Criticalness and versatility are essential aspects of history as a field of science and as an academic discipline. History studies consist of courses belonging to the fields of general history and Finnish and Scandinavian history. The studies are designed in a way that provides the student with understanding of the continuous interdependence between local and global phenomena.
In the study of history it is important to adjust to historical thinking and to understand the way in which the discipline of history approaches historical sources, produces new information and introduces the results of research based on its methods. For this reason, methodological courses and exercises, seminars, and academic theses form the core of the studies. It is essential to learn to inquire, to connect various phenomena through causality, and to understand the difference between the relevant and irrelevant.
In researching and teaching history at the University of Oulu, the focus is on globalization, cultural encounter and mental images. Courses are taught on, for example, medieval history, minority issues in Europe, international relations, the history of East Asia (especially Japan from late 19th century to the present), and gender history. Furthermore, the emphasis in research and teaching that deals with Finland and the Scandinavian region is laid on the history of the northern society in Finland and neighbouring countries. The subject is approached from perspectives such as the early stages of settlement and culture, the history of the Sámi from the Middle Ages till the 20th century in Tornio and Kemi Lapland, forestry and forest work as a vital part of the northern economy, northern aspects of university policy, church and revivalist movements in the north and times of war in northern areas. Another, emerging focus area is the crises and transformation of Finnish agrarian society after the Second World War and the underlying socio-political conditions and actions. The third main field of interest, the position and influence of women in the 20th century in Finnish society, is carried out in the project Forcing the Way: Women in Professional Networks of Power and Knowledge in 20th-Century Finland. The project is funded by the Academy of Finland.
Historian valtakunnalliset verkko-opinnot (Finnish Virtual University of History)