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Tuomas Lehtonen

Tuomas Martti Samuel Lehtonen
Born January 8, 1960, Helsinki

Master of Arts (General History) 1987, Licentiate of Philosophy, 1994, and Doctor of Philosophy (History), 1996, University of Helsinki
Docent, European History, 1999, University of Helsinki

Secretary-General, Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seura - Finnish Literature Society, 2004-
Director, 2001– 2004, Renvall Institute, University of Helsinki
Researcher, 1988– 2000
Editorial secretary, 1987– 1988, Tiede & Edistys (‘Science and progress’) journal

Publications, research projects and other academic activities
Research interests: relation between spoken and written cultures, mediaeval history and Roman letters, mediaeval and modern era historiography, rhetoric and poetry.

Photo: Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seura
Written by Tuomas Lehtonen and Riitta-Ilona Hurmerinta
Translated by John Calton

“SKS is a platform”

The Finnish Literature Society (SKS) records and researches Finnish culture. As an academic society it has worked to build Finnish self-understanding since its establishment in 1831, developed the Finnish language and literature and promoted the research and recording of folklore. It is the oldest still existing Finnish publishing house. As a whole, SKS is a unique centre of humanist brainpower, which maintains a central part of the country’s research infrastructure.

– The Finnish Literature Society is a more diverse academic association than anybody could possibly imagine. The vast range of activities only became clear to me when I started working in my present position, says Secretary General Tuomas M. S. Lehtonen.

The SKS archives constitute a unique resource of both oral and literate culture, which is supported by a library open to everyone. The Society is the most important academic publisher in the humanities in Finland and it also produces popularised non-fiction books and commissioned books. Various kinds of events are organised at the SKS premises for free. Anybody can utilise the SKS services and material via the website.

Photo: Gary Wornell.​​
Photo: Gary Wornell.​​

– The global book business can be accessed via FILI, which is a part of our association. The Finnish Literature Society was responsible for the organisation and finances of the theme project at the Frankfurt International Book Fair in 2014.

The research unit founded during Tuomas Lehtonen’s term offers working space for researchers and grants annual scholarships. The research seminars are open to the public.

– As a whole, the Finnish Literature Society is a platform with the task of promoting research on and knowledge of Finnish culture and tradition, both past and present. We set a standard for many other countries, namely in the preservation of folklore as well as our archives and literary exports.

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