The Centre for Scandinavian Studies Copenhagen-Lund (CSS) is an organization founded in 2010 and based on a close collaboration between the Institute for Nordic Studies and Linguistics (Institut for Nordiske Studier og Sprogvidenskab [INSS]) at the University of Copenhagen and The Centre for Languages and Literature (Språk- och litteraturcentrum [SOL]) at Lund University. In contrast to a physical academic institution, CSS has the character of a network through which a variety of educational and research centres (in and outside the Nordic countries) may collaborate via a permanent administrative base in Lund and Copenhagen. The long-term goal of CSS is to become a world leader in research and advanced education in the field of Scandinavian or Nordic culture.
More specifically, CSS has two main tasks:
1) On the one hand, we aim to export Scandinavian-oriented research and education at the universities of Lund and Copenhagen to specialists in Scandinavian culture abroad. We aim to accomplish this, for instance, through the implementation of training courses, seminars, symposia and conferences for foreign researchers, PhD-students and Master’s students. While the interest in Nordic culture and Nordic cooperation has recently declined in our own countries, it appears to have become a more urgent concern abroad, particularly in Eastern Europe and in Asia, where there is a strong economic expansion and where the Nordic welfare society has come to be regarded by many as an ideal.
2 ) On the other hand, we aim to import international perspectives in the hopes of broadening our own research and education. Many researchers and teachers at our institutions have recognized that the strictly national-based, or localized, study of Scandinavian languages and culture is no longer viable in a globalized world. We simply have to broaden our perspective and study the Nordic culture in relation to other cultures, both Western and non-Western. Our research and education should therefore place great emphasis on issues that characterize the Nordic countries in an international context, for example: issues relating to modernity and prosperity, nature and the environment, equality and gender, the culture of children and youth.
Since its inception in 2010, CSS has arranged a number of workshops with both Danish and Swedish participants in order to survey the research in Scandinavian studies conducted at INSS and SOL. The centre has also organized two major conferences on Nordic literature and film, to which a wide range of internationally-recognized scholars in Scandinavian studies were invited. Moreover, the centre has begun the arduous task of coordinating teaching, research and graduate studies specializing in Scandinavian studies in Lund and Copenhagen. In addition to the activities in Lund and Copenhagen, the centre has worked to establish good contacts with Nordic-oriented university departments abroad. We have visited the Scandinavian departments at Humboldt University of Berlin, University College London and Fudan in Shanghai and participated in Nordic-themed international conferences at universities in Vienna, Chicago and San Francisco.