Virtual Author Visits to Universities in 10 Countries During Spring 2023
In a virtual visit, a Finnish author meets university students who are studying Finnish outside of Finland. In addition to the author, the visit may be accompanied by a local translator or interviewer. The aim is not only to strengthen cooperation between Finnish Literature Exchange FILI and foreign universities, but also to increase interest in Finnish literature and its translation. The Finnish Reading Center arranges the visits of the authors.
“We want to support writers’ work and at the same time build networks abroad. Many visits are accompanied by a translator, which gives the visit its own nuance: it is interesting to hear how the translator has arrived at different translation solutions and how they have discussed the choice with the author. A natural target group for the visits are students of Finnish at foreign universities, some of whom may be interested in the profession of literary translator. The virtual visits allow universities in different countries to work together: the writer-translator pair can visit several countries at the same time,” says Merja Aho, who plans FILI’s translator training programmes.
This spring, virtual visits will be organised to universities in Europe and the United States. Suggestions and requests for visitors come directly to FILI from the universities. A typical audience for a virtual visit is a group of Finnish literature students who have studied a Finnish author’s work during the course.
“It has been a great pleasure to carry out virtual visits in cooperation with FILI! The interest of foreign students in Finnish literature and language has been a pleasant surprise,” says Jonatan Kunnas, producer of the virtual visits at the Finnish Reading Center. “At best, the visit has been the highlight of the course for the students, as they have been able to ask all their questions directly to the author. For example, the visits have covered monsters from Finnish and Polish mythology and how these characters have come to life through literature. The visits have given the students a deeper insight into the Finnish language and history,” says Kunnas, describing the virtual visits.
Finnish Literature Exchange FILI and the Finnish Reading Center have organised an international virtual authors’ tour together since 2021.
Virtual visits by FILI and the Finnish Reading Center in spring 2023:
- Antti Tuomainen. Indiana University (USA).
- Zinaida Lindén and translator Jaana Nikula. Universities in Uppsala, Umeå and Stockholm (Sweden) and Tromsø (Norway).
- Iida Rauma. Babeș-Bolyai University (Romania), Charles University (Czechia), Eötvös Lóránd University (Hungary), University of Latvia (Latvia) and University of Vilnius (Lithuania).
- Emmi Itäranta. Florence, Naples and Bologna Universities (Italy) and Eötvös Loránd University (Hungary).
- Piia Leino and translator Katarzyna Aniszewska. Gdańsk University (Poland).
FILI – the Finnish Literary Exchange supports and promotes the publication of Finnish literature in translation around the world. Among other things, FILI grants translation and printing subsidies, invites foreign experts to visit Finland, participates in professional book fairs abroad and organises courses for Finnish literary translators. FILI was founded in 1977 as part of the Finnish Literature Society and receives funding from the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture.
The Finnish Reading Center’s Author Visit Service is the only service in Finland that brings literary professionals to visit schools, libraries, private events, etc. The Author Visit Service offers a choice of almost 1000 professionals, from authors to illustrators and from screenwriters to translators. Author visits are proven to increase the audience’s interest in reading and literature.