Salenius Sirpa

Posted on October 13, 2022


Research themes

  • Transatlantic women
  • Black Americans in Italy
  • Nineteenth-century American artists in Italy
  • American literature
  • Race, gender and sexuality

Current Project

My present project examines Black Americans in Europe, focusing on Black women who created a rupture in the dominant white transatlantic narrative. The project looks at their movement—geographical, social, cultural, and political—and the ways in which they conceptualized models of self-determination, resisting conventional readings of nineteenth-century Black women.

Education and Experience:

  • 2019: L’habilitation à diriger des recherches (HDR), University of Bordeaux Montaigne, Bordeaux, France
  • 2014: Title of ‘Dosentti’ in English-language literature and culture, University of Eastern Finland, Joensuu, Finland
  • 2007: Ph.D. in English Studies (American Literature), University of Joensuu (now University of Eastern Finland), Joensuu, Finland
  • 2016-2022: Senior Lecturer, University of Eastern Finland (Joensuu, Finland)
  • 2015-2016: Project Assistant Professor, University of Tokyo (Tokyo, Japan)
  • 2003-2015: Lecturer, various American universities at their study abroad programs (Florence and Rome, Italy)


  • 2020-21 Terra Foundation for American Art Senior Fellow, Smithsonian American Art Museum
  • 2017: Armstrong Browning Library Fellowship
  • 2016: The Friends of the Longfellow House / the Paterson Fellowship
  • 2015: John F. Kennedy Institute Library
  • 2015: Roosevelt Study Center


      • Salenius, Sirpa. An Abolitionist Abroad: Sarah Parker Remond in Cosmopolitan Europe. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2016.
      • Salenius, Sirpa. Rose Elizabeth Cleveland: First Lady and Literary Scholar. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014.


      Essay Collections:

      • Salenius, Sirpa, ed. Sculptors, Painters, and Italy: Italian Influence on Nineteenth-Century American Art.
      • Salenius, Sirpa, ed. Reinventing Italy: The Writings of Exceptional Nineteenth-Century Women. Padova: Il Prato, 2009.
      • Verena Laschinger and Sirpa Salenius, eds. Neglected American Women Writers of the Long Nineteenth Century. New York: Routledge, 2019.
      • Elizabeth T. Kenney, Sirpa Salenius, Whitney Womack-Smith, eds. Race and Transatlantic Identities. London: Routledge, 2017.
      • Beth L. Lueck, Sirpa Salenius, and Nancy Lusignan Schultz, eds. Transatlantic Conversations: Nineteenth-Century American Women’s Encounters with Italy and the Atlantic World. Lebanon (New Hampshire): University of New Hampshire Press, 2016.


      Articles, essays:

      • Salenius, Sirpa. “James Baldwin’s Multisensorial Spaces of Harlem, New York.” In The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Urban Literary Studies. Ed. Jeremy Tambling. forthcoming.
      • Salenius, Sirpa. “‘Passionément was what I wanted’: Female Sexuality in Grace King and Alice Dunbar-Nelson’s Fiction.” In Nineteenth-Century Southern Women Writers: Grace King and Modernism. Eds. Melissa Heidari and Brigitte Zaugg. New York: Routledge, 2019.
      • Salenius, Sirpa. “Doubly Radical: Girls in The Brownies’ Book Reshaping Gender Ideologies.” In Neglected American Women Writers of the Long Nineteenth Century. Eds. Verena Laschinger and Sirpa Salenius. New York: Routledge, 2019. 69-81.
      • Salenius, Sirpa. “Dawn and Decline: Contrasting Spaces in Edith Wharton’s ‘False Dawn’ and Ernest Hemingway’s ‘A Very Short Story.’” In Wharton and Hemingway: Gender and the Advent of Modernism. Ed. Lisa Tyler. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2019. 110-31.
      • Salenius, Sirpa. “Notions of Space and Questions of Identity: Italian Americans in Tina De Rosa’s Novel Paper Fish (1980).” Italian Americana: Cultural and Historical Review1 (Winter 2020): 1-25.
      • Salenius, Sirpa. “’She Was the Mad Woman’: Misdiagnosed Madness in Harriet Spofford Prescott’s ‘Her Story.’” European Journal of American Studies special issue on Spofford, edited by Stéphanie Durrans, 14.3 (2019): 1-14.
      • Salenius, Sirpa. “Transatlantic Interracial Sisterhoods: Sarah Remond, Ellen Craft, and Harriet Jacobs in England.” Frontiers: A Journal of Women’s Studies1 (2017): 166-96.
      • Salenius, Sirpa. “Marginalized Identities and Spaces: James Baldwin’s Harlem, New York.” Journal of Black Studies8 (2016): 883-902.
      • Salenius, Sirpa. “Troubling the White Supremacy-Black Inferiority Paradigm: Frederick Douglass and William Wells Brown in Europe.” Journal of Transatlantic Studies, special issue “Blurring Boundaries: Race and Transatlantic Identities in Culture and Society.” 2 (2016): 152-63.