Department of Cultural History

Cultural history is a field of study which focuses on both history and culture. It is interested in the ways people of the past thought and lived in the world. At the University of Turku, we offer cultural history as a major subject on BA, MA and PhD levels. The Department of Cultural History trains experts both for the public and private sector: our alumni work as entrepreneurs, teachers, museum experts, recearchers, and in various positions in the vast cultural field that the present information society creates.

Cultural history offers its own special perspective on the world. Internationally, not many universities have departments of cultural history, but cultural history as a perspective to the study of history is familiar to many. Our object of study is life in the past in all its aspects that people have changed with their ideas, imagination and actions. 

Research and teaching covers the past from ancient times to the present. In cultural history, we specialise in a certain theme, period or geographical area and improve our expertise in issues relating to cultural memory, cultural heritage and arts. We cultural historians emphasise the close unity of teaching and research.

Research at the Department has, to a large extent, been focused on the Middle Ages, early modern history, and the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. On a general level, among our research interests are the cultural history of experiences, thoughts and emotions, popular culture, media history, gender history and the historical study of religious cultures, material culture and environment. More recently, digital history has also gained a significant role in cultural history.

Established in 1972, the Department of Cultural History in the University of Turku is a teaching and research unit renowned for its wide-ranging perceptiveness in regional, national and international terms.