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Matti Klinge

Born August 31, 1936, Helsinki.

Master of Arts (ultimus), 1959, Licentiate of Philosophy, 1966 and Doctor of Philosophy, 1967 (history), University of Helsinki;

Awarded “best Master of Arts” degree, 1960, riemumaisteri (An honorary master's title awarded to an individual 50 years after the original degree), 2010

Professor Emeritus of History, University of Helsinki, 2002-
Professor of History, University of Helsinki, 1975–2001
Visiting Professor (Finnish Literature and Culture, Sorbonne, Paris), 1970–72
Research fellow, valtion humanistinen toimikunta (present-day Academy of Finland), 1968–75
Docent, Intellectual History and History of Science, 1968-, University of Helsinki
Researcher, the Student Union of the University of Helsinki, 1960–68

Elector for the Helsinki constituency in the Presidential election, 1982 and 1988
Curator, Mannerheim museum, 1966–69
Kuraattori, the student 'nation’ of Southern Finland,  1963–66, Inspehtori, 1976–86, Honorary Member
Member and President of numerous learned foundations and societies as well as Swedish Academies

Publications, research projects and other academic activity

Honorary Doctor, University of Uppsala, 1989
Honorary Doctor, University of Greifswald, 2006
Commander of the Order of the Lion of Finland, 1980
Commander of the Order of the White Rose of Finland, first class, 2007
Badge of the Presiding Officers (purple ribbon), Student Union of the University of Helsinki, 2001
Commander, Order of the Polar Star of Sweden
L'ordre national de la Légion d'honneur (Chevalier, 1996; Officier, 2015)

Recipient of Dutch, Polish and Russian decorations

Honorary Member, Finnish Historical Society, Finnish Academy of Science and Letters, Swedish Literature Society in Finland and Uppsala division of the Stockholm ‘Nation’

Photo: Laura Malmivaara/Kustannusosakeyhtiö Siltala
Written by Matti Klinge, Kaija Hartikainen (ed.)
Translated by John Calton

Travelling, and At Home

For Emeritus Professor Klinge internationalism was a familiar matter from home. “Opening up” to other countries was an absolutely essential trend in the 1950s after the travel restrictions during wartime and the postwar period of austerity. This was evident in literature, films, in fact just about everywhere, at least in Helsinki.

“When I began my studies in the University of Helsinki in 1954, I joined with international connections the active 'Eteläsuomalainen osakunta' student nation. Later I became a board member of the Student Union a chairman of the international affairs committee. As representative of the nation and the Student Union I made very visits abroad, not only to Denmark but also with the student organisation Kronos to the Soviet Union in 1957, at the point that it was just opening up to tourism.

In the 1960s Klinge’s journeys concentrated on Northern Europe. In 1970 he was chosen for a two-year appointment as visiting professor of Finnish Literature and Culture.

“After the years in Paris there followed a constant round of representing Finland all over Europe as well as membership of many international committees, which to some degree continues. I have been spent less time outside Europe in a representative capacity, to places like China, the United States of America and Morocco.

Klinge has hosted a great many foreign visitors in Finland. A great many university colleagues and diplomats have sat around the dinner table in his home and many international journalists have gone to him for an interview.

“Internationalism permeates all my research and teaching; I read on a daily basis books and magazines in French, Swedish, German and English.

Celebrating Professor Hannu Riikonen's 60th birthday. Photo: Mika Federley.​
Celebrating Professor Hannu Riikonen's 60th birthday. Photo: Mika Federley.​


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