The Comenian

Professor Spotlight: Five Questions for Heikki Lempa

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Photo By: Kaytlyn Gordon

Photo By: Kaytlyn Gordon

Photo By: Kaytlyn Gordon

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Dr. Heikki Lempa is Professor of German and Modern European History who has been teaching at Moravian College since 2001. Dr. Lempa, who comes from a farming family in Finland (and whose sister still owns a farm there), earned his doctorate in European history at the University of Chicago.

What research are you currently working on?

I’m working on a book about honor practices and civil society in Germany. The period covers 1700 to 1914. I am also working on the history of emotions and our emotional attachment to objects. There is also a project on a global history of the body, which should take between 10 and 15 years.

How did you become interested in German studies?

A lot of philosophy comes from Germany, as well as the modern model for the university. Friends of mine went suddenly to the country, so I followed them there.

What is your biggest student pet peeve?

Sleeping in class, although it is unavoidable. There should be no classes before 10:00 am, because there is no discussion.

What job would you have if you couldn’t be a professor, regardless of salary and job outcome?

I would like to be a bookstore owner.

What’s your spirit animal and why?

I enjoy cows. They are very peaceful and have nice eyes.

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