SCANDINAVIAN R5B, Section 4: Reading and Composition: Feud and Family in Medieval Iceland

MWF 8-9 , 243 Dwinelle. Instructor: Molly Jacobs

Units: 4

All Reading & Composition courses must be taken for a letter grade in order to fulfill this requirement for the Bachelor’s Degree. This course satisfies the second half or the “B” portion of the Reading and Composition requirement.

 Medieval Icelandic sagas are dominated by stories of feud & revenge. But beyond being thrilling stories of action and suspense, they engage important ethical questions: what offenses require revenge? What is appropriate revenge? How is a balance achieved between maintaining social standing and preserving social stability? Most importantly, what happens when your family gets involved? In this course, we will study the dynamics of feud and family in some of the classic stories of the Icelandic Middle Ages as a framework for learning the basics of writing college-level research papers.

This class is designed to fulfill the university’s Reading and Composition (R&C) requirement. Emphasis will be placed on argumentation, source evaluation, and research strategies. Students will sharpen their critical reading and writing skills through a series of short writing assignments, secondary source analysis, and a final research project.

Njal’s saga – trans. Cook, ISBN 9780140447699
Course Reader

Prerequisite: Successful completion of the first half or the “A” portion of the Reading and Composition requirement. Students may not enroll nor attend R1B/R5B courses without completing this prerequisite.