Henrik Meinander
Humanist of the day

Henrik Meinander

Henrik Meinander’s study path has been exceptionally short, at least in a geographical sense. He matriculated at the Swedish Normal Lyceum (Unioninkatu 2), studied, researched and completed his PhD at the University of Helsinki (Unioninkatu 34 and 36), and from 2001 he has worked as professor of history (Swedish language programme) at the same university (Unioninkatu 38). Away from Unioninkatu, Professor Meinander has energetically worked for the benefit of students and actively participated in academic societies both at home and abroad.

Henrik Meinander

Carl Henrik Meinander
Born May 19, 1960, Helsinki

PhD 1994 (Finnish and Scandinavian history), University of Helsinki
Master of Letters 1991 (Pedagogics) University of Glasgow
Master of Arts 1987 (Finnish and Scandinavian history), University of Helsinki

Director of research, researcher 2015–, Driving Forces of Democracy research programme, University of Helsinki, (Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation)
Professor of History 2001–, University of Helsinki

Vice-dean of the Faculty of Arts 2010–13, University of Helsinki
Project researcher 2008–10, Swedish Cultural Foundation in Finland
Head of the Department of History 2004–06, University of Helsinki
Senior research fellow 2007–08, Academy of Finland
Acting associate professor of the history of science and learning 1997–98, University of Helsinki
Intendant 1991–97, Mannerheim Museum
Research associate in history 1991–97, 1998–99, University of Helsinki
PhD student, Academy of Finland 1988–89, Ministry of Education 1990
Part-time history teacher 1986–87, Mattlidens gymnasium

Research themes:
Right-wing radicalism, the history of sport, the history of science and learning, historiography, military history, the social history of ideologies, Swedishness in Finland, the history of security policy, the driving forces of democracy

Publications, research projects and other academic activity

Awards and honours:

Årets Nors 2010 (annual prize awarded to former students of the Helsinki Normal Lyceum)

Swedish-Finnish Cultural Foundation prize for academic research 2008

The Swedish Academy’s Finland Prize 2007

Oskar Öflund Foundation prize 2002

Photo: Julia von Boguslawski
Written by Henrik Meinander (Tomas Sjöblom, ed.)

Translated by Matthew Billington

A central perspective in the research of Dr Henrik Meinander has always been the social history of ideas. He has seldom been interested in ideas as such, as their emergence, significance and influence are informed by their historical contexts and motives. This was already his perspective in his master's thesis and doctoral dissertation.

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Unioninkatu (‘Union Street’) in Helsinki has always been a central space for me. I have walked up and down it practically every day since I first opened the door of the Swedish Normal Lyceum in 1971. It was down the same street that I walked as an undergraduate, and when the Faculty of Arts moved to Topelia, Unioninkatu 38, I was one of those who received a desk in the building.

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The highest offices Dr Henrik Meinander has held at the University and in academia have been his terms as Head of the Department of History (2004–2006) and Vice-dean of the Faculty of Arts (2010–2013), his membership on the board and the research council of the Society of Swedish Literature in Finland (SLS) (1998–) and the Finnish Society of Sciences and Letters (2003–), as well as his post as Inspector (supervisor) of the student nation Nylands Nation vid Helsingfors universitet (2010–).

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