Liisa Savunen
Humanist of the day

Liisa Savunen

Liisa Savunen studied history and wrote her doctoral dissertation on the history of the classical period. Nevertheless, her career led her not into research but into academic administration, science and higher education policy, and cultural activity. In administration, a rounded education in the humanities has many benefits.

Liisa Savunen

Liisa Kristiina Savunen
Born November 3, 1960, Helsinki

Master of Arts 1989 and licentiate 1992 (general history), PhD 1997 (classical philology), University of HelsinkiDocent in general history, particularly women’s history, 2005–, University of Tampere

Director of the Culture and Society Research Unit 2014–, Academy of Finland
President/ executive director 2006–14, Universities of Finland UNIFI
President/ unit director 2000–06, Academy of Finland
Senior researcher 1997–2000, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health
Project researcher 1993–96, University of Helsinki

Board member 2013–, and chairman 2014–, The Finnish Cultural and Academic Institutes
Board member 2006–, and vice-chairman 2010–, Institutum Romanum Finlandiae Foundation


Two monographs, numerous academic articles and presentations at national and international academic seminars and conferences in the field of classical social history and women’s history.
In addition, co-authored reports of numerous administrative working groups.

Photo: Suomen Akatemia, Anita Westerback
Written by Liisa Savunen (Riitta-Ilona Hurmerinta, ed.)
Translated by Matthew Billington

I managed to enter the University of Helsinki through the infamous revolving doors and after my doctoral dissertation I tried to exit the University and the world of research into an administrative career. I did have a research career as an alternative, but in the mid-1990s funding for research was…

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