Early Modern History course at the Open University

What was Finland before Finland? How did it become the Nordic society it is today?

Early Modern History 5 ECTS credits online course 4.9.2023 - October 2023 

This course in the early modern history of Finland focuses on the period from the mid-seventeenth century to the early nineteenth century. The course is taught by specialists in early modern history and their lectures are based on ongoing research. The lectures cover topics such as European intellectual culture in eighteenth century Sweden, medieval and early modern merchants’ letters and the education of a midwife. 

During the course, the students will become familiar with the main issues and sources in Finnish history for the early modern period as well as with the current theories and methods used to address these.  

The course gives particular attention to the effects of cultural interaction between Finland and the rest of the world, particularly in the age of Enlightenment, in other words how European phenomena became visible at a local level.

  • TBA: Introduction 
  • Charlotta Wolff: European intellectual culture in eighteenth-century Sweden 
  • Mika Kallioinen: Medieval and early modern merchants' letters 
  • Kirsi Vainio-Korhonen: Knowledge and learning in the education of the midwife 
  • Jarkko Keskinen: Political culture in eighteenth-century Finnish towns 
  • Charlotta Wolff: The meaning of Enlightenment

Course mode 

This course can be taken only online. The course includes: 

  • Instructions for taking the course 
  • All five lectures are available as recordings in the Moodle learning platform. In addition, the first lecture will be available both as a live stream and as a separate recording. 


The lectures and other materials are uploaded weekly on Tuesdays by 2 p.m. unless otherwise indicated by the teacher. All weekly assignments need to be submitted via Moodle before the next lesson, i.e. by 2 p.m. on Tuesdays. The final exam is on week 42. 

Course assignments 

To receive 5 ECTS credits for the course

  • all five weekly written assignments need to be submitted in time and graded "pass" 
  • and the final exam needs to be passed.  

The course is taught in English, and all course materials and instructions are in English. However, all assignments including the final exam can be written also in Finnish.

If you are interested in learning more about Early Modern Finland you can sign for another 5 ECTS study module and take a book examination or write second essay.

> Study Guide

Registration for the studies at the Open University

> Enrolment 10.8. - 30.8.2023 (quota 10). Tuition fee 75 €.

Further information

Anu Laukkanen