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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Ann-Charlotte Gavel Adams
EURO 481
Seattle Campus

August Strindberg and European Cultural History

Examines the work of Swedish dramatist, novelist, and painter August Strindberg, in the context of European literary movements and history of ideas from 1880 to 1912, and Strindberg's influence on 20th-century drama and film. Offered: jointly with SCAND 481.

Class description

This course offers the opportunity to study Swedish dramatist, novelist, scientist, painter August Strindberg (1849-1912), one of Europe’s most influential artists, and one of the most important innovator of modern drama. He was a pioneer in registering and putting into literary form the sweeping changes in European consciousness brought about by new ideas, theories, and doctrines, such as Marxism, Darwinism, Naturalism, and Occultism and by the growing industrialized mass society. His œuvre will be discussed in the context of the ideas of European cultural history from the 1880s to 1912. We will focus on some major aesthetic and socio-economic trends of the time period as reflected in Strindberg’s works. We will also explore his influence on Expressionist drama, and Ingmar Bergman’s films, and view productions of his works. Finally, we will study Strindberg as a pictorial artist - a precursor to abstract expressionism - and view a powerpoint presentation of his paintings.

Student learning goals

1. to gain appreciation and understanding of Strindberg’s works in their European historical, socio-economic, and aesthetic contexts.

2. to gain knowledge of Strindberg’s artistic techniques.

3. to learn critical approaches to analysis and aesthetic responses to literary works.

4. to improve skills for interpreting and writing about literary works.

General method of instruction

Lecture, discussion

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading

Class preparation and participation 10 points or 10% (Low Stakes) Writing portfolio 20 points or 20% Midterm – Short Essay Questions 30 points or 30% Final term paper 40 points of 40% 100%


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Ann-Charlotte Gavel Adams
Date: 03/02/2009