The world is becoming more and more global, and encounters between different people, languages and cultures are part of everyday life. These encounters emphasise verbal and cultural interaction and the need to understand difference.
An interpreter of languages and cultures
Empires shape human societies, with legacies that last longer than the regimes themselves. The Centre of Excellence in Ancient Near Eastern Empires investigates how, within the context of the Near East in the first millennium BCE, such changing imperial dynamics impact social group identities and lifeways.
The Helsinki Area & Language Studies initiative brings together linguistics specializing in various languages from all over the world, and produces in-depth knowledge concerning other cultures for the benefit of Finnish society. In Indigenous Studies, researchers turn their gaze towards the margins, focusing on indigenous peoples’ knowledge and notions of cultures, languages, identity, history and the significance of indigenous peoples. The University of Helsinki Environmental Humanities Hub studies the multifaceted cultural and relational dimensions of anthropogenic environmental change, which is one of the most pressing challenges that humanity currently faces.
The up-to-date and precise linguistic and cultural knowledge can help in the solving of global problems related to the environment, climate change and well-being, and will benefit trade, tourism and immigrant integration.
Russia can be understood
There is no economics without politics and no politics without culture: the key to understanding Russia is a deep understanding of its culture. Finland is a superpower in the field of Russian studies, and Faculty of Arts’ Aleksanteri Institute is the field’s leading research community.
Humanities with a digital touch
The world of digital information would not function without a humanistic approach. The large corpora of the Faculty of Arts are internationally well known and attract top researchers to the Finnish capital. The historical corpus of the English language, maintained by the Varieng Research Unit, has been used for over 20 years and is still in the process of becoming more comprehensive. Knowledge of language technology is needed, for instance, in the development of automobile GPS systems and smartphones capable of recognizing speech. In addition to language studies, the new methods used in digital humanities open new perspectives for researchers in various disciplines from history to literary studies.