Introducing Lakehead University’s new Chair in Finnish Studies, Dr. Kari Alenius

June 21, 2019 – Thunder Bay, Ont.

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

Photo of Dr. Kari AleniusDr. Alenius will be in Thunder Bay for the 2019-20 fall and winter terms.

Since 2014, Dr. Alenius has served as the Head of the Department of History, Culture and Communications and as the Head of Transcultural Encounters Research Centre (TCERC) at the University of Oulu.

Dr. Alenius obtained his PhD in History from the University of Oulu and his doctoral dissertation was on 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 then, he has published numerous books and articles on the history of Estonia and other subjects.

His second monograph was on the ethnic relations in Estonia during the interwar period (1920s) and this was followed by a Finnish-language history of the Baltic States. His fourth monograph 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 inter/transcultural relations, national identities, and war propaganda.

Dr. Alenius has taught a wide variety of courses at the University of Oulu. In recent years, his teaching has included 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.

In addition to lectures, he has conducted graduate seminars at the M.A. and PhD levels, and he has supervised literature examinations on, for example, the History of Ethnic Relations, Historiography, Philosophy of History, and International and Cultural Interaction. 

During the 2019–2020 academic year at Lakehead University, he is conducting research on the birth of the Canadian image of Finland in the 19th and early 20th century.

Dr. Alenius will also be teaching the following courses on the Thunder Bay campus of Lakehead University:

Fall term

History/Northern Studies 2171 FA 

Finland and the Nordic Region in the 19th Century 

Mondays & Wednesdays 10 am - 11:30 am 

Winter term

History /Northern Studies 2172 WA 

Finland and the Nordic Region in the 20th Century 

Mondays & Wednesdays 8:30 am - 10 am 

Dr. Alenius will be making public presentations in Thunder Bay during his time at Lakehead University.

He is expected to arrive at the end of August, when he will begin occupying an office with the Department of History in the Ryan building.

For more information about the Lakehead University Chair visit