Scandinavian Studies

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Scandinavian (also Nordistik, Nordic / North Germanic / Scandinavian philology or Northern European Studies ) is the science that deals with the Scandinavian languages , the Scandinavian literatures total employed and the Scandinavian societies. In the Nordic countries , the term Nordistik or Nordisk filologi is common because the term Scandinavia only refers to Denmark, Norway and Sweden.

Subject history

The subject as well as the specialist course are now divided into four subject areas in German-speaking countries:

  • The Skandinavian medieval studies dedicated to the norrönen , d. H. Old Norse literature and language until about 1500, mainly from Iceland.
  • Scandinavian literary studies encompass the newer literatures since the Reformation from a historical and systematic perspective.
  • Scandinavian linguistics has as its subject the Scandinavian linguistic landscape.
  • Scandinavian cultural studies focuses on the cultures of Scandinavia in modern times.

In terms of technical history, Scandinavian Studies was mostly a specialization area of German studies , but is now an independent discipline that even includes non-Germanic cultures and languages ​​of Northern Europe at several locations. In part, the Scandinavian therefore overlaps with the Finno , the Baltic studies , the Frisistik and Sami studies . In the course of a regional scientific orientation in the last twenty years, which focuses on the culture of Northern Europe as a whole, the boundaries between history and political science, insofar as they deal with Northern Europe, have become increasingly permeable.

Friedrich David Gräter (1768–1830) from Schwäbisch Hall , Gottlieb Mohnike (1781–1841) from Grimmen near Stralsund and the Brothers Grimm are considered the founders of German Scandinavian studies . Mohnike translated and conveyed numerous older and more recent Scandinavian texts, including a. Works by Esaias Tegnér and the old Icelandic Heimskringla . Like Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm (1785–1863 and 1786–1859), Gräter published linguistic and literary works on Old Norse literature and language, especially on the Edda , which aroused interest in Scandinavia during the Romantic period. In addition to this philological interest, especially in older Scandinavian literature, since the late 18th century there has also been an academic interest in northern Europe, its political constitution and regional studies (at that time the subject of so-called statistics ) and its history, for which the Göttingen universal historian August Ludwig Schlözer (1735–1809) and his pupil, Friedrich Rühs from Greifswald (1781–1820, since 1811 full professor at the newly founded Berlin University). Representatives of the next generation were central to the scientific discussion of the north: the philologist Theodor Möbius (1821–1890) from Leipzig, the lawyer Konrad Maurer (1823–1929) from Munich, who became friends with both of them, first in Copenhagen and later in Oxford teaching Guðbrandur Vigfússon (1827–1889), as well as the Germanist Bernhard Kahle (1861–1910) in Heidelberg.

Overview of the German-speaking Scandinavian and Nordic institutes / seminars / departments

In German university policy, Scandinavian and Nordic Studies are classified as small subjects .

Name of the institute / seminar / department courses Subject history Special features / cooperations
University of Basel , Northern Studies Seminar
  • BA and MA degree (major and minor)
  • PhD studies
Nordic studies at the University of Basel has a long tradition, which began as early as 1825 with Nordic exercises in the context of German studies, initially limited almost exclusively to Nordic literature from the Middle Ages. With the establishment of a chair for the well-known Basel Germanist and Nordicist Andreas Heusler , regular events on Old Norse topics were offered from the winter semester 1921/22. In 1968 the Universities of Basel and Zurich established a coordinating chair for Nordic studies, the first holder of which was Oskar Bandle . As a researcher with broad interests in both medieval and linguistics as well as the newer and newest Scandinavian literatures, he developed Nordic studies in Basel into a modern, versatile subject. There is traditionally an intensive exchange with the University of Zurich . There is also cooperation with the EUCOR network. Like the Department of Nordic Philology at the University of Zurich, the Basel Nordic Studies are closely linked to the Swiss Society for Scandinavian Studies , which regularly holds guest lectures, conferences and author readings. The Nordic Philology of the University of Basel is dedicated to the Faroe Islands like very few other Nordic Studies institutes .
Humboldt University of Berlin , Northern Europe Institute
  • BA Scandinavian Studies / Northern European Studies as a single course, as a core subject or as a second subject (without teacher training option)
  • MA Scandinavian Studies / Northern European Studies
The Northern Europe Institute of the Humboldt University in Berlin emerged in 1994 from the merger of the two Scandinavian departments of the Humboldt University and the Free University. With more than 500 students, four professorships and two endowed professorships, lectureships for Danish, Finnish, Icelandic, Norwegian and Swedish as well as a broad teaching and research profile, it is one of the largest Scandinavian institutes outside of Northern Europe.

All four subject areas of Scandinavian studies are represented at the Northern Europe Institute. It cultivates as capital Scandinavian studies u. a. intensive contacts with the Nordic embassies, the German diplomatic missions in Northern Europe and the Finland Institute in Berlin.

Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn , Institute for Scandinavian Studies
  • BA German Studies, Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies
  • BA Scandinavian Studies
  • MA Scandinavian Studies
- Special emphasis on Germanic antiquity, mythology and the literature of medieval Iceland. In addition, research concentrates on modern literature, literary theory and poetics and the Scandinavian Film Days Bonn are also organized here.
Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg , Department of German and Comparative Studies, Nordic Philology
  • BA Nordic Philology, two-subject Bachelor
  • MA Literature Studies - Intermediate and Intercultural (with a Nordic major)
  • MA Ethics of Text Cultures (Elite Degree)


Nordic philology can be studied in Erlangen-Nuremberg as part of a two-subject bachelor's degree in combination with another subject.

This is followed by master’s courses such as the course “Literature Studies - Intermediate and Intercultural” with a Nordic core subject or the elite course “Ethics of Text Cultures”.

In addition to language acquisition, the content of the course in Erlangen-Nuremberg lies in the area of ​​recent Scandinavian literary and cultural studies and comparative literature.

Johann Wolfgang Goethe University Frankfurt a. M. , Institute for Scandinavian Studies
  • Master of Scandinavian Studies
  • BA Scandinavian Studies
  • MA Scandinavian Studies
- -
Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg , Scandinavian seminar
  • BA Scandinavian Studies in the major and minor subject (minor subject can also be started in the summer semester)
  • MA Scandinavian literary and cultural history
  • Swedish, Danish and Norwegian as supplementary subjects in diploma courses and as additional subjects in teacher training courses.
  • The master’s courses “European Literatures and Cultures”, “Medieval and Renaissance Studies” and “Master of Arts in European Linguistics” are closely linked to our range of courses.
- The special profile of Freiburg's Scandinavian Studies is reflected in the breadth of subjects on offer. In addition to the newer and older literary and cultural studies, Scandinavian linguistics is also represented; In this context, the Freiburg research group “ Sami Studies ” should also be mentioned, whose employees are closely integrated into teaching. All mainland Scandinavian languages ​​as well as Icelandic are taught at the institute. There is also cooperation with the EUCOR network.
Georg-August-Universität Göttingen , Scandinavian seminar
  • 2-subject BA
  • 1-subject MA (one semester stay at the partner universities in Århus, Gothenburg or Trondheim compulsory)
  • combined master’s course.
Nordic studies have been part of the university's research profile since the 18th century. The Georgia Augustana received a chair in Northern Studies in 1935; the Scandinavian seminar was established in 1950. The focus of research and teaching in modern Scandinavian studies is on Scandinavian literatures from the 18th century to the present, comparative literary studies and the history of Scandinavian drama and theater, in medieval studies on literary and cultural history, especially Iceland. The seminar maintains cooperation with the department for comparative literature, the center for medieval and early modern research as well as with the graduate college "Literature and Literature Mediation in the Age of Digitization", with the Literary Center Göttingen and various publishing houses and cultural institutions in Germany and abroad. An Erasmus stay is possible at the Universities of Århus , Bergen , Kristiansand , Trondheim , Gothenburg , Växjö and Reykjavík .
University of Greifswald , Institute for Fen and Scandinavian Studies
  • BA Scandinavian Studies. (Combination of Scandinavian and Fennistic studies possible)
  • MA Scandinavian Studies.
  • MA Scandinavian Studies with a focus on linguistics as part of Language Diversity (combination of Scandinavian Studies and Fen Studies possible)
  • MA Scandinavian Studies with a focus on literary studies in the context of culture-interculturality-literature
  • Teacher training in Danish, Norwegian, Swedish for high schools or regional schools
  • With Scandinavian participation: MA Intercultural Linguistics
  • Tennis courses at BA and MA level.
The Institute for Fennistics and Scandinavian Studies (formerly Nordic Department; originally: Nordic Institute) of the Philosophical Faculty of the University of Greifswald is the oldest Scandinavian institute (since 1918) in Germany. The subject can be studied in combination with Nordic history and has a specialist part in fenistics . The institute contributes significantly to the university research focus "Cultures of the Baltic Sea Region": A linguistic and literary studies chair, four lectureships and a specialist library with approx. 50,000 volumes in addition to extensive old holdings from the university library from Greifswald's Swedish times in the 17th and 18th centuries offer the best Requirements for Scandinavian research and teaching. In addition to the studies, the institute offers numerous practical professional offers in the field of cultural mediation (participation in the Nordischer Klang festival or the blog Baltic cultures, translation and publication projects). Since 1992, the institute has played a key role in organizing Nordic Sound , the largest Nordic cultural festival outside of the north.

In cooperation with the chairs of literary studies in Munich and Vienna, the institute participates in the New Reading Scandinavia website .

Kiel University , Institute for Scandinavian Studies, Frisian Studies and General Linguistics (ISFAS)
  • 2-subject BA Scandinavian Studies (profile subject supplement)
  • 2-subject BA Danish with the profile of teaching at grammar schools
  • 2-subject MA Scandinavian Studies
  • 2-subject MA in Danish with the profile of teaching at grammar schools
  • ME Danish and Swedish as possible extension / supplementary subjects
Since 1811 there has been a professorship for Danish language and culture at Kiel University, which was initially occupied by the Danish writer Jens Immanuel Baggesen . Kiel (as the capital of the Duchy of Holstein) was at that time still part of the entire Danish state . Later, the independent Nordic Institute developed, which was finally merged into the Institute for Scandinavian Studies, Hairdressing and General Linguistics. At the institute, there is an orientation towards the certified standards customary in the Scandinavian countries with a special focus on Danish (see Danish course with the teaching qualification profile). In addition, there is a special collection area "Scandinavia" at the university library. The European Journal of Scandinavian Studies (EJSS) will be published and the rune project Runic Written Form in the Germanic languages ​​(sponsored by: Deutsche Akademienunion, Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Göttingen). The institute is researching the following DFG projects: Skaldik-Projekt - New edition of the Skaldendichtung (2009–2015). Ballad Project - The Scandinavian ballad in the context of high and late medieval piety media (2014-2017). The course offers a practice- related profiling area ( profile subject supplement ) in which skills are acquired that prepare for the job market. The Scandinavian Studies department at the Institute for Scandinavian Studies, Frisian Studies and General Linguistics (ISFAS) is the largest Scandinavian studies in Germany.
University of Cologne , Institute for Scandinavian Studies / Fen Studies
  • 2-subject BA Scandinavian Studies / Fen Studies
  • 2-subject MA in fencing studies
  • 1-subject MA Scandinavian Cultures and Literatures (in cooperation with the Department of Scandinavian Studies at the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn )
  • 2-subject MA Scandinavian cultures and literatures.
The ISF was founded in 1967, but since the university was founded in 1919, Scandinavian culture had been taught at the university. Since 1999 the institute has also had a professorship in fencing studies. In addition to the usual Scandinavian courses of study, which are offered here with a focus on cultural studies, the ISF also offers training at BA and MA level for Fen Studies. Language training takes place in five languages ​​(Danish, Icelandic, Norwegian and Swedish, as well as Finnish for students of fencing). Icelandic traditionally has a special status in Cologne; the University and City Library has a large special collection of Icelandic publications ( Islandica ). The large number of subjects at the Philosophical Faculty, the largest philosophical faculty in German-speaking countries, also allows a variety of combination options in the course of study. In addition, the institute has a large number of international collaborations.
University of Mainz , Department of English and Linguistics, study line Languages ​​of Northern Europe and the Baltic States
  • BA in Linguistics
  • MA linguistics in preparation
- The Chair for Languages ​​of Northern Europe and the Baltic States at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz teaches the combination of Scandinavian, Baltic Finnish and Baltic languages ​​in an integrated research and teaching program
University of Munich, Institute for Nordic Philology
  • BA Scandinavian Studies HF and NF
  • Master of Scandinavian Studies (single subject HF)
- At the institute there is a fully developed Scandinavian Studies with four lectureships, which in addition to core areas of the subject also includes areas such as Arctic research and runology.

In cooperation with the chairs of literary studies in Greifswald and Vienna, the institute participates in the website New Reading Scandinavia .

University of Münster , Institute for Nordic Philology / Scandinavian Studies
  • BA Scandinavian Studies
  • MA Scandinavian Studies
- The main focus of Scandinavian studies in Münster lies in the area of ​​Medieval Studies on the Old Icelandic and Old Norwegian prose literature of the 13th and 14th centuries, and modern Scandinavian philology is also taught and researched. The master’s degree is internationally oriented and includes a one-semester stay at a Scandinavian university. Another focus of the study program is the imparting of professional knowledge from cultural practice.
Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen , German Seminar / Scandinavian Studies
  • BA Scandinavian Studies
  • MA Scandinavian Studies
  • Participation in the BA International Literatures
  • Participation in the MA in Literary and Cultural Theory
- The department for Scandinavian studies at the Eberhard Karls University Tübingen places a special emphasis on medieval literature and culture. There is a cooperation with the Arnamagnæan Summer School in Manuscript Studies , which is organized annually by the University of Copenhagen , the University of Reykjavík and the Icelandic National Library in cooperation with the universities in Tübingen, Zurich and Cambridge . There is also cooperation with the EUCOR network.
University of Vienna , Scandinavian Studies, Institute for European and Comparative Linguistics and Literature Studies (EVSL)
  • BA Scandinavian Studies
  • MA Scandinavian Studies
  • doctorate
  • Extension curriculum Scandinavian Studies (30 ECTS)
  • Extension Curriculum Scandinavian Studies: Baltic Sea Region Studies (15 ECTS)
- The University of Vienna is the only university in Austria where a degree in Scandinavian Studies can be completed. The teaching and research areas include older and newer language, literary and cultural studies as well as language courses for Danish, Icelandic, Norwegian and Swedish. There is also an additional teaching and research focus on Baltic Sea area studies with language courses for Lithuanian and Latvian.

Within linguistics, the focus is on the interaction between language and society (sociolinguistics, language planning and minority research) as well as on the history of language. The teaching and research of literary studies is based on the central theme "Literature as cultural practice" - literature is therefore considered in a cultural studies extension. Medieval Scandinavian studies give special attention to diachronic linguistics and the interpretations of rune-epigraphic and old Icelandic sources, especially with regard to their function in the relevant cultural milieu or their place in life. There are numerous collaborations with universities in German-speaking countries and Northern Europe as well as with the Gustav Adolfs Academies in Uppsala. In cooperation with the literary studies chairs in Munich and Greifswald, the institute participates in the New Reading Scandinavia website .

University of Zurich , German Seminar / Scandinavian Studies
  • BA (major and minor Scandinavian Studies)
  • MA (major and minor Scandinavian Studies)
  • PhD (major and minor Scandinavian Studies)
  • Participation in MA study programs in cultural analysis and medieval studies
- In addition to language courses in Danish, Icelandic, Norwegian and Swedish, the Department of Nordic Philology at the University of Zurich regularly offers courses in Scandinavian culture and linguistics as well as in older and modern literary studies. The department is one of the leading and internationally very well networked research institutes in the field of Scandinavian Medieval Studies and Scandinavian Romanticism research. The department also has one of the largest Scandinavian libraries in German-speaking countries. The current research profile lies in the interlacing of traditional philological and current cultural studies issues.

The activities of the department are closely linked to those of the Swiss Society for Scandinavian Studies of the SAHS , which regularly holds guest lectures, conferences and author readings. There is also cooperation with the EUCOR network.

Universitetet i Bergen , [1]
  • BA Nordisk språk og litteratur (Scandinavian languages ​​and literatures)
  • BA Norrøn filologi (Scandinavian Medieval Studies)
  • BA Norsk som andrespråk (Norwegian as a Foreign Language)
  • MA Nordisk språk og litteratur (Scandinavian languages ​​and literatures)
  • MA Norrøn filologi (Scandinavian Medieval Studies)
  • Årsstudium Nordisk (one-year postgraduate course in Scandinavian Studies)
  • Årsstudium Norsk som andrespråk (one-year postgraduate course in Norwegian as a foreign language)
  • PhD
  • also Norwegian language courses, distance learning programs and teacher training courses
- Theses and other written work can e.g. Some of them should be written in German (Medieval Department). The other languages ​​of instruction are the Scandinavian languages ​​and English.

The Scandinavian study programs are based at the Institutt for lingvistiske, litterære og estetiske studier (LLE). With around 60 permanent academic employees and around 40 scholarship holders and postdocs - around half of them in Scandinavian studies - the LLE is one of the largest humanistic institutes in Norway. Scandinavian Studies at the LLE encompasses the classic sub-disciplines of literary studies, linguistics, medieval studies and cultural studies as well as Norwegian as a foreign language, teacher training and New Icelandic. The LLE and the University of Bergen are well networked with the numerous cultural institutions of Bergen and are in close contact with many German, Scandinavian and other European universities, among others. a. about exchange programs.

Trade journals

German speaking

In the area of ​​German-speaking Scandinavian studies, the following journals should be mentioned:

  • European Journal of Scandinavian Studies (EJSS) ISSN  1536-7290 (continued the journal Scandinavian - Journal of language, literature and culture of the Nordic countries ISSN  0342 to 8427 , published at the (then) Nordic Institute in Kiel, founded in 1970, with 2007 vintage appearance set), published at the Scandinavian Studies Department in Kiel; since 2010 (comprehensive issue 2008/2009/2010), since then 2 issues a year
  • NORDEUROPA forum - magazine for politics, economy and culture of the Nordic countries ISSN  1863-639X , freely available on the net
  • Norrøna - magazine for culture, history and politics of the Nordic countries ISSN  0932-2787 , published at the Northern Europe Institute in Berlin
  • Tijdschrift voor Skandinavistiek ISSN  0168-2148 , jointly published by the Scandinavian Institutes in Amsterdam, Groningen and Gent; partly with articles in German


The French-language Revue d'histoire nordique has been published since 2005 .

More science forums

A professional association has been representing the subject externally in Germany since 2003. The Scandinavian Studies Working Conference (ATDS) has been held every two years at different locations since 1974 .

Previous knowledge for a Scandinavian studies course

Prior knowledge of a Scandinavian language is desirable, but not required. In the first semesters, knowledge of Old Norse must be acquired at most institutes / seminars / departments. Scandinavian studies require the intermediate Latinum at some locations .

A main language and a secondary language usually have to be chosen during the course. The Scandinavian languages ​​can be freely combined with one another.

Career prospects

The career prospects of Scandinavians correspond to those in many other humanities: It depends on the commitment of the individual. Basically today there is a great need for mediation between Scandinavia and the German-speaking area, after all, Scandinavia is one of the most successful economic regions in Europe. Corresponding positions are rarely advertised openly, but are mostly awarded through informal networks.

In Greifswald, teachers for Danish, Norwegian and Swedish (3rd subject in teaching at grammar schools) are trained, in Kiel and Flensburg teachers for Danish. In Freiburg, too, the languages ​​Danish, Norwegian and Swedish can be studied as additional subjects in the teacher training course .

See also

Individual evidence

  1. see page of the Small Subjects for Scandinavian Studies with an overview of the specialist locations
  2. ^ Website of the Eucor network
  3. ^ Website of the Eucor network
  4. ^ Website of the Eucor network
  5. ^ Website of the Eucor network
  6. a b EJSS website ( Memento of the original from January 2, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  7. ^ Website of NORTHERN EUROPE forum
  8. Norrøna website
  9. ^ Website of Tijdschrift voor Skandinavistiek
  10. ^ Website of the Scandinavian Association

Web links

Wiktionary: Scandinavian Studies  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations