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About me

I'm a Senior Research Fellow with a Title of Docent in Finnish history at the Tampere University. I'm leading the "Lived Nation" research team at the Academy of Finland Centre of Excellence in the History of Experiences, where my own research is focused on the experiences of nation-state violence. I have studied the social and cultural history of the Second World War and the postwar society in the 1940s and 1950s. In my PhD thesis Battled Nerves (Åbo Akademi University 2013), I studied Finnish soldiers' traumatic war experiences, mental coping and military psychiatry during the Second World War. In a three-year postdoctoral project "Trauma before Trauma", funded by the Academy of Finland in 2016–19, I analyzed the history of posttraumatic stress among the Finnish war veterans in the immediate postwar era. 

I'm currently leading the research project "DIGIKÄKI – Digital History and Handwritten Sources", funded by the Jalmari Finne Foundation. I have previously led the research project "Large Databases in Studying the War Experiences", funded by the Finnish Cultural Foundation in 2017–20, and the Nordic NOS-HS workshop project "Historical Trauma Studies" in 2018–21. I'm the series editor of the Palgrave Studies in the History of Experience.

Top achievements

Finnish Academy of Science and Letters Prize for the Humanities 2020 

Academy of Finland Award for Societal Impact in 2018 

Shortlisted for the Kone Foundation’s Academic Writing Award in 2016, 2017 and 2020 

Researcher Prize of the Åbo Akademi University 2014 

Best Finnish History Book Award 2013 

Finlandia Literary Prize for Non-Fiction 2013

Research topics

Social and cultural history of the Second World War 

Experience, memory, emotion and trauma as the objects of history

History of nationhood and nationalism

Gender history, especially war and masculinities in the twentieth century 

History of psychiatry and psychology in Finland and Germany 

Experiences of violence and the postwar society

Research unit

HEX – Academy of Finland Centre of Excellence in the History of Experiences

Research career

Academic titles and degrees: 

Title of Docent in Finnish history, University of Tampere, March 2017 

Doctor of Philosophy, Åbo Akademi University, September 2013 

Master of Arts, University of Joensuu (now University of Eastern Finland), June 2002 

Visits abroad: 

Visiting fellow, Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences and the NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Amsterdam, April–June 2021

Visiting researcher, VITRI Center for the Transdisciplinary Research of Violence, Trauma and Justice, Charles University, Prague, November–December 2018 

Visiting researcher, Center for the History of Emotions, Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin, February–June 2015 

Fulbright scholarship, Yale University, New Haven, academic year 2007–2008 

DAAD scholarship, SFB 437 “Kriegserfahrungen: Krieg und Gesellschaft in der Neuzeit”, University of Tübingen (Germany), February–June 2005 

Previous academic career: 

Academy of Finland postdoctoral researcher, University of Tampere, 2016–2019 

Postdoctoral researcher, Finnish Centre of Excellence "History of Society", University of Tampere, 2015–2016 

Researcher and postdoctoral researcher, University of Helsinki, 2012–2014 

Researcher and doctoral student, Åbo Akademi University, 2006–2011 

Doctoral student and project coordinator, University of Joensuu, 2002–2005 


Selected publications

Monographs and edited volumes: 

(for a full list of publications, please see the TuniCris-database)

Sargade själar: De finska soldaternas krigstrauman 1939–1945. Swedish translation by Camilla Frostell, Finnish original Murtuneet mielet (Helsinki & Stockholm: SLS / Appell Förlag, 2023).

Trauma, Experience and Narrative in Europe after World War II, ed. by Ville Kivimäki & Peter Leese (Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, 2022). 

Lived Nation as the History of Experiences and Emotions in Finland, 1800–2000, ed. by Ville Kivimäki, Sami Suodenjoki & Tanja Vahtikari (Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, 2021). Open access at

Eletty historia: Kokemus näkökulmana menneisyyteen, ed. by Johanna Annola, Ville Kivimäki & Antti Malinen (Tampere: Vastapaino, 2019). 

Continued Violence and Troublesome Pasts: Post-war Europe between the Victors after the Second World War, ed. by Ville Kivimäki & Petri Karonen (Helsinki: SKS, 2017). 

Sodan särkemä arki, co-authored with Anssi Männistö (Helsinki: WSOY, 2016). 

Rauhaton rauha: Suomalaiset ja sodan päättyminen 1944–1950, ed. by Ville Kivimäki & Kirsi-Maria Hytönen (Tampere: Vastapaino, 2015). 

Murtuneet mielet: Taistelu suomalaissotilaiden hermoista 1939–1945 (Helsinki: WSOY, 2013). 

Battled Nerves: Finnish Soldiers' War Experience, Trauma, and Military Psychiatry, 1941–44, PhD thesis in Nordic history (Åbo Akademi University, 2013). 

Finland in World War II: History, Memory, Interpretations, ed. by Tiina Kinnunen & Ville Kivimäki (Leiden: Brill, 2012). 

Ihminen sodassa: Suomalaisten kokemuksia talvi- ja jatkosodasta, ed. by Tiina Kinnunen & Ville Kivimäki (Helsinki: Minerva, 2006).