SCANDINAVIAN R5B, Section 1: Reading and Composition: Distant Shores: Travel in the Viking Age

TuTh 8-9:30 , 221 Wheeler. Instructor: Rosie Taylor

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.

The Vikings are remembered today for their raids—but they also made a name for themselves through their voyages to the edges of the medieval world. Touching down on four continents, they pushed the borders of the map in their endeavors as raiders, merchants, mercenaries and explorers. This course will follow the Norsemen on some of these journeys, beginning with local voyages in and around Scandinavia and expanding to their most far-flung destinations. From Iceland to Africa, Canada to the Caspian Sea, we will look to literary as well as archaeological evidence to explore the impact of the Norsemen on their foreign surroundings, and vice versa. Why did they travel? What did they learn in these foreign societies? And what did they bring home with them?

The aim of this course is to help students further their skills in reading, analysis and composition, and to feel more confident participating in existing academic debates. The semester will culminate in a research project designed for students to learn how to find, analyze and engage with secondary sources at the university level.

The Sagas of the Icelanders (Penguin, ISBN: 978-0141000039)
Further readings will be provided.

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