SCANDINAVIAN C160: Scandinavian Myth & Religion

MWF 10-11 , 170 Barrows. Instructor: Jonas Wellendorf

Units: 4

Cross-listed with Religious Studies C108 section 1.

L&S Breadth: Arts & Literature OR Philosophy & Values

As of January 27, 2016, this course now meets in 170 Barrows Hall.

Who were the Norse gods? Why did they have to die? And how do we know? This course presents a survey of Scandinavian myth and religion from prehistory through the conversion to Christianity (eleventh century), as illustrated in narrative and, to a lesser extent, archaeological materials. The approach will be primarily source-critical, with some use of comparative materials from other mythologies. By the end of the course, students should know the sources well, have an understanding of the major problems involved in this study, and be aware of the more important scholarly trends in the field. Three hours of lecture and discussion per week.

Workload: A midterm exam (20% of the course grade); a draft of term paper (10% of course grade); term paper (40% of the course grade); and a final examination (30% of the course grade).

Edda, trans. Anthony Faulkes, ISBN-13: 978-0460876162
The Poetic Edda (second edition), trans. Carolyne Larrington, ISBN-13: 978-0199675340
Norse Mythology, by John Lindow, ISBN-13: 978-0195153828

All other readings are to be found in the course reader which will be made available through bCourses.

Prerequisites: None, although some background in folklore and mythology, religious studies, medieval literature and history, or Scandinavian culture are likely to prove helpful.