Hannu Riikonen
Humanist of the day

Hannu Riikonen

Professor H. K. Riikonen is a humanities researcher for whom narrow specialisation is alien. His research interests extend from ancient traditions to the history of Finnish translations, certain central domestic and foreign writers, and the history of science and learning. He feels his main literary activity is nevertheless his extensive correspondence with colleagues and friends; of this, his correspondence with professor Eero Tarasti during his school and student years from 1961–76 has been published.

Hannu Riikonen

H. K. (Hannu) Riikonen
Born August 3, 1948, Helsinki

Master of Arts (Roman literature) 1970, Licentiate 1972, PhD 1978 (comparative literature), University of Helsinki

Professor of comaparative literature 1997–, University of Helsinki
Acting teaching and research assistant in Roman literature 1971–74, University of Helsinki
Acting assistant professor of literature 1974, University of Jyväskylä
Part-time lecturer in comparative literature, 1974–79, University of Helsinki, Helsinki Summer University
Acting assistant professor of comparative literature 1975, University of Helsinki
Docent in the history of literature 1978–95, University of Helsinki
Acting assistant professor, assistant professor and acting professor of comparative literature 1979–93, University of Turku
Professor of comparative literature and aesthetics 1994–97, University of Helsinki
Head of the Department of Art Studies, 1998–2001, vice-dean of the Faculty of Arts 2007–09, University of Helsinki

Research themes:
Influence of Greek and Roman culture, the history of Finnish translations, the history of science and learning, Pentti Saarikoski, Olavi Paavolainen, James Joyce and Ezra Pound

Publications, research projects and other academic activity

First Class Knight of the White Rose of Finland, badge of merit for 30 years service, Silver Medal of the University of Helsinki
Member of the Finnish Academy of Science and Letters and the Finnish Society of Science and Letters

Written by H. K. Riikonen (Kaija Hartikainen, ed.)
Translated by Matthew Billington

During his career, H.K. Riikonen has also been interested in the history of literary genres. In addition to an English language work on Menippean satire, he has written the short work Mikä on essee? (‘What is an Essay?’), and together with Sari Kivistö the book Satiiri Suomessa (‘Satire in Finland’). Individual authors who have been of special importance to him include James Joyce, Pentti Saarikoski and Olavi Paavolainen.

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I have several literary plans and topics I would still like to tackle, while keeping in mind that many literary scholars have also published comprehensive works in their retirement years.

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