Professor of Liberal Arts
The position of the Professor of Liberal Arts was created in 1993 to develop spirituality and creativity of the University and city community. One of the most prominent Estonian artists is invited as visiting Professor of Liberal Arts, whose activities relate to the traditional fields of activity of the University of Tartu.
The Professor of Liberal arts is called for one academic year. The same person may be called up only once.
Lectures held by the Professor of Liberal Arts are open to everyone. See the list of previous Professors of Liberal Arts.
In the 2021/2022 academic year, the position of the Professor of Liberal Arts of the University of Tartu will be held by poet, essayist and translator Hasso Krull.
Hasso Krull is a well-known intellectual who is active in various fields. His work often contains motifs from the heritage and mythology of Estonia and even more distant cultures. He has published more than 15 collections of original poetry, numerous collections of essays and also children’s literature. Krull’s works have been translated into many languages, such as Finnish, English, German, French, Swedish and Dutch, and he has received several prestigious cultural awards. Besides this, he is also known as a translator of fiction and philosophical literature and an active literary critic, he has written opera librettos and collaborated with several composers. For a long time, Hasso Krull taught at the Department of Cultural Theory of the Estonian Institute of Humanities, and has since dedicated himself to freelance work.
The lecture course starting in the new academic year "Gods of the Future: Ontological War and the Art of Attunement" focuses on understanding the society of the future. "Long ago, gods lived on Mount Olympus. Today, they live in the marketplace, or, more precisely, at the supermarket. But where will the gods of the future live?" asks Hasso Krull in his course. "A hundred years ago, our great-grandparents could hardly imagine the way we live now. Yet, we now have even less idea of how our descendants will live in a hundred years’ time. This is why we need to learn the art of attunement. Let us ask: how can we still exist? And how can somebody exist after us?"
"Hasso Krull’s activities in the cultural and literary landscape have been very diverse and therefore the lectures of his year of professorship are certainly of interest to teaching staff and students from a wide range of research directions of the university," said Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Arts Anti Selart, commenting on the choice of the professor.
Registration for Hasso Krull’s lecture course "Gods of the Future: Ontological War and the Art of Attunement" (HVKU.05.037, in Estonian) starting in autumn has already begun and the lectures are open for everyone. For registration information, contact the Academic Affairs Specialist Ene Paldre (737 5669, ene.paldre [ät] ut.ee).
On 9 June at 14:15, current professors of liberal arts Olga and Priit Pärn will hand the position over to Hasso Krull at the round auditorium at Jakobi 2. The three will talk about whether the joke is a fading phenomenon in the Estonian culture, in our everyday reality. Inspired by Jüri Üdi’s poetry, Olga and Priit Pärn and Hasso Krull raise the question of the right and freedom to joke in today’s society. Who gets the last laugh?
The handing over of the professorship can be watched live on UTTV or at Jakobi 2. The event is in Estonian.
In 2020/2021 two world-renowned animators Olga and Priit Pärn fill the position of Professor of Liberal Arts at the University of Tartu
It is the first time in the history of this professorship at the University of Tartu when there are two professors of liberal arts active at the same time – so far, there has been only one per academic year.
Priit and Olga Pärn have made animated films for 75 years and have more than 40 years of teaching experience in total. By giving lectures about the nature and history of animated film, as well as about the process of creating animations, the aim of their course "Animation: from inside and from outside" (only in Estonian) is to increase interest in animated film as such, and to encourage putting that interest into practical use, i.e. channeling it into a concrete form.
The main components of their course are lectures and film programmes. Every film programme directly relates to the following lecture, in historic or technological sense and in content. The lectures that touch upon the necessary skills for creating an animated film give the listener an opportunity for active participation.
Priit Pärn graduated from the Department of Biology at the University of Tartu as a plant ecologist, but after six years of working at the Botanical Garden of Tallinn, he made a career change and started making animated films at the Tallinnfilm (later Eesti Joonisfilm) Studio. Since the 1960s Pärn has been active as a caricaturist, illustrator and freelance graphic artist, and since the late 1980s also as a lecturer. In 2006 he established the animation department at the Estonian Academy of Art, and served as its director until 2019. He has taught at film schools in almost every European country, as well as in Japan and Australia. His films have received more than 80 awards in different international animated and short films festivals, including grand prix’s at the most important festivals. He has received seven lifetime achievement awards, including one from the Estonian Cultural Endowment in 2019.
Since 2006 Pärn has been making films together with his wife Olga Pärn who is also an animator and film director. In 2000 Olga Pärn (Marchenko) graduated cum laude from the graphic arts department (specialising in intaglio) at the Belarusian Academy of Art. She completed a course in film directing at the La Poudriére animation school in France, and then worked as an art director and animator (specialising in sand animation) in the animation department at Belarusfilm Studio. The films she has created or contributed to have won numerous awards at international animated and short film festivals.
The animated films that Olga and Priit Pärn have created together have won 36 awards in festivals all over the world, including 11 grand prix’s.