Nordic Studies in Switzerland
Universities in Switzerland began to concern themselves with the culture of the Nordic countries in the course of the nineteenth century. Lectures on Old Norse language, literature and religion were held in Basel as well as in Zurich in the context of Old English and Old Germanic studies. Ludwig Ettmüller (1802-77) in Zurich became well-known as a translator of the Edda. The Germanists and Nordicists Andreas Heusler (1865-1940) and Friedrich Ranke (1882-1950), among others, were active at the University of Basel in the twentieth century. In 1968 the first shared chair for Nordic Philology was established at the Universities of Zurich and Basel and occupied by Oskar Bandle (1926-2009). Since then the discipline of Nordic Philology has developed a considerable dynamism at both universities and it has been possible to substantially expand its personnel. Particular areas of teaching and research focus are the Scandinavian Middle Ages and modern Scandinavian literature. The Swiss Society of Scandinavian Studies is an important institution for the support of Nordic studies in Switzerland, which inter alia publishes the series Beiträge zur nordischen Philologie. Basel and Zurich are the only universities in Switzerland at which Nordic Studies is offered as a full subject option.