Matti Klinge
Humanist of the day

Matti Klinge

Professor Emeritus Matti Klinge is one of Finland’s best known and most prolific historians. His work is also widely recognised abroad. He is an important commentator on cultural affairs and holds many positions of trust in academia. During his time as professor, teaching and supervision of written work were important for him. Klinge has a visual sense of the world, which is apparent in his hobby – painting.

Matti Klinge

Born August 31, 1936, Helsinki.

Master of Arts (ultimus), 1959, Licentiate of Philosophy, 1966 and Doctor of Philosophy, 1967 (history), University of Helsinki;

Awarded “best Master of Arts” degree, 1960, riemumaisteri (An honorary master's title awarded to an individual 50 years after the original degree), 2010

Professor Emeritus of History, University of Helsinki, 2002-
Professor of History, University of Helsinki, 1975–2001
Visiting Professor (Finnish Literature and Culture, Sorbonne, Paris), 1970–72
Research fellow, valtion humanistinen toimikunta (present-day Academy of Finland), 1968–75
Docent, Intellectual History and History of Science, 1968-, University of Helsinki
Researcher, the Student Union of the University of Helsinki, 1960–68

Elector for the Helsinki constituency in the Presidential election, 1982 and 1988
Curator, Mannerheim museum, 1966–69
Kuraattori, the student 'nation’ of Southern Finland,  1963–66, Inspehtori, 1976–86, Honorary Member
Member and President of numerous learned foundations and societies as well as Swedish Academies

Publications, research projects and other academic activity

Honorary Doctor, University of Uppsala, 1989
Honorary Doctor, University of Greifswald, 2006
Commander of the Order of the Lion of Finland, 1980
Commander of the Order of the White Rose of Finland, first class, 2007
Badge of the Presiding Officers (purple ribbon), Student Union of the University of Helsinki, 2001
Commander, Order of the Polar Star of Sweden
L'ordre national de la Légion d'honneur (Chevalier, 1996; Officier, 2015)

Recipient of Dutch, Polish and Russian decorations

Honorary Member, Finnish Historical Society, Finnish Academy of Science and Letters, Swedish Literature Society in Finland and Uppsala division of the Stockholm ‘Nation’

Photo: Laura Malmivaara/Kustannusosakeyhtiö Siltala
Written by Matti Klinge, Kaija Hartikainen (ed.)
Translated by John Calton

Both interest in and the outcome for undergraduates and a great number of graduates and doctors have formed a central aspect of my life, both in terms of normal everyday varsity life and accomplishments celebrated at the 'promootiot', or degree conferment ceremonies.

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For Emeritus Professor Klinge internationalism was a familiar matter from home. “Opening up” to other countries was an absolutely essential trend in the 1950s after the travel restrictions during wartime and the postwar period of austerity.

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In 1968, when I was working part-time as curator of the Mannerheim museum, like many of my younger students nowadays, I published an illustrated life of Mannerheim. Then illustrating other works of history and particularly my own books became an important factor in bringing history to life.

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