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The research network “New Geographies of Scandinavian Studies” was initiated by Lill-Ann Körber (Aarhus University) and Torben Jelsbak (Copenhagen University), and is funded by the Independent Research Fund Denmark (2019-22). The aim is to promote and encourage international cooperation between scholars of Scandinavian Studies in the Baltic Sea Region and East-Central Europe. More specifically, the project aims at developing a closer collaboration between departments of Scandinavian Studies at the universities of Berlin, Budapest, Gdańsk, Poznań, Prague, and Vilnius, and sister institutions in Denmark in Aarhus and Copenhagen. By organizing a series of workshops, public seminars and conference panels at the member institutions and at international Scandinavian Studies conferences, and by directing a collective publication (a special issue of the Poznań-based journal Folia Scandinavica Posnaniensia), the research network aims at creating a new infrastructure and a new agenda for Scandinavian Studies in Europe, focusing on the shared history and manifold cultural relations between Scandinavia and the countries of the larger Baltic Sea region. The research agenda of the network is to explore the role of Scandinavia in the changing political landscape of present-day Europe characterized by the crisis of the EU cooperation, growing nationalism and the opposition between liberal and “illiberal” societal models.

30 years after the collapse of the Eastern bloc and 15 years after the largest expansion of the EU to include the Baltic and East-Central European countries, it is time to reflect upon the impact of these geopolitical shifts on the field of Scandinavian Studies. The two events have instigated the reestablishment of connections disrupted by the Cold War, research in cross-regional communities and identities, and new collaborations. We are closer to each other than ever before – or are we? We take the anniversaries as an occasion to investigate how the purposes and conditions of Scandinavian Studies, as well as the cultural discourses and images of Scandinavia in the Baltic Sea region and East-Central Europe, have developed during this period of time. How can we describe the geopolitical and imagological configurations of the larger Baltic Sea region now and in the future? In short, “New Geographies of Scandinavian Studies” seeks to explore how the field of Scandinavian Studies reflects recent European history, and how the field has been impacted by the geopolitical shifts of the past decades. By facilitating this discussion, the network wishes to develop a new research agenda for the future of Scandinavian Studies that may resuscitate the earlier enthusiasm for interregional connectedness and collaboration.