The Area of Cultural Theory at the School of Humanities in Tallinn University connects five major fields in humanities: Anthropology, Philosophy, Cultural Studies, Urban Studies and Comparative Literature. This interdisciplinary association, uniting internationally valued expertise in culture studies, is unique in Estonia. We are dedicated to researching and teaching both theoretical and practical aspects of how culture works in society. With this aim in mind, we incorporate disciplines like Cultural History, Cultural Geography, Cultural and Social Anthropology, Cultural Philosophy, Cultural Semiotics, Religious Studies and Comparative Literature.
Culture is a complex sign system that surrounds us from birth to death and gives us an ability to make our life meaningful. We truly grow into humans inside culture, it is culture that provides us with the tools for giving meaning to ourselves and to our surroundings. Cultural knowledge and skills are a pre-requisite to manage our lives successfully and to orientate in the world. Significantly, the contemporary and gradually more entwined world expects from us stronger cultural self-identity, the ability to orientate in different cultures, and ability to analyse various types of information quickly and creatively.
The foremost aim of the Area of Cultural Theory is to teach how to manage well in our own and in foreign cultures. We value the diversity of cultures and cultural tolerance and consider important both the knowledge of different cultures and the different ways of interpretation that enable us to research and understand cultures fruitfully. This aim is served by the active research of our academic staff: the Area of Cultural Theory has close links with The Centre of Excellence in Cultural Theory, The Tallinn University Centre of Excellence in Intercultural Studies, and the inter-university Graduate School of Culture Studies and Arts. Cooperation with the Centre for Landscape and Culture, the Institute of History, Archaeology and Art History as well as with the Semiotics Repository is important for us.
The Area of Cultural Theory values the international academic environment, we have several foreign lecturers and researchers. We are operating one BA programme (Liberal Arts in Humanities) and three MA programmes in English (Anthropology, Literature, Visual Culture and Film Studies, and Comparative Literature and Cultural Semiotics) and have numerous Erasmus+ agreements with our partner universities, we have strong traditions in organising various international research events.
The graduates of our study area will be able to realise their potential in a wide range of spheres wherever good analytical and communication skills, broad mindedness, good adaptability skills and quick acquisition of new knowledge are valued and demanded. Our graduates so far have usually found work in different institutions in the sphere of culture, in journalism, in governmental organisations, in educational establishments and international organisations.
Head of Study Area, Associate Professor Eneken Laanes