Tomi Huttunen
Humanist of the day

Tomi Huttunen

It was thanks to Dostoyevsky and Russian rock music that Tomi Huttunen, Professor of Russian literature and culture, found his field. He sometimes envies himself for being able to read Russian books and talk about them for a living.

Tomi Huttunen

Born Februrary 4, 1971, Kuusankoski

Master of Arts 1997, Licentiate 1999, PhD 2007 (Russian language and literature), University of Helsinki
Docent in Russian literature and culture 2010–, University of Helsinki

Professor of Russian literature and culture 2014–, University of Helsinki
Acting professor of Russian literature 2012–2014, acting lecturer 2011–2012 and postdoctoral researcher 2008–2010, University of Helsinki
Coordinator 2003–2007, Academy of Finland research project: Pietari/Leningrad: kertomus – historia – nykyisyys (‘St Petersburg / Leningrad: the story – the history – the present’)
Editor 2002–2012, the journal Idäntutkimus (‘East Studies’)
Doctoral student, 1997–2002, Alexanteri Institute and University of Helsinki

Publications, research projects and other academic activity

Research themes:
The Russian avant-garde, Russian Imaginism (Anatoly Marienhof), montage in Russian culture (cultural semiotics), Russian post-modernism (Lev Rubinstein), Russian rock music and poetry

Research projects:
Autogenetic Russian Avantgarde (Kone Foundation, 2013–2015) and Mötet mellan den ryska och den finlandssvenska modernismen (The Swedish Cultural Foundation in Finland, 2015–2017)

Awards and special achievements:
National Library of Finland Customer of the Year 2014

Finnish Academy of Science and Letters scholarship for an outstanding doctoral dissertation 2008
Society of Finnish Slavists MA Thesis Award 1997
University of Helsinki Alumni Association student prize 1996

Tomi Huttunen’s motto: “The University of Helsinki is better as a band than a brand. If we play well together, we can make some hits.”

Photo: Kirill Reznik
Written by Tomi Huttunen (Riitta-llona Hurmerinta ed.)
Translated by Matthew Billington

The Autogenetic Russian Avantgarde project studies Russian avant-garde literature and culture, which began as a rebellion and went on to win global fame. The project analyses the tendency of the Russian avant-garde to declare itself part of nothing, independent, wholly unanticipated – autogenetic.

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The theme for the 2015 Helsinki Book Fair is Russian literature and culture. The theme was established in late 2014, to mixed reactions. In the current political climate, with the crisis in Ukraine close to becoming open war, sanctions were considered, and the wisdom of showcasing Russian literature and culture at the book fair was questioned. Will the authors bring with them a flood of Russian propaganda?

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