Merja Polvinen

Photo credit: Veikko Somerpuro/University of Helsinki.

Merja Polvinen is Senior Lecturer at the Department of Languages as well as adjunct professor in Comparative Literature at the University of Helsinki, Finland.

Polvinen works on interdisciplinary approaches to literature, and her current work combines literary studies with the cognitive sciences to study the role of fictional narratives in human lives.

She is presently the Chair of the Academic Advisory Board for Fafnir: The Nordic Journal of Science Fiction and Fantasy Research, as well as a long-time fixture within Finnish SFF-fandom.

For 2018–2022 she is a PI in the consortium Instrumental Narratives: The Limits of Storytelling and New Story-Critical Narrative Theory (iNARR), where scholars from three universities examine the ways in which stories are,  and aren’t, helpful in understanding complex phenomena in contemporary societies.