Overview on the past 1,5 years

With summer (hopefully) right behind the corner, we thought it would be nice to look back to the past 1,5 years or so and to what has been going on with Trivium. You may read the previous overview of this kind here. Back then, Trivium had just received the official status of a research centre at our university, and while this had not changed our principal working methods that much, it has brought along new structures and scopes for action.

Year 2016 was a fruitful and busy one in many respects, with events, new activities, and interesting new publications. To celebrate the 60th birthday of Professor Christian Krötzl, the head of Trivium, the centre organised a seminar in September 2016. The speakers were Professor Didier Lett (Université Paris Diderot), Professor Kurt Villads Jensen (Stockholms universitet), Dr Tapio Salminen (University of Tampere), and vice rector Katariina Mustakallio (University of Tampere). At the seminar, Christian’s Festschrift Church and Belief in the Middle Ages: Popes, Saints, and Crusaders, ed. Kirsi Salonen & Sari Katajala-Peltomaa (AUP 2016), was launched. On the previous day, Trivium organised a workshop for junior researchers, with Didier Lett and Kurt Villads Jensen as commentators.

Birthday celebrations. Photo: Didier Lett

Trivium was also involved in the NOS-HS-funded “The Hansa in the North” workshop series, a project led by Christian Krötzl. The first workshop was organised in Höör, Sweden, in June 2016. In March 2017, Tampere hosted a workshop titled “Social Networks, Cultural Communication, and Everyday Life: the Hansa and beyond” which gathered a large group of experts on the Hansa for interesting presentations and vivid discussion.

Equally, the Academy of Finland research project Segregated or Integrated? – Living and Dying in the Harbour City of Ostia, 300 BCE – 700 CE, led by Professor Arja Karivieri, organised two seminars in 2016. The first one was held at the University of Kent in May, and the second one at the Institutum Romanum Finlandiae & Istituto Svedese di Studi Classici a Roma in October.

During the past three semesters, Trivium has established a tradition of organising thematic seminars 3-4 times a year, focusing on topics studied within the centre. Our principal idea has been to encourage discussion between scholars of various time periods and themes, as well as of various disciplines. Therefore, we have often invited commentators that come from outside the main research areas of Trivium. The first seminars focusing on multilingualism were organised in spring 2016; in autumn 2016 and winter 2017 the seminars discussed mental illness, disability and healing. These seminars have proved to be a fruitful concept that has reached out to the wider academic community and, consequently, widened our own perspectives as well. The seminar series will continue in May 2017, with the theme “lived reformation”.

Trivium has also continued in making public history in the past year. This blog has been updated regularly. As a larger project, we made a programme series with Radio Moreeni in Finnish, titled “Ajasta ikuisuuteen – Tuhat totuutta historiasta”. In each episode, two researchers of Trivium specialising in different time period talked about their topic and its societal context. The episodes can be listened to at Radio Moreeni’s SoundCloud account:

In many of these activities, Trivium had help from our student trainee Minna Heinonen. Her special tasks during her two-month contract were working as a research assistant in various book projects, updating our website, helping to organise international seminars, and writing a text for our blog.

This year has, however, been a year of our basic function: research and writing. Two members of Trivium successfully defended their doctoral theses: Tapio Salminen’s thesis is titled Obscure Hands – Trusted Men. Textualization, the Office of the City Scribe and the Written Management of Information and Communication of the Council of Reval (Tallinn) before 1460, and Ella Viitaniemi’s Yksimielisyydestä yhteiseen sopimiseen Paikallisyhteisön poliittinen kulttuuri ja Kokemäen kivikirkon rakennusprosessi 1730-1786. Furthermore, the researchers of Trivium have published and edited a large number of monographs, article collections and scientific articles. For a list of the recent publications, see http://www15.uta.fi/trivium/publications.pdf

And last but not least, we’d like to thank you all who have been participating in our activities and/or following us here or on social media. Big new events are already being planned: in November 2017 Trivium will organise, together with Glossa – Society for Medieval Studies the national Dies Mediaevales conference. Furthermore, the call for papers for the seventh international Passages from Antiquity to the Middle Ages conference has recently been published. See you soon!

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