. “How can research plans and findings be communicated to a diverse audience?”REXSAC: Arctic Resources & Communities. https://www.rexsac.org/blog/can-research-plans-findings-communicated-diverse-audience/
Pylkkänen, Jasmiini.2018. “Kirjeitä kentältä: Arktinen tutkimus ja heittäytymisen taito.”(Letters from the field: Arctic research: learning how to throw oneself into new situations) https://antroblogi.fi/2018/06/arktinen-tutkimus/.
Pylkkänen, Jasmiini. 2017. “Kirjeitä kentältä: Lumen ja jään tajun jäljillä”(Letters from the field: Searching for a sense of snow and ice) https://antroblogi.fi/2017/12/kirjeita-kentalta-lumen-ja-jaan-tajun-jaljilla/.