SCANDINAVIAN R5B, Section 1: Session C (June 22-August 14): Mermaids and Sea Monsters: Tales of the Depths in Medieval and Modern Scandinavia

TuWTh 10-12 , Taught online/Zoom. Instructor: Isobel Boles

Units: 4

This class will be taught via synchronous remote instruction. Time conflicts are not allowed for this class.

The sea has always stood colossal in the human imagination—both life-giving and treacherous, at once full of mystery and beauty. This course will focus on depictions of the sea and its denizens (both real and otherwise) throughout the centuries in Nordic literature. We will explore myths of the ocean in Old Norse poetry and prose, as well as instances of sea monsters and oceanic oddities in medieval sagas and later folklore. We will read stories about the figure of the mermaid written by Hans Christian Andersen and Henrik Ibsen, as well as more contemporary imaginings of such creatures. As we look at literary representations of the deep, we will also learn about the historical role of the sea and the creatures that dwell in it in the Nordic region. All texts will be read in English translation.

Students will work on improving their writing style, editing practices, and research techniques in this course. Focus will be placed on becoming comfortable with close reading literary texts, selecting secondary sources, and reading academic articles, with the goal of constructing a research paper based on primary and secondary sources by the end of the course.

Required texts:
They Say / I Say: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing by Gerald Graff and Cathy Birkenstein (ISBN-13: 978-1469028613)

Course reader and additional materials on bCourses.

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

Instructor pending appointment.