Welcome to the Norwegian Program!

Program Focus: Students in the Norwegian Program explore the rich cultural history, cultural diversity and changing society of Norway today. Our courses focus on the study of culture through fiction, film, cultural essays. You learn the Norwegian language through interactive classes that emphasize written and spoken communication. How useful is this study to your life and career? You will learn to interpret texts critically, communicate clearly, think creatively and acquire skills that allow you to engage in cultural settings different from your own. In the Norwegian Program, we link the reading of texts to critical inquiry in three main areas:

1) Explorations of cultural and national identity in times of change. An understanding of Norway in the 21st century is central to this inquiry;

2) Expressions of the human experience of conflict, displacement and social injustice;

3) Questions of authority based on gender, class, regional identity, or ethnicity.

Though most of the courses in literature and film are taught in English, the understanding of Norwegian language and culture is cultivated in each individual student.

Comparative Contexts: Is it Norway and only Norway we explore? Not at all. Norwegian language, literature, and film are investigated within the context of the larger Scandinavian and global communities. Most of our majors choose to double major. This brings diversity to the community of learners and allows for much valuable exchanges of ideas. Combining the Norwegian major with a major in history, political science, English, global studies, or environmental studies is common.

Why Study Norwegian?

“Hvis litteraturen ikke fantes, ville mange tanker bli usynlige”
If literature didn’t exist, many thoughts would remain invisible.
-Lars Saabye Christensen, Norwegian author

Studying the literature, language and film of Norway allows us to step out of the box of home to explore beyond the language and culture we know. This is a valuable enterprise in a world that increasingly requires that all of us have experience in a global setting.

For more information, feel free to contact Associate Professor Claudia Berguson 253-535-7512 and Associate Professor Troy Storfjell 253-535-8514.

Students happily jumping up in front of a body of water in Lofoten, Norway