Centenary Lecturers

Lecturer of the Year Program Available Through May 2018

Centenary Lecturers for Finland 100
DuBois.FFN LOY 2016 Brochure LO Thomas A. DuBois 8.27Since 2006 when Finlandia Foundation National (FFN) created its Lecturer of the Year program, it has selected experts to visit FFN chapters to talk about a variety of topics including Finland’s Winter War with Russia, composer Jean Sibelius, the architectural and design legacy of the Saarinen family, the material culture of Finnish America and most recently, the life and performance career of Finnish-American actress Taina Elg.

In recognition of the significance of the 100th anniversary of Finland’s independence in 2017, Finlandia Foundation has expanded its Lecturer of the Year program in both duration and scope. From June 2016 through May 2018 Centenary Lecturers, accomplished scholars who are experts in different fields, will be available to speak to FFN chapters about topics directly related to Finland’s national independence and identity.

NOTE: Not all will speakers will be available at all times; dates for presentations will have to be negotiated. As with previous LOY, FFN will provide transportation to and from the appearance; local arrangements and honorarium are the responsibility of the host chapter.

To book a lecturer or for more information contact LOY Coordinator Jon Saari at jsaari @ nmu.edu

For details on the programs by our roster of speakers, click on the name of each of the Centenary Lecturers for a PDF of their brochure:

  • Thomas A. DuBois
    Thomas A. DuBois

    Thomas A. DuBois, the Halls-Bascom Professor of Scandinavian Studies and Folklore at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, has done extensive research on Finnish and Sámi culture, past and present. His talk focuses on “Finland and the Kalevala,” the national epic for the Finnish people.





  • Sharon Franklin-Rahkonen
    Sharon Franklin-Rahkonen

    Sharon Franklin-Rahkonen, an associate professor at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, will discuss “The History of Finnish Independence” and factors that enabled a small, less developed corner of the Russian empire to declare and retain that freedom.






  • Peter MacKeith
    Peter MacKeith

    Peter MacKeith, dean and professor of the University of Arkansas Fay Jones School of Architecture, traces the emergence, development and ongoing vitality of Finnish identity through a century of significant architecture and design in his talk, “A House of Finland.”





  • Börje Vähämäki
    Börje Vähämäki

    Börje Vähämäki, who earned his Doctoral Degree from Åbo Akademi in Turku, directed the Finnish Studies program at the University of Toronto until his retirement in 2014. His topic addresses how the interconnected themes of Finnish film and literature help define Finnish identities.





  • K. Marianne Wargelin
    K. Marianne Wargelin

    K. Marianne Wargelin is an independent scholar, researcher and author, and president of FinnFest USA. Finnish-American identity between 1850-2000 is the subject of her Ph.D. dissertation, now in its final stages at the University of Tampere. Her topic is “Beyond the Atlantic: Finland’s Independence Viewed from Across the Sea.”