Johan Amund Kjærhus
Chair, Department of Nordic Studies
| Assumed office|
1 June 2008
|Born|| 29 January 1960|
|Children||Astrid, Mikkel, Aron, and Anita Kjærhus|
|Alma mater||University of Tromsø|
|Religion||Uralican Evangelical Baptist Christian.|
Dr. Johan Amund Kjærhus is a Uralican politician and professor. He has sporadically served on the Uralican Tribal Council, although he is mostly involved with teaching and research at Uralikan Yliopisto, where he became the first-ever cross-listed faculty (between Nordic Studies and Uralic Studies) at the same to be named the chair of one department.
Johan was born in Bodø, Norway, to Lasse and Aase Kjærhus, the former being a Saami reindeer herder and the latter being a Norwegian linguist. His childhood was spent in the north of Norway, where he went to school but was taught the Northern Saami language by his father and mother. He displayed an affinity towards football (soccer) when he was in his teens, but decided not to pursue it further. Instead, he focussed on scholarship, and he ended up among the University of Tromsø's first Saami linguistics students at the BA level, bringing his intimate knowledge of the Northern Saami language and Samic culture in general to the table.
In a similar situation to his paternal grandmother Olava and father Lasse, Johan's future spouse ended up being a fully Norwegian linguist by the name of Thea Gjeldnes, who hailed from Trondheim and was attending U of Tromsø for a general linguistics degree. Although their relationship had a rocky start according to Johan, as time went on they seemed to grow on one another. In the meantime, he kept his marks at such a high level that Tromsø's linguistics department openly voiced its worry that it would lose him to more prestigious institutions, partly because, aside from his command of both Norwegian and Northern Sami, his English was practically perfect. Upon graduating from university in 1983, he took time off of school to spend more time with Thea, whom he would eventually marry in late 1984. He then applied to several universities, being accepted to half a dozen of them (Uppsala, Wolverhampton, Helsinki, Bonn, Edinburgh, and Tromsø), and eventually settling on Edinburgh for its reputation in linguistic research. Before he embarked on his MA studies, though, he worked on a second BA, which only took him another year and a half because of what he had already done in Tromsø. His subject was Medieval studies, and his focus was on the region now occupied by the Nordic Nations.
Ever the versatile one, he spent the next six years juggling completing two Master's Degrees, being a teaching assistant, and helping raising three children - his eldest, Astrid, was born in late 1985, then his next-eldest, Mikkel, was born in mid-1987, and finally, Aron was born in January of 1989. After finally completing his MS (the equivalent of an MA in most countries), he returned home to Norway, spending two years teaching linguistics in Tromsø at his alma mater. In 1991, he was again contacted by the University of Helsinki, thinking that he would be interested in their PhD in Finno-Ugric Studies. He couldn't help obliging, and he started in 1992 just after the birth of his youngest child, Anita, spending four years researching Sami languages and cultures and writing a dissertation on comparative Samic linguistics, in the process gaining a basic proficiency in the Inari Saami language, which would come in handy much later. His studies were made considerably easier by the collapse of the Soviet Union, which allowed him relatively free access to the Kola Peninsula to study the Skolt, Ter, and Kildin Saami languages. He did manage to secure some documents in the extinct Akkala Sami language as well. Impressed by the lengths he went to to get his research completed, the Russian Department of Education offered him a position at Saint Petersburg State University, but he politely declined, to remain at Helsinki. He spent five more years there, then taught linguistics and medieval studies at the University of Toronto for four more. He was actually on vacation in Bodø when Cataclysm began, and was dumbfounded by the sheer number of refugees that the city had to take on.
Tromsø was moderately damaged by the events, although the damage paled in comparison to that suffered by cities in the south of the country. Still, the university was rebuilt by mid-2006, so he returned there to teach. But he found himself disturbed by developments in Great War III in early 2007, and this wasn't just the /b/ombing - it turned out that certain Russians were running a campaign of persecution against non-Russians by ethnicity. He and a young politician from Stavanger named Kennet Kjetilssen began networking, and after about a month, Kjetilssen began rounding up ethnic-Saami members of Nordreich's army to go into Russian lands and evacuate all Saami from the Kola Peninsula to Finnmark. Kjærhus went along for the trip as he had several contacts in the Samic communities. With the Uralic persecutions becoming more internationally known, Kjærhus began a foray into politics on the platform that he would fight for basic human rights for Saami peoples, and was elected to government in the small Robertian nation that occupied the area around Bodø.
News of Johan's local exploits reached Syktyvkar in August via Kjetilssen, who had kept in touch with his newfound ally in the war against racist violence. This led to dialogues being started with such noteworthy Uralicists as Jarkko Salomäki, Ovdey Shlomov, Vaido Kuik, Matti Koppinen, and Yevgeny Kolpakov, and even though he didn't leave for Syktyvkar until after Uralica was founded, he kept in constant contact with the Movement and was a vocal proponent of the foundation of a pan-Uralic homeland.
He blasted several Russian extremist groups for their actions in Yoshkar-Ola and later Syktyvkar and Chaykovsky. Although he was only nominally Christian, he partook in a Lutheran solidarity vigil that fell on the last day of the Three-Day Revolution.
He had a long discussion with his wife and children on the morning of 11 March 2008, and after about three hours of talking, they decided that if a Uralic state formed, they would move there. Sure enough, a week later, the Tribal State of Uralica formed. Intrigued by its political system, he decided to get involved. Because of his knowledge of both Nordic and Uralic academic subjects, Shlomov would put him in charge of a pilot project in the burgeoning scholastic environment of Uralican post-secondary, which would end up becoming a department within Uralikan Yliopisto. So he taught Nordic and Uralic studies out of the old Syktyvkar State University building until the Main Campus was finished in late July. Before that, he was named the first Chair of the Department of Nordic Studies, a position he has held for over two and a half years.
The change in scenery had a positive effect on his wife and children as well. They all eventually became full-fledged Christians of the Uralican Evangelical Baptist persuasion, and Thea, who had been out of school for some time and decided to further her education, beginning a Master of Applied Linguistics and Exegesis, which she is scheduled to complete in the summer of 2011. They lived in Syktyvkar until the annexation of what is now Sapmi, after which Johan and Thea moved to Murmansk and their children all decided to move to different areas. Johan, on top of being a departmental head, is also the chair of academic operations at the Murmansk campus of UY (basically meaning he's in charge of the campus). Astrid was the only one to remain in Syktyvkar and is one of a few women rumoured to be romantically linked to Jarkko Salomäki, although these are unconfirmed. Mikkel, 23, lives in Käddluhtt, where he is training in home stewardship at the State College of Uralica. Aron, 21 lives in Kolosjoki and is also studying at SCU, although his field of study is metallurgy. Finally, 18-year-old Anita is a musician in the UralTek Games Symphony Orchestra (she plays viola) and is studying Music Composition at the Nizhny Tagil College of Arts.
- Johan spoke three languages fluently by the time he had finished high school (Northern Saami, Norwegian, and English), and now speaks six more (Skolt Saami, Kildin Saami, Russian, Finnish, Karelian, and Kven).
- His favourite sport is football (soccer) and his favourite team is lower-division side Sapmi Murmansk.
- He is a general lover of music, although he admits he finds metal "somewhat grating."
- An avid gamer, he often buys games with scores featuring his youngest daughter's viola playing.
- He keeps his head shaven, and has done so since he started losing his hair in his mid-20s.