SCANDINAVIAN R5A, Section 2: Growing Up and Intersections of Identity in Contemporary Scandinavian Literature

TuTh 9:30-11 , Dwinelle 225. Instructor: Christian Gullette

Units: 4

In this course we’ll focus on life in modern Scandinavia through the eyes and voices of teenagers and young adults. This will give us the opportunity to analyze, discuss, and write about contemporary issues from a unique perspective as they affect not only young people, but Scandinavian society as a whole. From a boy’s complicated relationship with his Norwegian resistance-fighter father (Out Stealing Horses), to growing up in an isolated Swedish town (Popular Music from Vittula), these stories follow teenagers and young women and men wrestling with identity and their place in the world. Other texts may include novels and poetry by Jonas Hassen Khemiri, Evin Ahmad, Sjón, Athena Farrokhzad, Mikael Niemi, and John Ajvide Lindqvist. This course will pay particular attention to the ways these poignant texts problematize race, gender, sexuality, and identity in contemporary Scandinavian society.

No prior knowledge of contemporary Scandinavian fiction is required, only a desire to become stronger writers. The primary objective is to fulfill the requirements of Reading and Composition R5A, and through reading, discussing, and writing about these texts, students will practice and develop the skills necessary for successful college-level writing and essays. Through varied formal and informal assignments, students will utilize effective annotation, note-taking, and analysis skills while proceeding through the process of developing original arguments and critical commentary in an articulate and concise style. We’ll also focus on editing and revising writing to achieve these goals.

Required Texts:

(additional texts TBD)

Per Petterson, Out Stealing Horses (Picador; 1st edition April 29, 2008; ISBN-10: 0312427085;

ISBN-13: 978-0312427085)

Films: Among the films that may be shown in class are Patrik Age 1.5 (Dir. Ella Lemhagen, 2008) and Show Me Love (Dir. Lukas Moodysson, 1999).

Due to the high demand for R&C courses we monitor attendance very carefully. Attendance is mandatory the first two weeks of classes, this includes all enrolled and wait listed students. If you do not attend all classes the first two weeks you may be dropped. If you are attempting to add into this class during weeks 1 and 2 and did not attend the first day, you will be expected to attend all class meetings thereafter and, if space permits, you may be enrolled from the wait list.