About Central, Eastern and Northern European Studies


The Department of Central, Eastern and Northern European Studies is a vibrant and programmatically diverse centre for intellectual excellence at UBC.  Because of its outstanding history, unique mix of various cultures, leading language program, extraordinary teachers and course offerings, and significant global relevance, we believe it should count as one of the premier departments on campus and in Canada.  Our students successfully combine their work in our department with a wide variety of other majors and minors, including but not limited to Business, Economics, Music, English, History, Classical Studies, Art History and International Relations.

Within the last fifteen years, the German Department has changed radically with the addition of Scandinavian and Slavic Studies, reflected in the name change.  (Read a more detailed history of the German department.)  Now, as Central, Eastern, and Northern European Studies, we have a very unconventional but productive mix of language and culture courses in German, Danish, Swedish, Polish and Russian.  We also have many courses that feature more comparative materials, including literature and film, which reach across these diverse cultures.  Now the already outstanding qualities of our Department have been supplemented by our unique mix of different cultures. The largest section of the department is still the German language program.  Our first-year enrolments are the highest in Canada, and among the highest in North America.  We have regularly been among the leaders in teaching the German language, and also in research on second language acquisition and language pedagogy. We are also the only Canadian institution that offers Danish language courses.

In addition to the intercultural mix of courses and the extraordinary success of the German Language Program, we also have several excellent interdisciplinary offerings. One of our faculty, Dr. Thomas Salumets, teaches one of the few courses offered in North America on the Baltic region.  One extremely popular course is CENS 303: “Representations of the Holocaust”, which has been featured in ArtsWire. Dr. Bozena Karwowska teaches CENS 303A and also leads the Auschwitz study abroad program, which debuted in Summer 2014. Another professor, Dr. Geoffrey Winthrop-Young, is a leader in recent media theories and teaches innovative courses on the media.  Dr. Kyle Frackman teaches an outstanding course on the figure of the witch and witchcraft in Europe and North America.  These are just a few of the very popular teachers and their courses in the department. Learn more about our current course offerings here.

Our students are well prepared for success in graduate studies or careers in the public and private sectors.

Our contact information is below.

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Department of Central, Eastern and Northern European Studies

Buchanan Tower 917
1873 East Mall
Vancouver, BC
V6T 1Z1, Canada
Tel. (604) 827-3550
Fax (604) 822-9344

Regular Office Hours – 9:00am-4:00pm (closed for lunch 12:30-1:30pm)