COLLeGIUM: Studies across Disciplines in the Humanities and Social Sciences


COLLeGIUM is a scholarly, open-access journal published by the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, a research institute for advanced study in the humanities and social sciences at the University of Helsinki. The journal consists of electronic volumes written or edited by the Fellows of the Collegium. The first volume appeared in June 2006 and the second volume in July 2007. All studies published in the series are internationally refereed.

ISSN 1796-2986


Recent Submissions

  • Collis, Robert (Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, 2014)
    This article draws on a rare extant manuscript of the Melissino Rite, preserved in the archives of the Prince Fredrik Masonic Centre in The Hague, as well as on other primary material, in order to examine the pivotal role played by Pyotr Ivanovich Melissino (1726-1797) in forming an Illuminist-Masonic milieu in St. Petersburg from the mid-1760s. Melissino and his high-grade Masonic Rite have hitherto been largely overlooked by scholars, yet this article aims to emphasize the formative influence he played in Russia in creating an “invisible chapter” in which select initiates could embrace currents of Illuminist thought (alchemy, theosophy and Christian Kabbalah in particular). Scholars have principally examined the development of Illuminism in the second half of the eighteenth century within the restricted space of the Chapters of high-degree Freemasonry in France (and to a lesser extent in Germany and other European countries). Little attention has been paid to Illuminism in Russia prior to rise of the Rosicrucian Circle associated with Nikolai Novikov and Johan Schwarz in Moscow in the 1780s. Thus, this article seeks to re-examine the Melissino Rite as part of a pan-European phenomenon, whilst also highlighting its importance within the sizeable aristocratic Masonic milieu in Russia.
  • Artemyeva, Tatiana V.; Mikeshin, Mikhail I. (Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, 2014)
  • Artemyeva, Tatiana V.; Mikeshin, Mikhail I. (Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, 2014)
  • Tandefelt, Henrika (Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, 2014)
    This article sets out to study the entanglement of different political, ideological and moral ideals and traditions in the Kingship of Gustav III, King of Sweden 1772–1792. Political thinking and practice in Eighteenth-Century Europe offered many elements and examples that different monarchs could apply in their own particular circumstances. Gustav III was one of the European Kings that openly supported the French enlightened thinkers fashioning himself as a Reformer-King. He was also very influenced by the French culture over all, and the culture of the traditional royal court in particular. In addition the Swedish political history with a fifty-year period of decreased royal power before the coup d’état of Gustav III in 1772 influenced how the European trends and traditions were put into practice. The article pursues to understand the way different elements were bound up together and put to action by the King in his coup d’état 1772, his law reforms in the 1770s and in the establishment of a court of appeal in the town Vasa in Ostrobothnia in 1776 and the ceremonial, pictorial and architectural projects linked to this.
  • Artemyeva, Tatiana V.; Mikeshin, Mikhail I. (Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, 2014)
  • Artemyeva, Tatiana V.; Mikeshin, Mikhail I. (Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, 2014)
    History in Russia in the Enlightenment was represented not only by academic research, but by the series of literary works. They created a space of public history and satisfies the need for historical knowledge for those who could not or did not want to study serious scholarly works. They searched for cultural clichés, patterns, and metaphors to mold their historical images, schemes, and explanations. Walter Scott’s novels made an immediate impact on Russian society because it had been already prepared for such literature. In Scott’s historical novel there was a beneficial synthesis of simplicity and professionalism, out-of-body-ness of historical patterns and obviousness of moral lessons. The form was one in which history could bring about its true predestination, that is, to form the soul and the heart. Scott’s representation of the ordinary man in the background of large-scale historical events had no influence upon Russian historiography that continued to describe only events of a grand ‘state scale’, but survived in literature, which, for three centuries, developed both the philosophy of history and philosophical anthropology. Scott became for Russia one of those authors who summed up the quest of the Enlightenment and brought a special type of art history discourse into the world. Russian historians continue to point to the enduring quality of interpreting history through fiction. This results in political and moral values dominating historical discourse.
  • Woronzoff-Dashkoff, Alexander (Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, 2014)
    By his own admission, Simon Vorontsov (Woronzow or Woronzoff, 1744–1832) was ill-suited and unprepared for diplomatic service, yet for over twenty years (1784–1806) he served as Russia’s Minister to the Court of St. James’s. He is now widely considered to be one of Catherine II’s greatest and most innovative diplomats. Because of his determined and independent spirit, he averted a war between Britain and Russia during the Ochakov crisis of 1791 by adapting the methods of the so-called ‘new diplomacy’. Rather than seeking mediation and mutual understanding, he collaborated with the opposition and initiated a vigorous public opinion campaign in the press and through the publication of pamphlets and anonymous articles. He thereby supported Charles Fox, challenged William Pitt and, in the end, emerged victorious.
  • Persson, Mathias (Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, 2014)
    This article investigates the representations of society in a number of mid-eighteenth-century dissertations supervised by Pehr Kalm (1716−1779), a disciple of Linnaeus and a well-known professor of economics in Turku (Åbo), against the background of the strong ties that tended to bind early modern literati to the ruling elites. The article consists of four thematic sections, which examine how the dissertations conceptualized the body politic, the powers that be, the populace and the scholars. All in all, Kalm and his students adhered to a fairly traditional social imaginary, although their renderings of their own caste, the men of learning, as indispensable for progress and the common good foreboded a later, expert-centric era.
  • Neumann, Hanns-Peter (Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, 2014)
    Referring to Christian Wolff’s letters to the Count of Manteuffel, his maecenas, I want to show how the philosopher Wolff had to present himself (dependant on the expectations of his addressee) as a specific social or intellectual type in order to propagate reliably what he and his adherents called the ‘truth’ of his philosophical worldview. Based on my analysis of Wolff’s correspondence with Manteuffel, I will focus on the question how in Wolff’s case the social role of the philosopher was determined and had to be performed in order to establish a successful enlightened culture and science politics.
  • Treuherz, Nicholas (Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, 2014)
    This article asks if the role of the Enlightenment philosopher was, as understood by contemporaries, to work against elites, or to underpin them. Concentrating particularly on the arch-elitist Frederick the Great and his court philosophers, we will track the notion of the elite and their position as holders of truth and enlighteners. The central tenet of the debate will concern the notion of lying to the masses and the utility of truth. It will be shown that advocacy of absolute truth was rare and often dissimulated by philosophers keen to avoid censure. This dividing line will be used to show the cultural transfer of Francophone debates to the German intellectual sphere.
  • Kulcsár, Krisztina (Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, 2014)
    Joseph II is often considered to be a much travelled emperor. While his travels abroad under the pseudonym of Count Falkenstein have been widely studied, his tours within his own realms are much less researched. Rather than pursuing Romantic adventures, his principal aim was to learn about the political, military and social conditions of his realm and its inhabitants. The purpose of this contribution is to analyse the travels Joseph II undertook in Hungary, Transylvania, Slavonia and the Banat between 1768 and 1773. With the help of examples, the article explores how the various experiences Joseph II had during his visits influenced his ideas, his reform policy and ultimately his practice of rule.
  • Artemyeva, Tatiana V.; Mikeshin, Mikhail I. (Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, 2014)
  • Kaunonen, Leena (Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, 2014)
  • Jousmäki, Henna (Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, 2014)
    This chapter shows that, although the geographical roots of Christian metal (CM) bands do play a role, not least for the audiences, the crossing of national borders in online settings is equally important both to the audience and to the bands themselves. A detailed look into the discourse and interaction around Finnish CM music on is the basis for considering social media sites, such as YouTube, as providing a space for translocal negotiation of and identification on the basis of religiosity, music, language and place.
  • Kaunonen, Leena (Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, 2014)