In the field of history, the Faculty of Arts has an extensive research community of a high standard, with roots going back to the establishment of the Academy of Turku in 1640. Its research subjects are geographically, temporally and thematically diverse. Scholars of history publish extensively both internationally and in the national languages (Finnish and Swedish), many of them actively participating in public discourse.
At the University of Helsinki, research focus areas in history include
- Intellectual history, particularly the history of Western political thought
- Cultural history, such as the history of customs, norms and rituals
- Social history, such as the history of the welfare state
- Political history and the history of political culture
- European urban history
- Economic history, as well as relations between businesses and society
- National and international historiography
- History of the environment and climate
- History of power and violence
- Medieval history, particularly text studies and the history of scholars
- Maritime history.