Vacancy - Professor of South Asian and IE Studies in Helsinki

Asko Parpola Asko.Parpola at HELSINKI.FI
Fri Feb 27 18:29:06 UTC 2004

A professorship in South Asian and Indo-European Studies at the
University of Helsinki, Finland, is open for international application
until 31 March 2004. For the requirements and other details see the
official advertisement below. A more detailed document on the procedures
of how the post is filled can be see on the web page of the Faculty of 
Humanities at the address

The professorship is for a period of five years from the date of
appointment. Anticipating the question, "What happens after those five
years?", I give the following background information. "Sanskrit and
Comparative Indo-European Linguistics" has been taught at the University
of Helsinki since 1875 by Personal Extraordinary Professors. The 
university had 30 such chairs that became vacant for any subject in any 
faculty of Helsinki University when the occupant retired or died -- 
every faculty in competition with each other proposed a candidate to be 
invited to a professorship tailored to the candidate. In the 1980s, the 
university decided to limit the occupation of these rotating chairs to a 
period of five years, so that the university could better take care of 
the acute needs of various fields,  with the proviso that such a 
professorship could not stay longer in any one field. For some small 
fields which only have had personal chairs this new arrangement poses a 
big problem of continuity.  Recognizing this, the university has adopted 
a new arragement, which stipulates that if the rotating five-year 
professorship is allotted to a field (as has now happened in the case of 
"South Asian and Indo-European Studies") instead of a definite person 
(who is to be invited),  the vacancy is filled by open competition -- in 
this case international competition -- and the university (in this case 
more exactly the Institute for Asian and African Studies and the Faculty 
of Humanities) can decide to make the professorship an ordinary one 
after these five years are over. However, no official decision about the 
continuation of the chair has been made -- at present we have only got 
oral expressions of good intentions.

Asko Parpola
Personal Extraordinary Professor of Indology, University of Helsinki
(retiring on the 1st of December 2004)


Professorship in South Asian and Indo-European Studies

The University of Helsinki, Finland, invites applications for the 
Professorship in South Asian and Indo-European Studies. The post will be 
filled for a fixed term of five years, beginning on the date of appointment.

The relevant field of teaching has been specified as the most important 
modern and classical languages of South Asia (especially the Indian 
subcontinent) and the region’s religions, literature and other 
expressions of culture.

Because of the appointee’s duty to grade students in Indo-European 
studies, applicants are expected to have completed adequate linguistic 
training. Practical familiarity with the field of the post (especially a 
knowledge of modern languages and experience of fieldwork in the region) 
will be considered as a major asset.

The post will be placed in the Institute for Asian and African Studies, 
Faculty of Arts. In addition to the present post, the discipline has a 
lectureship in Indian languages, and the Institute for African and Asian 
Studies has professorships in African studies, Arabic and Islamic 
studies, East Asian studies, Japanese language and culture and Semitic 
languages, and a professorship extraordinary in Assyriology.

The official languages of instruction at the University of Helsinki are 
Finnish and Swedish. A foreign citizen  may be appointed without having 
proved his or her competence in the Finnish or Swedish languages. 
However, mastery of English-language skills is required, and knowledge 
of Finnish and Swedish will be considered as assets.

The monthly salary will range between 3564 – 5537 euro depending on the 
previous experience.

The application should contain:

1) A curriculum vitae in English;
2) A short written report on the merits the candidate considers relevant 
in the assessment of teaching skills;
3) A report (max. two pages), in English, of the applicant’s research 
activities and plans to provide for future developments in the field;
4) A numbered list of those publications or other works with which the 
applicant wishes to demonstrate his or her competence and merits;
5) One copy each of a maximum of 10 publications or other works numbered 
as in the above list;
6) A report of language skills.

Written applications, together with the required enclosures should be 
addressed to the Faculty of Arts, University of Helsinki, and sent to 
the Registrar of the University of Helsinki, PO Box 33, FIN-00014 
University of Helsinki. The closing date for the application is March 
31, 2004 by 3.45 p.m.

Instructions for appointments of the professorship in question can be 
obtained on request from the Faculty Office, Ms Leena Barros, email 
leena.barros at or from the www-adress

Informal enquires may be made to Mr Harry Halén, email 
harry.halen at or Professor Asko Parpola email 
asko.parpola at

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