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Markku Henriksson

Markku Ilmari Henriksson
Born September 4, 1949, Helsinki

Bachelor of Social Sciences, Master of Social Sciences (political history) 1973, Licentiate 1985, PhD 1988, University of Helsinki

Professor of American studies, University of Helsinki, Renvall Institute (now the Department of World Cultures), acting professor 1996–99 and professor 1999–2004
History lecturer 1990–99, Department of History, University of Tampere
Deputy director 1990–92, Revall Institute, University of Helsinki
Research assistant of non-European history (for several separate periods) 1975–90, Institute for Historical Research and Documentation (later the Renvall Institute)

Publication activities

Awards and honours
D.Litt. (hon), York University, Toronto, 1995
First Class Knight of the White Rose of Finland 2004
Honorary member of the Western History Association (the first outside the US)
American Indian History Lifetime Achievement Award 2013 (the first and to date the only outside North America)
University of Helsinki Badge of Honour for long service 2013
University of Helsinki medal 2014
The International Council for Canadian Studies Certificate of Merit, 2014

Written by Olli Siitonen
Translated by Matthew Billington

Social Scientist in Humanities robes

Markku Henriksson earned his PhD at the Faculty of Social Sciences and has spent half his career at the Renvall Institute, which operated under the Faculty of Arts. At the beginning of his studies he already wanted to achieve an understanding of the world that was as comprehensive as possible.

“My goal was to complete the basic studies of all ten of the subjects taught at the Faculty of Social Sciences. I came relatively close, managing eight.”

To Henriksson, science is a coherent whole. Natural sciences create a foundation for a worldview, which then gains its substance from the social sciences, which focus on culture. The self-described social scientist does not shy away from being associated with the humanities.

“When I was a student, we used to joke that the only thing that separated the history taught at the Faculty of Arts from the political history taught at the Faculty of Social Sciences was a street named Vuorikatu.”

Today both of the departments of history are located on Unioninkatu, but in the 1970s they were on the opposite sides of Vuorikatu.

Topelia. Photo by Mika Federley


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