On Saturday, April 29th, Dr. Ulla Connor presented a celebratory speech at the 185th Annual Celebration for the Finnish Society of Sciences and Letters. The celebration is a prestigious event attended by society members, including scholars, scientists, and intellectuals, from all over Finland and abroad. The celebration included the awarding of prizes and grants, a short performance by the Academic Female Voice Choir Lyran, and Dr. Connor’s speech, “The Birth of Applied Linguistics in the Nordic Countries,” which focused on the emergence and development of applied linguistics as a field of study in Finland and other Nordic countries. Dr. Connor, Chancellor’s Professor of English in the School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI, holds the Barbara E. and Karl R. Zimmer Chair in Intercultural Communication and is the founding Director of the International Center for Intercultural Communication.
The Finnish Society of Sciences and Letters, formally called Societas Scientiarum Fennica, founded in 1838, is the oldest scientific society in Finland. It aims to promote scientific research and scholarly activity in various fields, including humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. The society organizes events, awards, grants, and prizes, and publishes scientific journals and books. At present, the society has 405 elected members, of which 6 are honorary members, 283 are ordinary members and 116 are foreign members. Dr. Connor was elected as a foreign member in 2000, one of fewer than 100 foreign members at the time.
Dr. Connor’s invitation to speak at the Annual Celebration was a significant honor, as it is a rare opportunity for scholars to share their research and insights with such a distinguished audience of experts and academics. The invitation is a testament to her outstanding contributions to the field of applied linguistics and her international reputation as a scholar. Her speech provided valuable insights into the history and development of the field in the Nordic countries and will contribute to furthering research and scholarship in the field.