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Hannu Juusola

Hannu Matti Sakari Juusola
Born 10 May, 1963, Rovaniemi

Master of Arts 1993, Doctor of Philosophy 1999 (Semitic Languages and Cultures), University of Helsinki
Docent of Semitic Languages and Cultures 2008-, University of Helsinki

Professor of Semitic Languages and Cultures 2011-, University of Helsinki
Doctoral student at the national research school of Asian and African Studies,1995–1997
Acting Professor of Semitic Languages and Cultures, 2001
University Lecturer in Semitic Languages and Cultures, 2001–2010
Academy of Finland Postdoctoral researcher at Yale University (Department of Religious Studies, Visiting Fellow), January 1 - July 31, 2002.

Director of the Finnish Institute in the Middle East, January 1, 2009 - December 31, 2010.
Visiting Fellow (Department of Middle Eastern Studies, University of California at Berkeley), September 2013.

Publications, research projects and other academic activities

Research interests: Democracy, secularisation and citizenship discourses in the Middle East; the significance of drought in political conflicts in the Middle East; cabbala; orientalism in Finland.

Awards and special achievements
Honorary mention, Society of the Friends of History 2005 (History of Israel)
Honorary mention, The Lauri Jäntti Foundation 2006 (History of Israel)

Foto: Ari Aalto
Written by Hannu Juusola and Riitta-Ilona Hurmerinta (ed.)
Translated by Kaisla Kajava. Revised by John Calton

My best moments at the University of Helsinki

Most of my best memories of the university are from recent years, from when I have had the opportunity to develop the Middle Eastern studies subject in the direction of interdisciplinary area studies, which combines the methods and perspectives of both the humanities and political science.

I am the 31st professor to be appointed to an academic chair founded as one of the first original professorships in 1640. Traditions are a fine thing, but sometimes they can hold back necessary change. It has been exciting and also very challenging to build a new study programme on top of centuries-old traditions. As a renewed subject we are still very young, but I’m confident that there are great things in store.

Another matter close to my heart, which I got to enjoy back when I was the director of the Finnish Institute in the Middle East are the study trips organised to Lebanon, Egypt, Iran, Turkey and elsewhere. It is wonderful to see how the living reality of the area literally enhances students’ motivation to work and learn more.



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