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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Jan Henrik Krogh Nielsen
SCAND 312
Seattle Campus

Masterpieces of Scandinavian Literature

Major works of Scandinavian literature by selected authors.

Class description

Questions about religion and gender are interwoven themes in the selection of novels, short stories, drama, and poetry for this course. The readings include J. P. Jacobsen’s stylistically beautiful exploration of the atheistic life in Niels Lyhne, Pär Lagerkvist’s version of Barabbas’ experiences around the time of Jesus’ crucifixion, Knut Hamsun’s Pan, and two literary representations of the aesthetic life of the seducer, namely H. C. Andersen’s “The Shadow” and Søren Kierkegaard’s portrait of the aesthete Johannes the Seducer in “The Seducer’s Diary” (Either/Or, part I). Finland-Swedish Mikael Niemi’s Popular Music from Vittula is a funny coming-of-age story from the Northernmost parts of Sweden. Scandinavian drama is represented by August Strindberg’s classic “Miss Julie,” followed by contemporary Swedish playwright P. O. Enquist’s dramatic version of Strindberg’s personal life in “Night of the Tribades,” and Henrik Ibsen’s “A Doll’s House.” Possibly, we will also read Kaj Munk’s play “The Word” and watch Carl Dreyer’s famous film version.

We will read a limited selection of poems, which will include Edith Södergran’s modernist, Nietzsche-inspired poetry, and excerpts from Harry Martinson’s science fiction poem “Aniara.”

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

The class will be conducted as a seminar with discussions of the texts, group presentations, response papers, and a final paper.

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading


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 Jan Henrik Krogh Nielsen
Date: 11/15/2006