With its elegant tailcoat, doctoral hat and doctoral sword, the style and tradition of Finland’s doctoral dress offer a dramatic contrast to more commonly seen forms of academical dress around the world. While a few standard works have superficially touched on the topic, there is a perhaps explainable dearth of work on Finnish academical dress in either academic literature or wider writing in any language. However, digital media have begun to yield accounts of Finnish doctoral ‘graduation’, and its dress and traditions are gaining exposure. In order to bring academical dress scholars up to date with this setting, this work offers a contemporary (re)introduction to the history and form of Finland’s academical dress that goes beyond the coverage of existing works, explaining some of the meaning of its regalia, highlighting its unique features, and offering an insight into the possible psycho-social attitudes behind its adoption and use. Furthermore, it presents the first collated historical account of the origins and practices of Finnish academical dress published in English, and offers the first published photograph of the original doctoral sword designed by Akseli Gallén-Kallela, which is still in production today.
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"The Academical Dress of Finland: A Contemporary (Re)Introduction,"
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New Prairie Press
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