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Pirjo Lyytikäinen

Pirjo Riitta Lyytikäinen
Born October 10, 1953 Helsinki

Master of Philosophy 1986 and Doctor of Philosophy 1992 (Finnish Literature), University of Helsinki; Professor of Finnish Literature 1998- (University of Helsinki); Researcher, University of Helsinki 1987-90 (Kone Foundation grantholder), Assistant 1990-93 (University of Helsinki), Senior Researcher 1994-98 (Academy of Finland)

Publications, research projects and other academic activities

Research interests:  Early modernist periods in Finnish literature, concentrating on turn of the century symbolism and decadence through to the modernism of the 1930s; international  influences on Finnish literature; literary genres and issues of allegory; allegorical nature fantasies, from Alexis Kivi’s romance to contemporary fiction and their relationship to international literary traditions; recent research concerns: literature and emotions.

Prize for non-fiction, Finnish Association of Non-fiction Writers 2014.

Written by Pirjo Lyytikäinen
Translated by John Calton, Kaisla Kajava and Johanna Spoof. Revised by John Calton

For the good of Finnish literature

The work of a scholar and teacher of Finnish literature also involves being active in organisations which promote literature and the production, distribution and recording of knowledge about literature. In addition to the Finnish Literary Research Society , the Finnish Literature Society is another important organisation in this respect.

Pirjo Lyytikäinen has worked as editor-in-chief of the yearbook of the Finnish Literary Research Society. She has also been a member of the board, the president of the society as well as the editor of its yearbooks and a referee for the academic journal Avain. At the Finnish Literature Society, she has been actively involved in many positions of trust, in recent years, notably at the Literary Council. She is one of the long-standing writers within the Finnish Literature Society publishing house. All of her monographs have been published by the Society, for which she has also edited many books and reviewed drafts.

Lyytikäinen’s international activities include participation in the worldwide comparative literature organisation International Comparative Literature Association (ICLA). She is currently collaborating in the Association’s literary history project The History of Nordic Literary Cultures, which aims to map out the features of these cultures. She has also been a member of the Association’s executive council.

Professor Lyytikäinen also lectures and teaches abroad, having for example taught Finnish literature at various German universities. She has given many guest lectures, dealing with Finnish and Scandinavian literature.

As head of the Finnish Doctoral Programme for Literary Studies in the years 2007-13, Lyytikäinen participated in international teaching, creating contacts at the universities of Bergamo, Stockholm, Giessen and Lisbon, as well as at other European universities through the HERMES network. She has just given a ‘master class’ at the summer school organised by the Lisbon Consortium in 2014.

In addition to various academic reviewing duties (with the Finnish Academy and various foundations), Lyytikäinen has also considered applications for writing burseries at the Alfred Kordelin Foundation.

Halden, Norway June 2014. From the left: Anna Gural-Migdal, Melanie Hawthorne, Riikka Rossi, Julia Przybos ja Pirjo Lyytikäinen. Kuva: Melanie Hawthorne.​​


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