Pirkko Koski
Humanist of the day

Pirkko Koski

Pirkko Koski has had an extensive career in theatre studies. Nor has she rested on her laurels since retiring. Koski continues with her research, attends conferences and stays in touch with her fellow researchers. As professor of Theatre Studies in the University of Helsinki, Pirkko Koski did much to strengthen the subject’s international contacts.

Pirkko Koski

Pirkko Kaarina Mirjami Koski
Born 22 December, 1941, Rural Municipality of Jyväskylä.

Librarianship qualification, 1963, University of Tampere.
Master of Political Science, 1964 (Literary History) and Master of Philosophy, 1980 (Comparative Literature, specialising in drama), University of Tampere.
Licentiate of Philosophy, 1989 (Comparative Literature, Drama), University of Turku.
Doctor of Philosophy (Theatre Studies) 1992, University of Helsinki.

Docent and Emerita 2008-, University of Helsinki.
Docent, School of Arts and Design 1998–2007.

Associate professor of Theatre Studies and Drama (fixed term) 1989–95, associate professor 1995–98 and professor 1998–2007, University of Helsinki.

Until 1979 librarian and research assistant for various employers; Acting director, Finnish Federation of Theatre Companies (3 years), 1977–84; Director, Theatre Museum 1981–88; theatre critic for Demari newspaper 1979–91

Publications, research projects and other academic activities
Research interests: Finnish theatre and theatre history, performance research and analysis, theatre and society

Awards and special achievements
Finnish Performing Arts, Gold Medal, 2001
First Class Knight of the White Rose of Finland, 2002

Written by Pirkko Koski and Riitta-Ilona Hurmerinta (ed.)
Translated by John Calton

When I arrived at the University of Helsinki in the 1980s, theatre research was changing rapidly all over the world, and in order to keep up we needed to strengthen its foundation in Finland. University professors need to follow both domestic and international research, but they also need to be…

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In the broader field of the arts, theatre research is a small area of study, but nevertheless there would be so many interesting things to study that it is a struggle to stay within sensible limits. At present, few researchers are studying theatre. Areas overlap in one way or another…

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Theatre researchers have regularly organised train seminars which serve the combined function of seeing theatre outside the greater Helsinki area, doing group work focused on a specific theme, and keeping costs as low as possible. The department could not really afford study trips, but we used to reserve space in…

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