The Founding Fathers in the U.S. Culture Wars

kutsutilaisuus · Arkadiankatu 23 B, 5th floor, Helsinki · 04.11.2022 14:00 - 15:30


This presentation examines how history politics have shaped the U.S. Culture Wars – the collection of cultural conflicts regarding values and norms of the country and its society. Kolehmainen has explored how political rhetoric has turned the Founding Fathers into objects of historical imagination, using them as justifications for present-day political positions. He draws on two particular research projects: his past work on U.S. gun culture as part of the Academy of Finland funded “Campus Carry” project at the John Morton Center for North American Studies and his new postdoctoral project on the conceptual history of antifeminism at the Turku Institute for Advanced Studies. Kolehmainen looks at how appeals to the historical authority of the Founding Fathers have been used in both of these frontiers in the U.S. Culture Wars.




Pekka Kolehmainen

Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Turku

Pekka Kolehmainen is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the John Morton Center for North American Studies (JMC) and the Turku Institute for Advanced Studies (TIAS). His research focuses on antifeminism as a bridge between different reactionary movements in U.S. history, with a specific focus on the co-optation and redefinition of concepts that antifeminists use in their ideological rhetoric. He has a Ph.D. in Cultural History (2022), where his dissertation studied the use of rock as a political concept in the U.S. culture wars. He have also studied U.S. gun culture and its ideological rhetoric. His research interests lie in the field of right-wing studies and the Culture Wars and in the intersections of ideology and popular culture.


Charly Salonius-Pasternak

Leading Researcher, FIIA

Charly Salonius-Pasternak is a Leading Researcher at FIIA and leads the work of the Center on US Politics and Power (CUSPP). His work at FIIA focuses on international security issues, especially Nordic and transatlantic security (including NATO), as well as U.S. foreign and defence policy. Recently he has focused on Finnish-Swedish defence cooperation and the evolution of US and NATO alliance reassurance approaches in light of the changed regional security situation. In 2017, he was a visiting research fellow at the Changing Character of War programme at Pembroke College (Oxford University), where he studied the hybridization of warfare and the impact of the Information Age on the character of war.