Petition: Ancient Culture at the University of Helsinki

Dear colleagues,

May I draw your attention to a petition I am circulating on behalf of the Classics community in Finland. As the latest development in what has been a long series of drastic cuts to science and research funding in Finland, the Faculty of Arts at the University of Helsinki has announced that the lectureship in Classical Archaeology and Ancient Culture will not be filled when its current holder retires this year.
 
This decision means that, since in 2014 the lectureship in Classical Archaeology at the University of Oulu was also abolished, teaching centred on the material culture of Classical Antiquity will no longer be available anywhere in Finland. The University of Helsinki has a long track record in producing world-class research and nurturing experts for many high-profile projects in the study of the Classical past. The lack of a lectureship in Classical Archaeology would significantly erode the scope of Humanities training available and render Finland the only Nordic country not supporting the field. This also leaves the Finnish Institutes in Athens and Rome, which have been significant research hubs in the field for a long time, to the awkward position that there won’t be any ‘home-grown’ classical archaeologists in the future.
 
Those of us who have signed this petition believe that a new lecturer should be chosen to fill the position and continue its vital academic mission. The petition, and further information, can be found here in English: https://www.petitions24.com/the_teaching_of_classical_archaeology_and_ancient_culture_at_the_university_of_helsinki_must_continue
 
(And, in case anyone’s sceptic whether these petitions ever lead anywhere: the petition to save Nuntii Latini, the longstanding Latin news programme made in Helsinki, ended up getting over 3,000 signatures and was widely discussed both on Finnish and international media, which led to the Finnish Public Broadcasting Company overturning their decision and extending their funding for the programme. This petition was also circulated on this mailing list – many thanks for all those who signed!)
 
Thanks for your time, and kind regards
 
Tuuli A.
 
Tuuli Ahlholm
Doctorate candidate in Ancient History
University College
University of Oxford