Panu Pulma
Humanist of the day

Panu Pulma

As a history scholar, Panu Pulma has turned his hand to many topics. He began his work on projects at the Academy of Finland, but has since made his living with specific commissioned research, such as a history of child welfare in Finland (1987), the history of Kajaani city (1994), and in 2000 a work which focused on social problems in post-war Helsinki. His research focuses on the history of social, urban and minority issues between 1700 and 2000. This broad range of research has helped Pulma in his teaching, which he has done at university level since 1982.

Panu Pulma

Panu Tapio Pulma
2 October 1952, Kajaani, Finland

Master of Arts 1980
Doctor of Philosophy 1985 (Finnish and Scandinavian History)
Docent in Finnish and Scandinavian History (University of Helsinki) 1986

Assistant, Associate Professor, and acting Professor (University of Helsinki and University of Joensuu) 19822015
Historical researcher, Kajaani City, 1987–1992
Senior researcher, Academy of Finland, 1997–2000
Academy Research Fellow, Academy of Finland, 2001
University lecturer in Finnish and Nordic History 2001-
Project Manager, Academy of Finland, 1988–91 and 2010–2013

Publications, research projects and other scientific activities

Research interests: Poverty, child welfare and social policy history, family history, urban history, history of minorities

Awards and special achievements
Väinö Voionmaa Award for best local historical research 1996: Pikkukaupungin unelmia. Kajaani 1907-1977 (‘Small town dreams: Kajaani 1907-77’), co-author Oiva Turpeinen
State Award for Public Information 2013: Suomen romanien historia (‘The history of Finnish Roma’), co-authored with a research group
Gunnar Mickwitz Prize for work on Nordic history 2013

Written by Panu Pulma and Riitta-Ilona Hurmerinta (ed.)
Translated by Joe McVeigh and John Calton. Revised by John Calton.

With experience in activism as a teenager and in being politically active as a student, I seemed natural to get involved in the places where things were being decided. The old history department developed a very strong tradition of co-operation, and I was involved in various study committees, planning groups, and, when the administration was reformed in the 1990s, the departmental steering committee and the faculty council.

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In all the years I’ve been working in the University, the best thing to have happened to me is the chance I’ve had to work with some top-rate scholars, and yes, strong personalities! Eino Jutikkala, Yrjö Blomstedt, Matti Vikari, Matti Klinge, Heikki Ylikangas, to name but a few. I have the deepest respect for these paragons, as well as the right to disagree - not always an easy circle to square. But what an unbeatable school for thought!

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I dream of retiring. I intend to concentrate on reading those books that I simply haven’t had time to get round to. I’d like to learn to play the piano and prepare food.

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