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Mauri Ylä-Kotola

Mauri Tapani Ylä-Kotola
Born September 18, 1971, Mikkeli

Master of Arts 1996, Licentiate 1996 PhD 1998 (theoretical philosophy), University of Helsinki

Rector, University of Lapland 2006–
Rector, 2006–06, Academy of Fine Arts
Dean, 1999–05, University of Lapland Faculty of Art
Professor of media science 1997–, University of Lapland Faculty of Art (leave of absence 2005–)
Lecturer in art and media and communications studies 1996–97, University of Lapland

Positions of responsibility:
Board member 1999–2003, European Master in Multimedia and Audiovisual Business Administration (EMMABA)
Vice-chairman 2005–, European Institute for a Sustainable Information Society
Board member, 2003–, CITI Media Lab, New University of Lisbon
Chairman of the Lapland Regional fund 2007–13, Finnish Cultural Foundation
Chairman 2007–13, FinELib, National Digital Library
Chairman 2008–11, European Master in Art and Culture Management (EMACIM)
Chairman 2009–12, Lapin Elämystuotanto Osakeyhtiö
Chairman 2010–, Särestöniemi Museum Foundation
Board member 2010–, Seppo Säynäjäkankaan tiedesäätiö (science foundation)
Vice-chairman 2012–, The Fine Arts Academy of Finland
Board member 2013–, Lapinmaan kiinteistöyhtiö
Chairman 2013–, Rovalan setlementti (local settlement )
Chairman 2013–, Rovalan Kiinteistöyhtiö

Selected publications:
Mitä on mediatiede? (‘What is media science?’), University of Lapland 1999.
Mediakasvatus simulaatiokulttuurissa (’Media education in a simulation culture,’ together with Juha Suoranta) WSOY 2000
The Integrated Media Machine I–IV (published as a tetralogy) EDITA 2000–2004
“Morphological Idealism, Kant and Historical Senses”, in I. Kant and M. Bakhtin: Perpetual Peace and Dialogue. Murmansk State Humanities University 2014.

Selected work of art:
The radio opera Takaisin Xanaduun (‘Return to Xanadu’ together with Hannu Puttonen), Radio Theatre, Finnish Broadcasting Company (YLE)

Honorary PhD, Urbana University (Ohio, USA)
Honorary professor, University of Murmansk, 2009 (Russian Federation)

Photo: Arto Litti
Written by Olli Siitonen

Translated by Matthew Billington

Rector in Lapland

Professor Mauri Ylä-Kotola has been living in the city of Rovaniemi for close to twenty years. His first post at the university was that of an adjunct teacher in 1995, and he moved to Lapland after being appointed lecturer in 1997.

“Now I live in the very centre of Rovaniemi, in a listed building called Lapinmaa House, a sometime “nest of communists.” Lapland represents a wide open space for thinking. In contrast, I see Helsinki as differently organised, differently market-oriented, and differently class conscious.

Photo: Ilkka Ruuska.

Professor Ylä-Kotola visits Helsinki practically every week. In addition to his duties as rector, he is involved in the preliminary examination of dissertations and the reviewing of lectureship applications on media related subjects. His work also takes him all over the world.

“The University of Lapland is part of the UArctic network of arctic universities, consisting of universities and research stations all over the northern hemisphere. Contacts with Russia are vital, and one of my tasks is to give annual lectures at the University of Murmansk as one of their honorary professors.

Professor Ylä-Kotola, a champion of interdisciplinarity, points out that our current scientific paradigm, with its divisions into faculties, is ultimately a human construct. He sits on the Board of the International Centre for Reindeer Husbandry.

“This organisation aims to change the traditional Faculty structure. Traditional Saami knowledge could be integrated into reindeer research and instruction from a perspective that combines linguistics, physiology, and cultural studies.”

In respect to indigenous peoples, Professor Ylä-Kotola is especially interested in the concept of tacit knowledge.

“Tacit knowledge can be found elsewhere too, and it shouldn't lead you to give your subject some mystical aura. In some ways, the traditional knowledge of reindeer herders can be compared to the know-how of a master builder.”

Photo: Arto Liiti.


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