Pekka Hämäläinen (historian)

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Pekka Johannes Hämäläinen (born 1967, Helsinki) is a Finnish professor and author of a multiple prize-winning book, The Comanche Empire.[1] Since 2012 he has been the Rhodes Professor of American History at the University of Oxford.[2][3] He was formerly in the History Department at University of California at Santa Barbara.[4]


Hämäläinen was born and raised in Helsinki, Finland. It wasn't until high school, and an inspiring teacher, that he realized he actually liked history, his core interest being Native American history. At university Hämäläinen majored in history and trained to become a secondary history teacher. After finishing his M.A. he began work on his Ph.D., and realized that he wanted to become a professional historian.[5]

He graduated from University of Helsinki, with a Ph.D. in 2001. He taught at Texas A&M University from 2002 to 2004. His work has appeared in the American Historical Review, Journal of American History, William and Mary Quarterly, and the Western Historical Quarterly.[6][7] He taught in the History Department at University of California, Santa Barbara before moving to Oxford University.

Hämäläinen is currently researching and composing a history of the Lakȟóta beginning in the seventeenth century through the twentieth century.



  • The Comanche Empire. New Haven, CT; Yale University Press. 2008. 512 pages. ISBN 978-0300151176.
  • When Disease Makes History: Epidemics and Great Historical Turning Points. Helsinki, Finland; Yliopistopaino Printing Services. 2006. 314 pages. ISBN 978-9515706409.
  • with Benjamin H. Johnson. Major Problems in the History of North American Borderlands. Boston, MA; Cengage Learning. 2011. 568 pages. ISBN 978-0495916925.


  1. ^ a b Yale University Press
  2. ^ "Professor Pekka Hämäläinen". University of Oxford Faculty of History. Retrieved 9 December 2017.
  3. ^ "Pekka has been appointed". Retrieved 20 September 2018.
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Personal correspondence with Dr. Hämäläinen." Interview by Dakota Wind. October 31, 2017.
  6. ^
  7. ^ "The Politics of Grass: European Expansion, Ecological Change, and Indigenous Power in the Southwest Borderlands". The William and Mary Quarterly. 67 (2): 173. 2010. doi:10.5309/willmaryquar.67.2.173.
  8. ^