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Laura Hirvi

Born July 16, 1980, Mannheim, Germany

Bachelor of Arts (ethnology) 2004, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany
Master of Arts (ethnology) 2007, University of Jyväskylä
PhD (ethnology) 2013, University of Jyväskylä

Director of the Finnish Institute in Germany, 2015–
Part-time German teacher 2006–08, University of Jyväskylä and City of Jyväskylä
Project worker 2005, Theatre Info Finland
English teacher 2003-04, Carmel English School & Aukland House School, India
Project worker 2002, national poetry archive of the Finnish Literature Society
Assistant 2001–03, Gleis Lutz, Berlin

Numerous literary and general translations over a period of 10 years, including German translations of Terhi Rannela’s novel Taivaan tuuliin and Leea Klemola’s play Kokkola

Vice-chairwoman 2014, ASLA-Fulbright Alumni Association Board
Website and email administrator of ‘Sikhs in Europe’ 2012–
Book review editor 2009–11, Finnish Journal of Ethnicity and Migration
Board member (responsible for international affairs) 2009–10, Helan tutjijat ry (an association of doctoral students and research doctors at the Department of History and Ethnology, University of Jyväskylä)

Written by Laura Hirvi (Riitta-Ilona Hurmerinta ed.)
Translated by Matthew Billington

My best memory from the University of Helsinki

I well remember the first time I walked past the University of Helsinki Department of Ethnology. It was a sunny summer's day and I think the year was 2003. I walked past Helsinki Cathedral and went on up Unioninkatu. There I saw the gate and beyond it the courtyard shared by ethnology and history students among others. Then I thought how fine it must be to study in a place like that.

From Unioninkatu to the entrance of Topelia. Photo: Mika Federley.

It took about ten years, but after a few twists and turns I wound up in that courtyard myself in the end. Although not as student but as a post-doc researcher. Alongside my research I also worked as a teacher until I assumed my position as Director of the Finnish Institute in Germany in January 2015. I well remember that courtyard where the paths of colleagues, students, and friends often meet.

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