SCANDINAVIAN R5B, Section 1: Session A (May 22-June 30): The Nordic Child

TuWTh 1-3:30 , 206 Dwinelle. Instructor: Ida Moen Johnson

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 first half or the “B” portion of the Reading and Composition requirement.

The child has a privileged status in Scandinavian societies, and is widely viewed as an autonomous and capable being. Scandinavian literature about children often brings out the tension between the child’s competence and vulnerability. For example, the Swedish character Pippi Longstocking lives by herself and can lift a horse above her head, but she breaks down in tears when she is told that she isn’t polite and is reminded that she doesn’t have a family. What do we imagine the child is capable of, and from what must he or she be protected? Do adults underestimate children? What, if anything, is the difference between children and adults? This course will examine these and other questions as we problematize the categories of ‘child’ and ‘adult,’ in literature and in life.

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