Meet the new Finnish Chair

Event Date: 
Tuesday, September 17, 2019 - 2:00pm to 3:00pm EDT
Event Location: 
BB 1003G

Photo of Dr. Kari AleniusThe Finnish Chair Advisory Committee is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Kari Alenius as the ninth Lakehead University Chair in Finnish Studies.

The Chair in Finnish Studies is an interdisciplinary appointment for one or two terms during the regular academic year. Chairs are chosen by the Advisory Committee through an open competition and are expected to have a significant research profile. Dr. Alenius is an expert on the modern history of the Baltic region with a focus on ethnic relations and minorities.

Faculty, staff and students are invited to meet Dr. Alenius on Tuesday, Sept. 17 from 2 - 3 pm in BB 1003G. Coffee will be served.

Dr. Alenius will be in Thunder Bay until the end of April. During his time at Lakehead University, he will be conducting research on the birth of the Canadian image of Finland in the 19th and early 20th century.

Since 2014, Dr. Alenius has been the Head of the Department of History, Culture and Communications, and Head of Transcultural Encounters Research Center (TCERC) at University of Oulu. He has taught a wide variety of courses at University of Oulu. In recent years, his teaching included courses such as Introduction to the History of Minorities; History of Propaganda; The Societal Development of Germany, 1918–1945; Finland and the Baltic Countries as an Area of Interest of the Great Powers, 1900–1945.

Research Interests:
In his doctoral thesis, Dr. Alenius studied the Estonian image of Finland and the Finns from the period of national awakening to the end of the Tsarist era (approx. 1850–1917).

Since completing his PhD, the history of Estonia has been one of the major subjects in his research. His second monograph was on the ethnic relations in Estonia during the interwar period (1920s).

He is also the author of a Finnish-language history of the Baltic States. In his fourth monograph, Dr. Alenius continued to study ethnic relations. This time the subject was the development of the legal status of national minorities in Germany (Weimar Republic).

He then went on to study political narratives and propaganda, focusing on the rhetoric of the Great Powers in the UN Security Council (1946–1956) in his fifth monograph. In other research projects, he has studied, for instance, inter/transcultural relations, national identities and war propaganda.

Dr. Alenius will be making public presentations in Thunder Bay during the fall and winter terms. He is also interested in hearing from Finnish-Canadians and their descendants for his research project and he is looking for opportunities to discuss research with faculty and students.

His office is in RB 3021 in the Department of History. He can be contacted via email at