During the ETMU Days 2021, the ETMU Board has awarded Johanna Leinonen with the ETMU Award 2021. One of the nomination letters described her as “bright and accomplished migration scholar who in very innovative ways combines historical migration research with current topics” and added that “the amount of time that she has invested into the community of migration scholars is immense.” And the ETMU Board fully agreed with these two points.
Johanna Leinonen is currently working as an Academy Research Fellow at the University of Oulu, leading the study Refugee journeys: Narratives of forced mobilities as well as the local branch of a team that received funding from the Academy of Finland’s Strategic Research Council for the Consortium Mobile Futures: Diversity, Trust, and Two-Way Integration. In addition, she received funding for an Academy project on Postmemory of Family Separation, networking and workshop funding from NOS-HS for Histories of Refugeedom in the Nordic Countries, and she helped author a successful application to the Academy for a research project on Family Separation, Migration Status, and Everyday Security (PI Marja Tiilikainen)– to name just a few examples from her long list of successful funding and innovative and important research projects.
Funding gives only a limited picture into the work we do as academics, and while these funds have been critical in advancing the work in the area of migration studies, there is something else that this field needs: community, networks, spaces for exchange and collaboration, for navigating through the complex and often exhausting aspects of this work. Johanna Leinonen has taken a leading role in creating these spaces and relations, for instance by serving on the organizing committee of the ETMU conference four times and as the ETMU chairperson for two years. She helped renew ETMU on the outside (new logo, website, blog) and on the inside (member survey, strategy). As the nomination letter said “It is probably not possible to count the amount of hours that she has spent working for this community.” The 2021 award is a little thank you.
Warmest congratulations, Johanna Leinonen!