Helsinki Summer School

Program Description


Helsinki Summer School

PLEASE NOTE! This course was held in 2015, new courses will be arranged in 2017

Target students

Advanced students and junior researchers in history, ethnology, anthropology, gender studies and museums studies as well as current museums staff are invited to participate. Participants from a minority background are especially encouraged to attend.


The objective of this multidisciplinary course is to teach how different minorities have been taken into consideration in museums and memorials and to advance the students’ understanding and sensitivity in minority issues in this respect. Minority as a term can be based on ethnicity, race, gender, health or sexual orientation. The course will address how a negative past and loss, such as the Holocaust or everyday discrimination, have been and can be displayed and commemorated, making the agency of display the core concept in the history of museum exhibitions and memorials. The course will also deal with the accessibility of memorials and exhibitions of/for people with disabilities, e.g. people with a visual impairment. This Summer School course provides an opportunity for advanced students and junior researchers to explore complex issues with such prominent experts as Odd Brantenberg (Tromsø University Museum), Nataša Jovičić (Director of the Jasenovac Memorial Site), Kristin Kuutma (University of Tartu), Léontine Meijer-van Mensch (Deputy Director at Museum Europäischer Kulturen, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin – Preußischer Kulturbesitz), Ulla-Maija Peltonen (Finnish Literature Society) and Susanna Pettersson (Director at Ateneum Art Museum/the Finnish National Gallery). Partner of this course is Mémorial de la Shoah, Paris.

The students will make a full-day excursion to Estonia as part of the course. Additional excursion fee approximately 50€.

Learning objectives

After taking the course, the students will be critically aware of historical aspects in museum display policies and questions of heritage. Participants will be familiar with the key concepts, theories and practical approaches in the field as well as with the professional dilemmas and needs of policy makers.

Course readings

The course includes obligatory core reading (5 research articles) and a wide thematic syllabus of suggested reading.

Obligatory reading:

  • Kuutma, Kristin: “Cultural Heritage: An introduction to Entanglements of Knowledge, Politics and Property”, Journal of Ethnology and Folkloristics 3 (2), 2009, 5-12;
  • Kirchenblatt-Gimblett, Barbara, “Destination Culture: Tourism, Museums, and Heritage”, University of California Press 1998, 17-78;
  • Stone, Dan: “Memory, Memorials and Museums”, Dan Stone (ed.): The Historiography of the Holocaust, Palgrave Macmillan, 2004, 508-532;
  • Bendix, Regina: “Heritage Between Economy and Politics. An Assessment from the Perspective of Cultural Anthropology”, Laurajane Smith & Natsuko Akagawa (eds.): Intangible Heritage, Routledge, 2009, 253-269;
  • Léontine Meijer-van Mensch and Peter van Mensch: Proud to be Dutch?
  • Intangible Heritage and National Identity in the Netherlands. Page 125-136.

Teachers and lecturers

The course is coordinated by Dr Malte Gasche and Dr Eija Stark. Gasche ia a specialist in Holocaust and Genocide Studies and has served as an expert for the Anne Frank exhibition in Finland (2012). A researcher in folklore studies, Stark’s expertise covers the question of ownership of intangible heritage.

Means and criteria of assessment

The course calls for active student participation. The students should engage in an active learning process, contribute to the discussions and workshops, and complete the assignments. To receive six ECTS credits, the students must write a 10–12 page essay. For 10 ECTS credits, they must submit a 20–25 page essay. The essays must be submitted no later than one month after the conclusion of the course.

This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated June 30, 2016
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Aug. 2017
17 days
Full time
Start date Aug. 2017
Finland Helsinki
Application deadline Request Info
End date Aug. 18, 2017
Duration 17 days
Price Request Info