Teemu Keskisarja
Humanist of the day

Teemu Keskisarja

Teemu Keskisarja researches some of the darkest recesses of the Finnish soul. His research subjects range from mediaeval sexual crimes to twentieth-century wars and economic boom and bust. His wish is that his work would be preserved in the memories of the coming generations.

Teemu Keskisarja

Teemu Keskisarja
Born August 5, 1971, Helsinki.

Master of Philosophy, 2003, Doctor of Philosophy (Finnish History), University of Helsinki
Docent, Finnish and Nordic History

Historian, 2004-

Commissioned work (Paloheimo Ltd, Serlachius Art Foundation, Nordea bank, Metsäliitto forestry organisation, HOK-Elanto co-operative)

Research interests
Sex, violence, the economy, wars

Publications, research projects and other research activities

Awards and special achievements
Tieto-Finlandia 2013, shortlisted for Viipuri 1918
Urho Kaleva Kekkonen’s 70-year foundation Prize 2013 for Raaka tie Raatteeseen (‘The bloody road to Raatte’) and Erehtymättömät (‘The infallible ones’)
WSOY foundation literary award 2013
Kainuu literary prize 2013 for Raaka tie Raatteeseen
Kanava Prize shortlisted 2013 [with Markku Kuisma] for Erehtymättömät
State Award for Public Information ( 2010 for Vihreän kullan kirous (’The curse of green gold’)
Historian Ystäväin Liitto ('Association of friends of history') history book of the year prize 2010 for Vihreän kullan kirous
Lauri Jäntti Foundation prize, honourable mention 2010 for Vihreän kullan kirous
P. E. Svinhufvud Foundation prize 2009 for Vihreän kullan kirous
Historian Ystäväin Liitto ('Association of friends of history') history book of the year prize, honourable mention 2007 for Afäärifennomaanit (’The Fennoman affair’)

Photo: Siltala / Hanna Weselius
Written by Teemu Keskisarja and Kaija Hartikainen (ed.)
Translated by John Calton

Teemu Keskisarja is one of Finland’s most read, most liked and most bollocked historians. Writing in lucid Finnish and structuring history through the narrative discipline of the novel form, Keskisarja is interested in reaching a readership beyond academic cliques.

His slogan is worth restating: “The antithesis of general understanding is…

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I got into the University of Helsinki at the tender age of thirty something. Whether by luck or a twist of fate, it was with the lowest possible score on the entrance examination. And later on I got lucky too. As I was on the verge of graduating for some…

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I haven’t got involved in University administration in any way, shape or form. Much of this saving of daylight hours can be put down to my productivity as a writer. I engage with the public by giving something like fifty presentations a year, in libraries and local history associations around…

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My books have been bought and read to some degree, but I’m still waiting for the big break. I dream of producing the kind of work that in some way or other has an influence on tens of thousands of Finns and the way they see the world, and one…

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