FINLAND

Source: Asia-Pacific studies in Finland, by Tiina Airaksinen, University Lecturer in Asia-Pacific Studies, Asia-Pacific Studies programme University of Helsinki, Finland (2009). See the original text here

 

SHORT HISTORY

The University of Helsinki was founded in 1640 as the Royal Academy of Abo and moved in 1820 to Helsinki. It is the oldest University in Finland. The chair for Professor Linguarum Orientalium was established as soon as 1640.

Asia Pacific studies were inaugurated in 2001 at the Renvall Institute of the University of Helsinki and are more specifically oriented towards East and Southeast Asia.

The University of Turku has been offering courses on East Asia for over forty years. In 2005, a Professorship in Contemporary Chinese History was established within the Department of Contemporary History under the aegis of the Faculty of Social Sciences. Since its founding in 2006, the Centre for East Asian Studies (CEAS) has led and carried out a number of high-profile research projects. Between 2007 and 2009, the Academy of Finland awarded CEAS a 250,000 euro grant for its project on Tianjin and urban governance in China

PRESENT ORGANISATION AND FUNCTIONING

University of Helsinki

http://www.helsinki.fi/hum/renvall/aps/aps_english.html

The main fields studied are: history, societal issues, integration, international relations, development problems and contemporary cultures of the region.

After completing a Bachelor’s degree in Asia Pacific studies, students can continue towards a Master’s degree in East Asian studies. So far three students have completed their BA degrees in Asia Pacific studies.

Different seminars, forums and conferences are regularly organized for students, postgraduate students and postdoctoral scholars.

Institute for Asian and African Studies, East Asian Studies programme

http://www.helsinki.fi/hum/aakkl/english/disciplines/east.html

Founded in 1974, the first professorship in East Asian studies was created in 1987 and became permanent in 1994.

Confucius Institute

http://www.helsinki.fi/hum/confucius/index.html

Established in 2006, organizes languages and culture courses related to China.

University of Turku

http://aasia.utu.fi/en/

University of Oulu

Concentrates on Japanese studies.

Open University

FIELDS STUDIED

University of Helsinki

There are courses on history, politics, economics, anthropology and arts. The different research fields are: Modern Asian history, Asian-Western identities and interaction, Asian-Western intercultural encounters.

Modern Asian Studies in general include history, economic development and political issues.

Institute for Asian and African Studies, East Asian Studies programme

The two principle directions of research are: Classical East Asian Studies (classical languages, literatures, philosophies and fine arts and Modern East Asian Studies (modern history, economic development, socio-political issues).

Due to the limited resources of these lines of research in Finland, students specializing in more specific topics are advised to search for contacts and supervision abroad.

Teaching and research languages: Japanese, Korean, Chinese, English, Finnish, Cantonese ad Vietnamese.

University of Turku

Research areas:

  • Environmental issues and urban development in East Asia
  • Legal system and human rights in China
  • Social movements and protests in China and Japan
  • Taiwanese contemporary politics
  • Chinese labour migration
  • Chinese foreign relations

University of Oulu

Research areas:

  • American occupation in Japan
  • Missionary work in Japan
  • Japanese national identity
  • Image of Japan in the West

STAFF

University of Helsinki

1-2 researchers and around 5-6 part time teachers.

Languages of teaching and research: English, Finnish and Swedish.

Institute for Asian and African Studies, East Asian Studies programme

There are two professors, three lecturers, one assistant and several special readers and part-time teachers.

About 16 Bachelors of Arts, 19 Masters of Arts and 3 Doctors of Philosophy graduate yearly from the Institute. Students can work as teachers, translators, researchers or international administrators.

University of Oulu

3 PhD thesis, 4 Licentiates and over 20 MA thesis.

PUBLICATIONS

In English:

  •  Leena Avonius, Damien Kingsbury (eds.): Human rights in Asia. A reassessment of the Asian values debate, Palgrave Macmillan, 2008.
  • TiinaH. Airaksinen: Love your country on Nanjing road: the British and the may fourth movement I Shanghai. Renvall Institute Publications; 19. University of Helsinki, 2005.
  • Raisa Asikainen (toim.): Perspectives on China. Papers from the Nordic association for China studies conference at the University of Helsinki, June 7-9 2005. Renvall Institute Publications; 21. University of Helsinki.
  • Olavi K. Fält, Fascism, Militarism or Japanism? The interpretation of the crisis years of 1930-1941 in the Japanese English-language press. (1985)
  • The Clash of Interests. The transformation of Japan in 1861-1881 in the eyes of the local Anglo-Saxon press. (1990)
  • Henry Oinas-Kukkonen, Tolerence, Suspicion and Hostility. Changing U.S. Attitudes toward the Japanese Communist Movement, 1944-1947. (2003)
  • Seija Jalagin (ed.), Japan – Reflections on the Eastern Mind. (1998)

In Finish:

  • Raisa Asikainen, Teemu Naarajärvi, Juha Vuori (eds.): Pekingin kevät 1989. Tiananmen ja kiinalaisen aktivismin rajat, (Spring in Pekin 1989: Tiananmen and limits of Chinese activism), Gaudeamus 2005.
  • Raisa Asikainen, Juha Vuori (eds.): Kiinan yhteiskunta muutoksessa, (Chinese society in transition), Gaudeamus 2005.

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