Ph.D., Princeton University, 1985

Dr. h.c., University of Tartu, 2015

Thomas Salumets is a cultural and literary historian whose more recent work calls for broader and deeper eco-philosophical perspectives and sustainable notions of subjectivity. Dr. Salumets is a Fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, past President of the international Association for the Advancement of Baltic Studies (AABS), and former editor of the multi-disciplinary Journal of Baltic Studies (Routledge). At the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, he served as Chair of the Programme in Comparative Literature and, from 2006 to 2011, as Head of the Department of Central, Eastern and Northern European Studies. He has presented his research at scholarly conferences and given invited lectures on European literatures and cultural history in Estonia, Canada, Lithuania, Germany, Latvia, Finland, Norway, the United States, Hungary and Sweden. His monograph Unforced Flourishing: Understanding Jaan Kaplinski (Montreal/Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2014) has been translated into Estonian (Tallinn: Varrak, 2016) and nominated for an award by the Estonian Cultural Endowment. The monograph exemplifies Thomas Salumets’s concern for “posthuman” dimensions of thought as a signature strength and source of conflict in the life and work of one of Estonia’s premier contemporary writers and public intellectuals. Together with Sander Gilman he is also a long-standing editor of the novels of Friedrich Maximilian Klinger, the prominent 18th-century German writer and controversial czarist civil servant. In Estonia, as an academic writer Dr. Salumets is particularly known for his collection of essays in translation entitled Mõju Mõnu (Pleasure of Influence), recently published by Tartu University Press (Studia Litteraria Estonica 14, 2014), and his edition of essays authored by Jaan Kaplinski, a standard reference work in the field (Ilmamaa, 2004). He has also examined the work of the influential 20th-century human scientist Norbert Elias. Thomas Salumets’s multi-author volume on Norbert Elias (2001 and 2009) has attracted international interest for bringing leading Elias scholars together and illuminating the complex ways in which we are connected. In 2015, Dr. Salumets was awarded the degree of Honorary Doctor of Humanities of the University of Tartu. His current interests include cultural expressions of ecological thought.


  • Thomas, Christian: “‘Der Verbrecher aus verlorener Ehre’ vor dem Hintergrund von Schillers früher Philosophie” (Germanic Studies)

Select Publications: Books, Editions, Special Issues 

Kujuneda Sunnita: Mõtestades Jaan Kaplinskit (Tallinn: Varrak, 2016).

Unforced Flourishing: Understanding Jaan Kaplinski (Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2014, e-Book 2014).

Mõju Mõnu [Pleasure of Influence]. (Tartu: University Press, 2014).

(Ed.) Norbert Elias and Human Interdependencies (Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2001, e-Book 2009).

(Ed.) F.M. Klinger. Geschichte eines Teutschen der neuesten Zeit. Werke. Historisch-kritische Gesamtausgabe. Volume XVII (Tübingen: Niemeyer, 2007). Co-editor: Sander L. Gilman and Karl-Heinz Hartmann.

(Ed.) A Transatlantic Gathering. Essays in Honour of Peter Stenberg. (München: Iudicium, 2007). Co-editor: Marketa Goetz-Stankiewicz.

(Ed.) Jaan Kaplinski. Kõik on Ime [Reverence for Life]. (Tartu: Ilmamaa, 2004, e-Book 2014).

(Ed.) F.M. Klinger. Giafar der Barmecide. Werke. Historisch-kritische Gesamtausgabe. Volume XIII (Tübingen: Niemeyer, 2004). Co-editor: Sander L. Gilman and Karl-Heinz Hartmann.

(Ed.) Special Issue: Jaan Kross. Journal of Baltic Studies 31.3 (2000).

 (Ed.) Germanics Under Construction. With Joerg Roche (München: Iudicium, 1996).

German and Estonian Cultural Studies

Research Projects

      1. Astonishing Simplicities: Jaan Kaplinski and His Contemporaries.


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