UoA 53c: Scandinavian Studies

Research in the Department of Scandinavian Studies encompasses the languages, literatures, cultures and histories of all the countries of the Nordic region.  We approach these fields in ways that are both multi-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary; that are both national but also comparative and inter-cultural; and that are synchronic but also diachronic, encompassing the period stretching from the Viking middle ages to the present day.  As the only independent department within our field, we have a uniquely important role as the guardian of Scandinavian studies in the UK.  But we are also well-placed to offer a distinctive external perspective on the languages, literatures, societies and cultures of the region, albeit one that is often pursued in collaboration with our colleagues in Scandinavian institutions.  These two ambitions are reflected not only in the research outputs of members of staff, but also in the Department’s structures for fostering a lively research culture and its strategies for the future.

The Department has undergone some major changes during the last assessment period.  The retirement of several key members of staff has given us the opportunity to reassess our work and reposition the Department at the forefront of Scandinavian Studies and its component disciplines.  It is a dynamic Department whose members all give the highest priority to critical thinking, meticulous scholarship, engagement with key theoretical debates and the dissemination of research in a variety of formats.  We see our role as a research institution inseparably linked to our status as one of the few institutions in the UK continuing to teach Scandinavian Studies at both undergraduate and postgraduate level, and we make the highest demands of our staff in both teaching and research.

Although an independent unit, the Department’s research in Scandinavian Studies should be seen within the broader context of language-based area studies at UCL.  Members of staff work particularly closely with colleagues at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, which includes Finland and the Baltic States in its remit.  Fruits of this collaboration include the June 2007 conference “Tilsit and the Baltic in 1807: Copenhagen – Warsaw – Sveaborg”, organised by Munch-Petersen with Richard Butterwick of SSEES History, and the anthology Discursive Constructions of Identity in European Politics (London: Palgrave, 2007), the result of a collaboration between Thomson and Richard Mole of SSEES. 

Research in the Department can be grouped under four disciplinary headings: language and linguistics (Barnes); Old Norse and medieval studies (Abram and Antonsson); modern literature and cultural studies (Forsås-Scott, Neijmann, Stougaard-Nielsen, Thomson); modern history (Hilson). We see our diverse interests and multi-disciplinarity as a strength, and seek to stimulate debate and exchange between scholars working in quite different fields.

Download full text of the RA5a statement for Scandinavian Studies (pdf 80Kb)

Staff names below link to submitted publications:

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