Recent News

The Department is seeking candidates to fill a tenure-track appointment in the area of Norwegian language, literature, and culture. Please see the Academic Human Resources website for the full job announcement.
Conference theme:  As stated on the Congress website, the 2015 overall Congress theme Capital Ideas, invites us to reflect on the power of ideas: ideas captivate our hearts and minds; ideas connect people and ignite discussions and debates; ideas create knowledge and spark discoveries. Ideas represent an invaluable currency capable of changing our lives and our world. We thus expect Congress 2015 to be an exciting intellectual hub where ideas will be expressed, shared and implemented! The theme also relates to the location of this year’s Congress host in the national capital. As... Read more
Lauri Õuna­puu
"Lauri Õunapuu, an Estonian musician, plays tra­di­tional folk instru­ments in a heavy metal band, Met­satöll – the ancient Eston­ian word for what you should call a wolf if you don’t want him to hear you, Õuna­puu explained.This is just one of the ancient tra­di­tions of Esto­nia Õuna­puu shared as a guest lec­turer in Dr. Gun­tis Šmid­chens’ intro­duc­tion to folk­lore class," written by Indra Ekmanis, a former student, in her... Read more
Alumni Ryan Kristiansen
Alumni Ryan Kristiansen Ryan Kristiansen (Scandinavian Studies and Geography 2003) has lived and worked in Europe for 10 years and considers his education at the University of Washington as fundamental to his personal and professional success. After a six-month internship with the City of Kent, Washington, he moved to the United Kingdom, working as a Minerals and Waste Planning officer with Powys County Council.  There he was active in the improvement and rationalization of the IT system in use within the local authority. An exciting opportunity within Planning... Read more
Barbro Osher
Barbro Osher ProSuecia Foundation upgrades Professorship in Swedish to an Endowed Chair in Swedish Studies The Barbro Osher ProSuecia Foundation has upgraded the Barbro Osher Endowed Professorship in Swedish Studies to an Endowed Chair in Swedish Studies with a most generous donation now totaling $1,000,000. A native of Stockholm, Sweden, Barbro Osher graduated from Stockholm University with a degree in languages and political science. Osher is deeply concerned that Scandinavian Studies Departments are loosing ground at American universities. She feels that Scandinavia stands for social... Read more
Jan Sjavik, Department Chair and Professor
At the beginning of the 2014-2015 academic year we are both looking forward to what the new year may bring and reflecting on the department’s recent achievements. We are most grateful for our many excellent students, the support which we have received both on campus and from the local community, and for the hard work and well-deserved achievements of our faculty.  During the past academic year we saw a record-breaking four students receive their Ph.D.s, two in Danish (Kirstine Kastbjerg and Melissa Lucas), one in Norwegian (Maren Anderson Johnson, who now has a faculty position at Luther... Read more
UW prof: Scotland independence could have big economic impact reads the title of this news story featuring Professor Ingebritsen.
Maren Anderson Johnson
New Ph.D. in Scandinavian Studies, Maren Anderson Johnson Maren Anderson Johnson successfully defended her Ph.D. dissertation “Staging Genius: Henrik Ibsen and Biographical Theater” on  May 29th, 2014. The dissertation argues that recent Norwegian dramas by Robert Ferguson, Jon Fosse, and Niels Fredrik Dahl have shifted the discussion around Ibsen’s authorship and altered perceptions of Ibsen’s status as a genius. The plays stress the ways in which women played a necessary, complicated, and overlooked role in Ibsen’s writing process, challenging the stereotype of the... Read more
Senior Lecturer and Undergraduate Advisor Ia Dübois
Senior Lecturer and Undergraduate Advisor Ia Dübois The daily life at the Scandinavian Department is full of excitement and challenges. The excitement comes of course from my dear colleagues and our many wonderful students, undergraduates and graduates. Last fall I taught the large “sex course” again with near 200 students to keep track of with the help of my TA, Sabina Ivenäs. Every time I teach the course it is different and creates a new challenge thanks to the new course material and the very different... Read more
Marianne Stecher
It's not often that a literary study makes front page news! On September 2nd, Denmark's largest daily newspaper POLITIKEN published a front-page story on Karen Blixen (Isak Dinesen), reporting that an important new study by UW Professor of Scandinavian Studies Marianne Stecher had challenged decades of criticism about the Danish literary icon, whose  literary works about colonial Africa have often provoked controversy and elicited praise. Critic Mikkel Bruun Zangenberg gave high marks (five-hearts) to The Creative Dialectic in Karen Blixen's Essays, calling it a "smashing good study... Read more