WGSS 200 Nordic Lights: Literary and Cultural Diversity in Modern Scandinavia (D)

Last offered Spring 2014

Cross Listed as COMP212
Mythologized as the land of the aurora borealis and the midnight sun, Scandinavia's five distinct nations--Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and Finland--are often mistakenly associated with blond-haired and blue-eyed uniformity. Modern Scandinavia, however, is a place of great social and cultural diversity. From medieval Viking sagas to contemporary Nordic rap, the Scandinavian literary tradition is rich in tales of global exploration, childhood imagination, sexual revolution, and multicultural confrontation. Through readings of nineteenth-century drama, twentieth-century novels, and twenty-first century cinema, we will investigate a wide range of issues on class, ethnicity, and identity, including the indigenous reindeer-herding Sami people, Danish colonialism and the Greenlandic Inuit, Norwegian collaboration and resistance during World War II, and Nordic emigration (to North America) and immigration (from Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East). Discussion will also focus on Scandinavia's leadership in gender equality and sexual liberation, Scandinavian political isolation and integration (into both the UN and the EU), and the global effects of Nordic pop (ABBA to Bjork), glamour (Greta Garbo to Helena Christensen), technology (Volvo to Nokia), and design (IKEA to H&M). Readings to include works by Henrik Ibsen, August Strindberg, Hans Christian Andersen, Karen Blixen, Astrid Lindgren, Halldór Laxness, Reidar Jönsson, and Peter Hoeg. Films to include works by Ingmar Bergman, Lasse Hallström, Bille August, Colin Nutley, Lukas Moodysson, Josef Fares, Tomas Alfredson and Tomas Vinterberg. All readings and discussions in English.
Class Format: seminar
Requirements/Evaluation: active participation, two short papers, an oral presentation, and a final paper
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Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preference: Comparative Literature and Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies majors and those with compelling justification for admission
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Distribution Notes: meets Division 1 requirement if registration is under COMP; meets Division 2 requirement if registration is under WGSS
Divisional Attributes: Division I,Exploring Diversity
Other Attributes: WGSS Racial Sexual + Cultural Diversity Courses
Enrollment Limit: 15
Expected Enrollment: 15
Class Number: 3648
CLASSES ATTR INSTRUCTORS TIMES CLASS NUMBER
WGSS 200 SEM Nordic Lights (D) Division 1: Languages and the ArtsExploring Diversity Initiative Brian Martin
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