October 28th, 2021
Hight's Sabbatical Pictures

Part 38: Conferences in Tartu, 31 May - 7 June, 2008

While in Tartu, Roomet Jakapi and I organized the first (hopefully annual) Nordic Workshop in Early Modern Philosophy, or, as the poster above shows, 'NWEMP.' The idea was to help foster early modern philosopher in northern and eastern Europe.

The presenters at the first NWEMP, held in Tartu, Estonia. Back row:  Markku Roinila (Univ. of Helsinki), Roomat Jakapi (Univ. of Tartu), Vili Lähteenmäki (Univ. of Jyväskylä), Jani Hakkarainen (Univ. of Tampere). Seated: Riin Sirkel (Univ. of Western Ontario and Univ. of Tartu), Eva Piirimäe (Univ. of Tartu), Marc Hight (Univ. of Tartu and Hampden-Sydney College), and Peter Myrdal (Univ. of Uppsala).

The next week the Department of Philosophy held its own annual Estonian Philosophy Conference. For the occasion, I managed to pester Triin enough to convince the special collections department at the library to display the famous philosophical artifact they have: Immanuel Kant's deathmask. One of Kant's students was working in Tartu when Kant died, and returned with one of five masks that was made of the Kant's face and head.

Outside of the library (where the Estonian Philosophy Conference was held) is this fountain/statue/piece of art. It is supposed to be an abstract representation of the face of the famous semiotician Juri Lotman, who did much of his work at the university in Tartu. If you let your imagination go, you can see the outlines of his face. The resemblance is actually pretty good if you have ever seen a picture of Lotman.

For web use the resolution is not that good, but inside the mask you can see the words 'I.M. Kant' written inside the plaster mold.

Roomet and myself posing for a picture with the schedule of NWEMP in my hands.

Margit Sutrop, the head of the department, gave the opening remarks for the NWEMP conference.

Markku Roinila in the midst of his talk about Leibniz. The conference was informal in the sense that the participants could engage one another freely during the talks. Overall I think the event went quite well.

On Saturday evening we had the conference dinner at a nearby restaurant. We had enough funds to invite several non-presenters (mostly students) to join us. Here roomet and myself are speaking with Janar (a MA student at Tartu) and a young woman from the Tallinn University.

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