History of Society: Re-thinking Finland 1400-2000
History is a crucial element of identity everywhere and is constantly invoked as an influential argument in discussions on social and political issues. The more global the world becomes, the greater is the risk of canonizing the past in a limited "national" (or similar) perspective. It is the task of academic research to point out the critical nature of historical knowledge. The best way to do that is to rethink the basics of our historical understanding, both paradigms and empirical generalisations.
The CoE studies the history of Finland from the late middle ages (1400) to present day (2000) or more precisely: what is the history of Finland. For us it is a history of an imagined nation, a critical approach to long a process, formations, interactions, structures, communities and identities, which later become known as the history of Finland. The history of society aims to write the structural history of power, everyday life and perceptions. From a historiographic point of view the major result will be a new reconstruction of the factors which created "Finland". The Centre of Excellence brings together three departments in the field of long-term history at the universities of Tampere, Jyväskylä and Åbo Akademi (Turku).