50 years old | Historian Teemu Keskisarja thinks that his scent-scented research objects are trade of chance and choice dictated by coercion

Criminal history is the only way to the personal history of small people, says Teemu Keskisarja.

THEME CENTRAL SERIES stands in the courtyard of Tuomarinkylä manor and signs for the open field in front. In 1742, the area served as the scene of a strange war-historical fiasco.

Tens of thousands of Finnish and Swedish soldiers retreated across the field. He was harassed by Russia’s superior army. Sweden did not lose many men in the clash, but its honor was irreversibly tarnished.

A history work in progress by the Middle Series tells of these events.

Three hundred The events of a year ago were part of the Hat War, which ended in August 1743 with the Peace of Turku. In the opinion of the middle series, the long-term anti-war opposition of the Finnish people and elite was part of the reason why Finland seceded from Sweden quite smoothly at the beginning of the 19th century. The idea of ​​Finland’s independence flourished long before nationalism even existed.

“The fate of the homeland was decided in this field, among other things,” the Middle Series states in its laconic style.

OF SUCH of statements The middle series is known. His views on historical events are often abrupt and in different lines with his academic colleagues, and he is also reluctant to report on them in public. Like nothing else.

Rattles, on the other hand, are also his subject. The middle series has written non-fiction books about, among other things, 17th-century gays and adulterers, involvement in 18th-century animals, Finland’s only serial killer Juhani from the son of Adam mixed Kyllikki Island murder.

There has been enough blood and intestinal fragments.

What attracts macabre subjects?

The orientation of the middle series was influenced by chance. The inclusion of animal interference as a topic of the thesis was encouraged at the university by his supervisor Seppo Aalto and Anu Koskivirta. The middle series says he wouldn’t have heard of such a theme anyway.

And no the darker side of human life fascinates him without the more important spices, he points out. The reason for the ragged subjects is more compelling: criminal history is the only way to the personal history of small people.

The middle series explains that no private letters or diaries of the people have survived from the pre-19th century. Therefore, the depths of everyday history can only be reached through court records, and for this source-technical reason, the Middle Series says it is investigating murders and immorality.

MIDDLE SERIES there are few domestic historians whose name is familiar to the general public. The biggest reason for his notoriety is probably his provocative statements.

Among other things, the middle series has recognized itself as a fanatical Finnish fanatic and hater of the English language, appearing in its columns to the Finnish generation and apologists of Finnish colonialism, and claiming that people were smarter than before.

In January 2020, the Middle Series rose to the headlines after using the word n ​​in its lecture and noting that during the Great Northern War, more slaves were exported from Finland to Russia in proportion to the population than from many parts of Africa to the Americas.

Many thought his speeches were incorrect.

“I don’t care a bit about apologies,” Keskisarja announced at the time in an interview with Helsingin Sanomat.

PROVOSOIKO he intentionally?

This is denied by the Middle Series. He admits that he speaks bluntly and is happy to sum up big things. But in no live audience does he remember being offended by his speeches and he doesn’t remember receiving a single hate message.

And when it comes to the uproar over the use of the n-word, its Middle Series wants to highlight the set in motion a couple of college people made after watching his lecture video online. The reason for the announcement was the “Quick Answer” given by the Central Series to the audience question, not his actual, handwritten performance.

The Middle Series of its own reputation is believed to have been born as a result of a heavy tour life. In normal times, he makes about a hundred lecture trips around Finland.

“I don’t think any scientist will tour so many libraries, homeland and family celebrations, and travel guides. That’s what reputation is based on, not telly. ”

SENKIN The middle series denies that publicity would matter to him. When he was younger, he might have been passionate about it, but nowadays he just hopes that even a tiny fragment of his work would take time.

“Popularizing the lives of dead people is a hypocritical idea. I don’t think it would be wonderful if one hundred thousand Helsinki residents knew the battle of Tuomarinkylä. It doesn’t mean anything to me, ”Middle Series says.

What does it mean?

“History is important because we only live once. The lives of dead people have absolute value. Experiencing the present moment is enriched by knowing who has trampled all of these paths. Somehow the past breathes in us. There is not much to learn from it, but it is both present all the time. ”

Teemu Keskisarja

  • Born in 1971 in Helsinki.

  • Doctor of Finnish History 2006 from the University of Helsinki. Docent in Finnish and Nordic History at the University of Helsinki.

  • Well-known works: Finland’s only serial killer: Juhani Adaminpoja’s crime and punishment (2008), Vyborg 1918 (2013), Ax: Toivo Harald Koljonen’s crime and punishment (2015), Hulttio: Mannerheim’s heavy youth (2016) and Kyllikki Island – The History of the People of Mystery (2021).

  • Recognitions include the Historical Work of the Year award and the Tieto-Finlandia nomination.

  • Turns 50 on Thursday, August 5th.



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