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Social Sciences & Humanities

Working Group

Chair: Pekka Räsänen

Pekka Räsänen is Professor of Economic Sociology at the University of Turku, Finland. He was appointed in 2009. Previously, he has been affiliated e.g. at the Helsinki Institute for Information Technology (HIIT) of the University of Helsinki, Center for Knowledge and Innovation Research (CKIR) of Helsinki School of Economics, and Sociology unit of the University of Turku. Professor Räsänen has studied a variety of consumption and lifestyle related phenomena from a multidisciplinary perspective for 20 years. He has published over 70 articles in international refereed journals and over 200 other publications. He has been Coimbra SSH representative of the University of Turku since 2017.

Vice Chair: Brigitte Burrichter

Brigitte Burrichter is Professor of French and Italian Literature at the University of Würzburg, Gemany since 2016. Previously, she has been affiliated at the University of Konstanz. Her main interests are in Medieval and Renaissance Studies but she works also on other periods. Her publications are about French and Italian authors of the Medieval and Renaissance periods an about contemporary French literature.

Focus of Working Group

Research: The Coimbra Group SSH Working Group is determined to strengthen and promote the research possibilities of the member universities. First,  joint preparation of research proposals for Horizon 2020. Second, organizing conferences on interdisciplinary research projects within Coimbra universities. These events also act as information sessions regarding upcoming funding calls.

Education: Reflecting on the role of discipline-based education vs. interdisciplinary education. Monitoring the situation at Coimbra Group universities and sharing best practices in SSH. Possible areas of collaboration may well be at the interfaces of SSH disciplines and STEM, digital editing and the interface of humanities with psychological and cognitive sciences.

Outreach: Lobbying for the position of SSH (together with the EB) to attract public attention to the importance and usefulness of SSH. This means influencing policy makers but also academic communities.  Collaboration with other organisations and networks with similar purpose, such as EASSH (European Alliance for the social sciences and humanities).


Recent highlights

  • Focus on getting to know better the interests and activities of the members of the WG and their institutions, beneficiary both for research and cooperation in the field of education between the member universities.


  • Symposium “Curiosity and Commitment: Cultural/Social Sciences and the Transformation of European Universities” 18-19.10.2018, University of Graz, Austria


Current/forthcoming activities

  • Writing an informational one-pager about Coimbra SSH WG for internal use by the member universities.


  • Work on funding proposals, in connection to meetings and conferences.


  • Increasing teacher mobility between Coimbra member universities.


  • Interdisciplinary conference “Machine Learning applications in the Social Sciences and the Humanities”, October 17 and 18 2019, Würzburg, Germany.


  • Organizing future conferences on funding issues, migration and multidisciplinarity, as well as on the changing role of SSH in general.




Contact person at the CG Office: Anna Quici (quici@coimbra-group.eu)