SCANDINAVIAN 75: Literature and Culture of the Nordic World

MWF 10-11 , 88 Dwinelle. Instructor: Linda Rugg

Units: 4

L&S Breadth: Historical Studies OR Social & Behavioral Sciences

Sensitive both to the unique natural geography of the North and to intellectual currents in continental Europe, the lands of the summer midnight sun and winter noonday darkness have produced a rich cultural heritage, reaching far beyond their borders.  This course will explore the most important cultural contributions of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden.  We will touch upon the Viking age, mythology and folklore, and nineteenth- and twentieth-century literature, film, art, design, music, and modern political and social issues, such as the welfare state, crime fiction, and recent immigration.  Readings will include sagas, fairy tales, and novels, to be complemented by film and other visual materials.  Major figures such as Hans Christian Andersen, Søren Kierkegaard, Henrik Ibsen, Edvard Munch, August Strindberg, Karen Blixen, and Ingmar Bergman play important roles in the course, but we will also address a more general account of the history and culture of the North.

The Saga of the Volsungs, ed. Jesse Byock, Penguin Classics, ISBN 0140447385
Elias Lönnroth, Kalevala, Oxford World Classics, ISBN 0199538867
Søren Kierkegaard, The Seducer’s Diary, trans. Howard and Edna Hong, Princeton University Press, ISBN 6910117379
Henrik Ibsen, Ibsen: Four Major Plays I, trans. Rolf Fjelde, Signet Classics, ISBN 0451530225
August Strindberg, Five Plays, trans. Harry Carlson, University of California Press, ISBN 0520046986

Shorter texts will be posted to the course bcourse site.

Prerequisite:None.  Readings and course in English.