German and Scandinavian Studies teaches languages as well as familiarizes students with the cultural achievements of Germany and Scandinavia and hones their critical thinking through historical, sociological, cultural, and, above all, interdisciplinary methods. We regularly offer Swedish, and Norwegian is available through the Five-College Center for the Study of World Languages. We offer many courses in German film, history, twentieth-century literature, and cultural, Jewish, and gender studies. Our courses are among the most popular at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Undergraduates can work on practical projects with faculty ranging from research assistantships to development of web-based language instruction and course website creation. A number of our undergraduates have participated in prestigious international internships. The program is structured to set the study of the Germanic languages and their literatures within the contexts of their respective cultures, including their historical, economic, political, philosophical, and cultural aspects. Strong interdisciplinary ties with other departments (music, drama, the visual arts, history, philosophy, political science, business) are encouraged. Members of different American and European faculties appear as speakers before the department or teach as visiting professors. Close cooperation with the Goethe Institute in Boston enriches the extracurricular program and acquaints students with many aspects of contemporary Germany, far beyond the strictly literary realm. German drama is occasionally performed and German film series are regularly offered, often in conjunction with the surrounding colleges. Lectures and performances which are sponsored by the German departments of Amherst, Mount Holyoke, and Smith colleges are open to all students and greatly diversify the cultural offerings in this field.
Program Director: Andrew Donson (adonson[at]german.umass.edu)
Undergraduate Chief Advisor for German: Robert G. Sullivan (sullivan[at]german.umass.edu)
Undergraduate Advisor for Scandinavian and Swedish: Frank Hugus (hugus[at]german.umass.edu)