There’s a new professor in town: Q&A with Matti Peikola

Professor Peikola in academic regalia.

1. Tell us a little bit of who you are.

I am a 48-year-old Doctor of Philosophy and a lifelong learner. I live in Turku with my wife Kirsi and our Lagotto Romagnolo dog. My academic career has primarily been at Turku, with shorter periods at Helsinki, Münster, Oxford, York and London.

2. What kinds of courses do you teach? How and when can our students meet you?

I mostly teach compulsory and elective courses on the Philological MA thesis track. I am available for consultation on Wed 14–15 or by appointment.

3. What do you do research on? What would you like to study in future?

Texts and books are my passion. I am interested in how texts are produced, circulated and consumed, from medieval to modern times. How does language use vary and how are material texts shaped in various communicative and cultural contexts? My current research interests include paratextual communication, manuscripts of English biblical translations and recorders of the Salem witchcraft papers. These and other projects will keep me busy in the foreseeable future.

4. Can you describe what a typical working day is like for professors?

No two days are alike, which is both a bonus and a challenge. Often things come up that require instantaneous attention. I value the chance to collaborate with my colleagues on co-taught courses, shared publications and joint project applications. A lot of my time goes into the reading and supervision of students’ work, which I enjoy a lot, because it allows me to learn new ideas from them. Professors are responsible for the development of their field, which requires us to follow what is going on in the academia and in the society more broadly.

5. What do you do when you are not a professor? Any time for other things in life?

The borderline between work and leisure is fuzzy. In addition to my family, nature means a lot to me: walking outdoors; watching the seasons change; spotting plants, birds and constellations in the night sky. Music is also great source of inspiration.

Professor Peikola and his dog enjoying the outdoors.

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