100 Years of Finnish Studies at the University of Greifswald

Prof. Dr. Kaisa Häkkinen, ©Laura Schirrmeister, 2021
Prof. Dr. Kaisa Häkkinen, ©Laura Schirrmeister, 2021
Prof. Dr. Kaisa Häkkinen signs the University's Book of Honour, ©Laura Schirrmeister, 2021
Prof. Dr. Kaisa Häkkinen signs the University's Book of Honour, ©Laura Schirrmeister, 2021

The event taking place in the University’s Aula will be broadcast via live stream.

The first Teaching Unit for the Finnish Language in Germany was established at the University of Greifswald in 1921. This was followed in 1976 by the creation of the first German Chair of Finnish Studies. However, Greifswald’s pioneering role in the field of Finnish Studies was established much earlier on. This is thanks, above all, to Greifswald’s historian Friedrich Rüh, who was the first person to compose an encompassing work on Finnish History. With its Chair of Finnish Studies [de], the University of Greifswald is one of today’s most important centres for the study of the Finnish language and culture outside of Finland.

By awarding this honorary title to Prof. Dr. Kaisa Häkkinen, the University of Greifswald is honouring a long-term collaboration partner with an outstanding international reputation. Her key fields of research in historical morphology and phonetics, the external history of language, etymology, lexicology and science history are generally recognised as belonging to the core of Finland’s so-called national sciences. Thanks to a broad international network and publications in several languages, of which an impressive amount is available in German, Prof. Dr. Kaisa Häkkinen has played a decisive role in the internationalisation of the fields of research that she represents. In particular, by acknowledging research performed by foreign scholars in the field of Finnish studies and providing structural and ideational support to young foreign researchers, she has fostered the development of a productive international research community.

Excellent and significant representatives of the subject area today come from countries such as Germany, the Netherlands, Japan and many others. Prof. Häkkinen’s support for a broad and extensive reception of research from foreign scholars in the field of Finnish studies scholars must be recognised as one of her greatest achievements. She helped to make research from Greifswald on lexical purism in the Finnish language (avoidance of the use of foreign words), on the old Germanic-Finnish loanwords and Low German loanwords in the Finnish language gain the status of standard works. The new honorary doctor of the University of Greifswald was awarded Finland’s highest academic honorary title, Tieteen Akateemikko, by the Finnish President in December 2020.

In addition to the intensive and successful collaboration with Finnish academics in various research areas, Greifswald’s Chair of Finnish Studies also plays an important role in bringing together individuals and combining the research potential in the field of Finnish studies outside Finland. For example, it was one of the initiators of the international research network FI-DACH, founded in 2019, which consolidates and advances research into the mutual cultural relationships between Finland and the German-speaking countries (Germany, Austria and Switzerland). The concept of bringing together expertise is further underlined by the International Autumn School for Finnish Studies Abroad for master's and doctoral students and the workshop for teachers of Finnish in the German-speaking world, which are taking place in Greifswald as part of the programme to mark the 100th anniversary.


Further Information

https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fennistik_Greifswald [de]


Contact at the University of Greifswald

Prof. Dr. Marko Pantermöller
Department of Finnish and Scandinavian Studies
Chair of Finnish Studies
Ernst-Lohmeyer-Platz 3, 17489 Greifswald
Tel.: +49 3834 420 3611

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