Research in Hela
The goal of all research at the Department is to create a wide-ranging, analytical, and theoretically multi-faceted picture of the relevant phenomena and contexts in which they are found. The Department aims to contribute as widely as possible to international scholarly work from the Finnish point of view.
The methods applied in the Department's research projects are often multidisciplinary, supported by the free flow of ideas across disciplines, allowing situations in which scientific risk-taking leads to innovative breakthroughs.
Hela conducts research on various human and community activities as well as on the conditions, results, and temporal multilayeredness of such activities. In research, the following dimensions are emphasized during the strategy period:
- Activities of humans and communities: communities, experiences, thinking; humans as citizens and cultural beings; social interaction
- Conditions and results of activities: historicality and culturality; organizations and institutions
- Temporal multilayeredness: change and continuity; dissimultaneity of the simultaneous; temporal, spatial, and cultural differences
The strength of the Department of History and Ethnology lies in its highly motivated and proficient research staff. Hela’s particular strengths are its active research groups and the tradition of working together. The Department houses diverse theoretical-methodological and empirical expertise, among which broad competence related to data collection, classification, analysis, and methods, as well as multidisciplinary theoretical and methodological competence are particular strengths. Characteristic features in the research conducted in the Department include the analysis of phenomena in different periods of history and over long spans of time. Pre-modern and modern ages are particular strengths of historical research at the Department.
The Department of History and Ethnology is involved in the Finnish Centre of Excellence in Historical Research called History of Society: Re-thinking Finland 1400-2000. The CoE studies the history of Finland from the late middle ages to present day or more precisely: what is the history of Finland. The basic idea of all research in this CoE is that 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 Center of Excellence brings together three departments in the field of long-term history at the universities of Tampere, Jyväskylä and Åbo Akademi (Turku).