From National to Transnational. Culture, Tradition, and Literature
Tradition and literature are not held back by borders. Transnationality is, for example, geographic, symbolic, or linguistic movement and action. Different kinds of cultural transitions and migrant traditions are connected with transnationality. Studying the multilingualism of literary texts or diverse cultural identities, transnationality is a prolific angle. In the 102nd Yearbook of the Kalevala Society Foundation, the topics cover for example migration and return migration, material things crossing borders, and places of music culture. At a more theoretical level we are asking how studying transnationality enriches the disciplines with roots in the national sciences.Book Details
The era (1981‒1991) of the high-profile politics of Väyrynen and Kääriäinen: The Centre Party of Finland 6
The Centre Party of Finland was represented in almost all cabinets for decades, and it often held the post of prime minister during the reign of President Urho Kekkonen. When Kekkonen’s deteriorating health forced him to resign in 1981, the Centre Party, formerly the Agrarian Union, was in front of the crisis. The party was deeply divided along the lines of who would be the best candidate to succeed Kekkonen. The schism had prevailed for years, and contemporaries suspected the party would split up or at least lose its dominant position in Finnish politics. Besides, the numbers of core supporters making up the party, agrarians, were constantly diminishing. In addition, the Finnish party system was in a state of flux. The Finnish People’s Democratic League was in a deep downward spiral, while the Conservative Party’s support was ascendant. The power struggle between the three ‘big’ parties, the Centre Party, the Social Democratic Party and the Conservative Party, was fierce. The study describes and analyses how the Center Party survived the challenges it faced. How was the cohesion of the party rebuilt and maintained? How did the Centre Party manage to survive the inter-party contests and end up being the strongest party in the elections of 1991? The study is firmly based on source material from the party organization of the Centre Party and other relevant political actors, such as President Mauno Koivisto. The book provides new information on both Finnish domestic and foreign politics and the power struggles among the parties and leading political figures.Book Details
Interpreting brothers-in-war. Multilingual day-to-day life during the Continuation War in Finland
This volume looks at the Finnish-German military alliance (1941–1944) as a translation zone – a multilingual network of military, administrative and civilian encounters that was held together by linguistically versed soldiers and civilians acting as interpreters and translators. It focuses on interpreters and liaison officers of the Finnish Liaison Staff in Rovaniemi, who were assigned to the staffs of the German army units with the task of maintaining communication between the two armies and assisting German troops in their daily matters. Furthermore, attention is paid to Finnish civilians, especially women whose language skills made them candidates for a range of mediation tasks in the German units. The reconstruction of military interpreters’ and liaison officers’ tasks and mediation agency between the two military cultures is based on their war-time weekly reports, whereas the civilian interpreters’ experiences are drawn from a variety of autobiographical accounts, including interviews.Book Details
Daughters of music: Finnish Women composers from the 19th Century to the 20th Century
The book presents the biographies and work lists of 126 Finnish women composers born between 1784 and 1909. Based on large-scale archival research, it is the first comprehensive historical account of Finnish women composers and their cultural heritage. The authors draw on feminist music history and the sociohistorical approach to find out who these women were, what kind of music they wrote, and how their careers reflected European cultural and social history. The treatise highlights the influence of girls’ schools, women’s suffrage movements and other socio-political developments on the musical culture of women. Concepts such as “composer”, “woman” and “Finnish” were assumed to be open and inclusive throughout the research, in terms of both musical style and diversity in cultural background. In concentrating on music-making by women, the book opens up radically new vistas on Finland’s music and cultural history, and it rectifies previous erroneous conceptions about women’s composership and their artistic work. In short, it exposes the richness in the sonic and intellectual heritage of Finnish women composers, as well as its significance in society today.Book Details
Lake Ladoga. The Coastal History of the Greatest Lake in Europe
Aimed at researchers, students and all interested in history, this multidisciplinary study offers a spectacular view of the history of Europe’s largest lake. Adopting the lens of coastal history, this edited volume presents the development of the vast Great Lake’s catchment area over a long-time span, from archaeological traces to Viking routes and from fishery huts to luxury villas of the power elite. It reflects on people’s sensory-historical relationships with aquatic nature, and considers the benefits and harms of power plants and factories to human communities and the environment.
The focus of the study is on the central and northern parts of the shores of Lake Ladoga, which belonged to Finnish rule between 1812 and 1944. The multidisciplinary approach permits an unusually wide range of questions. What has the Great Lake meant to local residents in cultural and emotional terms? How should we conceptualize the extensive and diverse networks of activities that surrounded the lake? What kind of Ladoga beaches did the Finns have to cede to the Soviet Union at the end of the war in 1944? How have Finns reminisced about their lost homelands? How have the Russians transformed the profile of the region, and what is the state of Ladoga’s waters today?
The volume is the first overall presentation of Lake Ladoga, which today is entirely part of Russia, aimed at an international readership. The rich source material of cross-border research consists of both diverse archival material and chronicles, folklore, reminiscence, and modern satellite images. The history of Lake Ladoga helps readers to understand better the economic, political, and socio-cultural characteristics of the cross-border areas, and the dynamics of the vulnerable border regions.Book Details
The Land of Hope. University students’ travelogues during the age of autonomy
Finland was an autonomous Grand Duchy in the Russian Empire during the years 1808–1917. At this time nationalism as well as other ideologies reached Finland from Europe, which strengthened the willingness to change both in society and on a governmental level. The Fennoman movement, which was a movement focusing both on language and on nationalism, became the core of the Finnish self-perception. The goal was to define Finland as a coherent and separate country in relation to its neighbouring countries. Collecting folk poems and learning to know one’s home country became essential. People saw the Kalevala poems as a way to understand and define the Finnish identity and the history of the Finnish people.
Especially young people with a background in academia were intrigued by these ideas. University students collected poems all over the Grand Duchy of Finland as well as in the Russian part of Carelia, in Sweden, Norway and in Ingria. Students who collected these folk poems also wrote travelogues about their travels and all this material was handed over to The Finnish Literature Society. These documents are unique and there has not been much research done on them, especially with the focus on how the young academic generation during the age of autonomy defined their home country, their national self-perception, themselves and the commoners living in the rural parts of the country.
This book reviews travelogues written by one hundred university students who travelled in the country collecting folk poems during 1836–1917. The book offers insight into how the students described Finland and what it meant to be Finnish. Travelogues can be defined as a sort of hybrid of texts. They consist of a mixture of letters, journals, biographical texts and travel books. Consequently, the image that the students depict of Finland is in this study based upon research perspectives and methods used in textual research, oral history and travel literature. The travelogues written by students previously evoked the interest of researchers who mainly studied certain traits of poem collectors, tradition bearers or poems. However, the travelogues contain plenty of information about the lives of the people who lived in the areas where the poems were collected.
The descriptions of Finland in the travelogues do not represent the “real” 19th century Finland, but instead it is a story written and created by university students. The characteristics that are presented in The Land of Hope are based on how the intelligentsia perceived “real” Finnishness as opposed to the uneducated commoners living in the rural parts of the country. The most notable themes in the travelogues are the state and the future of the society and of being Finnish. Another theme is the otherization of those who were uneducated commoners. These themes describe the fears and hopes that university students had about Finland. They also show us that the travelogues were ideological texts about Finland and Finnishness that united the collectors of folk poetry.
This book studies the collection of folk poetry in the context of the ideologies during the age of autonomy and it explains what the collection of poems meant and who were involved in it. Furthermore, the book gives an insight into the possibilities to pursue academic studies and it also presents the most essential sources of students’ knowledge about Finland at that point of time.Book Details
Live, Experience, Understand. The Life of Alex Matson
Alex Matson (1888–1972) is an important Finnish literary critic and essayist, whose literary reviews and collections of essays have made a vital contribution to the development of Finland's postwar literary generation. Born in Finland as the son of a sailor, Matson moved as a young child with his family to Hull in England, where he went to school. In the 1910s, he moved back to Finland, where he at first established himself as painter associated with the expressionist November Group, an important Finnish artistic movement at the time. In the interbellum, he moved from fine arts to literature. In the 1920s and 1930s, he published several novels, but more important was his work as transmitter of international literary ideas to Finland. Together with his first wife, Kersti Bergroth, he edited the literary journal Sininen kirja ("The Blue Book"; 1927–1930), which was inspired by the writings of John Middleton Murry and Katherine Mansfield. Sininen kirja is the most international literary journal in Finnish history to date and introduced Finland to the most significant modernist writers of the first half of the 20th century (Gottfried Benn, Jean Cocteau, Alfred Döblin, T. S. Eliot, Aldous Huxley, James Joyce, D. H. Lawrence, Katherine Mansfield, Paul Valéry, Virginia Woolf).
During the Second World War, Matson worked for the State Communications Agency, which was responsible for disseminating relevant information about Finland to other nations and for informing Finns of relevant developments abroad. It was also tasked with studying the prevailing mood among the population in Finland. In Matson's unpublished wartime diaries, one can see the first symptoms of a shift in Finnish culture away from Germany and towards Anglo-Saxon culture.
From the 1940s onwards, Matson recommended new English and American novels as a part of his work as reader for Finnish publishing houses, and he also translated works by Joyce, Hemingway and Steinbeck. With the help of a network of international literary critics, Matson became acquainted with New Criticism, which he introduced to Finland before it became established among academic researchers. He was often critical of academic literary studies, but his seminal essay works Romaanitaide ("On the Prose Novel"; 1947), John Steinbeck (1948), Kaksi mestaria ("Two Masters", on Tolstoy and Dostoevsky; 1950) as well as his impressive conversational skills were instrumental in introducing knowledge about the principles of the prose novel to several authors (including Väinö Linna, Lauri Viita, and Hannu Salama), and contributed to their views of literature. Matson emphasized the importance of reading and understanding high-quality literature for the wellbeing of society.Book Details
Saint Mechthild’s Revelations
Mechthild of Hackeborn represents medieval mysticism. Her Revelations were written down in the 1290s in Helfta, Germany. The oldest surviving versions are in Latin, but in the Middle Ages, the Revelations were translated at least into Dutch, English, Swedish, and German. The text was translated into Swedish in 1469 by Jöns Budde, a Bridgettine brother from Naantali. Budde made few omissions but many additions in the text, mainly explanations to meet the needs of the Bridgettine sisters. Budde’s translation is faithful to the original text, and he made few mistakes. My Finnish translation of the text follows Budde’s version where possible. However, Budde translated an abridged version that omitted some chapters, and the only surviving copy of Budde’s translation is incomplete. I have therefore translated the missing sections from Latin and incorporated them in the text. My translation also includes editorial comments on the language, the contents, and the historical and theological contexts of the Revelations.Book Details
Health History. Viewpoints and Approaches from the Middle Ages to the Present
This book deals with approaches, sources, and methods in health history from the middle ages to the twentieth century. Individual chapters demonstrate how historians of medicine and health choose their methodological approaches and form interpretations from primary sources. They discuss the practices of writing and show how obstacles in the research process can be overcome. Practical examples of source materials, used methods and research challenges give tools to students for carrying out projects independently and help them to understand different possibilities in the field of health history. In this book, history of health includes but is not limited to medical science. Emphasising medical pluralism, it places (public) health in a cultural and social field encompassing official and unofficial practitioners, medical institutions, and patients. Individual case studies highlight themes in Finnish, European, and African history.Book Details
A Guide to Studying the History of Childhood: Multidisciplinary Perspectives and Methods
This edited volume is a handbook of research methodologies for the history of childhood. The history of childhood is a vibrant, multidisciplinary field that incorporates a rich variety of methodological approaches developed in disciplines across the social sciences and humanities, including archaeology, education, ethnology, literature, and history. The volume presents a collection of chapters that engage a range of different research traditions and employ different research material, conceptual tools, and methods of analysis for the historical study of childhood. In doing so, the volume attends to issues specific to the study of children and childhood, such as those related to research ethics and the theoretical complexities of defining ‘the child’ and ‘childhood’. While the central focus is on the history of childhood in Finland, the volume also includes international and transnational cases, contexts, and perspectives.Book Details