Scandinavian studies

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Map of Nordic countries

Scandinavian studies is an interdisciplinary academic field of area studies that covers topics related to Scandinavia and the Nordic countries, including languages, literatures, histories, cultures and societies. The term Scandinavia has both narrow and broad definitions. In the field of Scandinavian studies, a broad definition typically applies, encompassing the whole Nordic region of Denmark, the Faroe Islands, Greenland, Iceland, Finland, Norway, and Sweden.

The field is also home to research related to the Nordic diaspora, the Sami people, as well as regions affected by Nordic colonialism. Study of the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania is either considered to be under the umbrella of Scandinavian studies or is treated as a closely related field.[1][2] The broad approach prevails despite the fact that Icelandic, Faroese, the Finnic languages, the Baltic languages, and Greenlandic do not belong to the group of North Germanic languages spoken in a narrowly defined Scandinavia. In Germany, however, "Skandinavistik" is considered a subfield of Germanic languages, with accompanying literature and culture, and "Fennistik" is the separate study of Finnic languages.

Universities offering education and performing research in Scandinavian studies are located throughout North America and Europe. Learned societies within the field include the Society for the Advancement of Scandinavian Study (SASS) with its quarterly journal Scandinavian Studies, the International Association of Scandinavian Studies (IASS), and the Association for the Advancement of Scandinavian Studies in Canada (AASSC). In 2010 and 2014, SASS and the Association for the Advancement of Baltic Studies (AABS) held joint conferences.

The largest departments of Scandinavian studies in the United States are found at the University of Washington, the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and the University of California, Berkeley. University College London and the University of Edinburgh are home to the only extant full departments of Scandinavian studies in the UK.


  1. "Scandinavian Studies | University of Washington". 2013-07-24. Retrieved 2013-10-15.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Scandinavian and Baltic Studies University of British Columbia". Retrieved 2015-12-10.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

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