Next year, the expatriate Estonian visiting professorship will be held by Professor Annela Anger-Kraavi, Senior Research Associate and Director of the Climate Change Policy Group at the Department of Chemistry at the University of Cambridge, and Mart Kuldkepp, Associate Professor of Scandinavian History and Politics and Head of the Department of European and International Social and Political Studies at University College London.
Professor Toomas Asser, Rector of the University of Tartu, expressed gratitude to the expatriate Estonian community for setting up and continuing to finance the scholarship fund. “In the previous two years, we already saw that the possibility to invite researchers and lecturers of Estonian origin to Tartu adds great value to our teaching and research, and our former visiting professors have enriched the cultural life of our community,” said Asser. “The new expatriate Estonian visiting professors will bring highly important topics to Tartu: Professor Annela Anger-Kraavi will share her expertise in sustainable development and climate change policy, and Mart Kuldkepp’s research in the study of Estonianness is also becoming increasingly relevant for the university.”
Peeter Einola, Director of the University of Tartu Foundation in Toronto, noted that the scholarship for expatriate Estonian visiting professors is presented for the third time. “The previous scholarship competitions have confirmed that there are top-level researchers of Estonian origin who work at universities abroad, and have the desire and the will to contribute with their knowledge to Estonian higher education and research. The scholarship is an excellent example of how cooperation with the Estonian community abroad can bring new and essential experiences to Estonia.”
During the visiting professorship, Annela Anger-Kraavi will develop competency in environmental economics and climate change policy at the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Tartu; in particular, at the School of Economics and Business Administration and the Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies. She will also have an important role in launching the university’s Centre for Sustainable Development. She pointed out that as a visiting professor, she intends to introduce her activities in the field of environment and climate change, and deliver lectures to master’s students and all others interested.
Mart Kuldkepp’s research primarily deals with Estonia’s political and social history in the early decades of the 20th century and the historical contacts between Estonia and Scandinavia. His teaching has mainly concerned Scandinavian and European politics and history in recent years. Kuldkepp said that the scholarship would enable him to cooperate even more closely with the historians of the University of Tartu and, among other things, prepare a monograph on Estonians’ war experience in the 20th century and study issues related to the national self-determination of Estonians. He plans to hold a public lecture series on the lesser-known aspects of Estonian political history before the Second World War, which might also interest audiences beyond historians.
The scholarship for visiting professors from the Estonian diaspora was established at the University of Tartu Foundation in November 2018 to invite researchers and lecturers of Estonian descent working abroad to work for a year or a semester at the University of Tartu. The scholarship is supported by the University of Toronto’s Chair of Estonian Studies Foundation, the University of Tartu Foundation in Toronto, and the Estonian Students Fund in the USA. The scholarship for one semester is 25,000 euros.
The expatriate Estonian visiting professorship has been previously held by David Ilmar Lepasaar Beecher, historian and social scientist of Estonian descent, and Jaan Valsiner, professor of cultural psychology.