Welcome to the Department of Scandinavian at UC-Berkeley! The languages, literatures, and cultures of the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden) are the focus of teaching and research in the department. The interdisciplinary curriculum ranges from topics in Viking and Medieval Scandinavian history and literature to the influential cultural contributions of the successful Nordic societies of more contemporary times. Instructors regularly teach beginning and intermediate classes in all five modern Nordic languages as well as reading and grammar classes in Old Norse at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Students in the undergraduate major choose a concentration in medieval studies or in one of the modern language areas while also working in comparative and interdisciplinary ways with other cultural materials from the region. Graduate students pursuing the Ph.D. train to become comparative Scandinavianists while also developing depth and expertise in a more specific scholarly field.
The faculty in the department pursue research in a variety of fields including literary studies, philology, folklore, media and film studies, theater history, art history, archaeology, and architectural history. The interdisciplinary curiosity of the faculty sets the tone for our students, who are encouraged to explore widely and creatively within the intellectual field of Scandinavian Studies.