Studies Scandinavian crime-fiction literature and cinema since 1965, approaching crime fiction as a changing cultural artifact. Analyzes major issues and texts in the genre and its public status, while also training students in critical approaches to study of popular literature and culture. Offered: jointly with JSIS D 317; Sp.
We survey the Scandinavian crime novel, covering Denmark, Iceland, Finland, Norway, and Sweden, which is most famous for its social criticism. We move from the 1970s to the present. The course is based largely on discussion and writing about the novels. Authors studied include Karin Fossum, Stieg Larsson, Harri Nykänen, Jussi Adler Olsen, Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö.
Student learning goals
Acquire a critical vocabulary of twenty terms for analysis of crime fiction(generally relevant literary terms)
Acquire a critical vocabulary of twenty terms for analyzing contemporary Scandinavian crime fiction (specific cultural terms)
Use this vocabulary and critical analytical skills to speak about Scandinavian crime fiction and to write two short papers and a final paper on specific issues in the Scandianvian crime novel
General method of instruction
Short lecture and discussion
Students should be prepared to read a lot of literature. The reading is enjoyable (crime novels!), but there is plenty of it. This is a course for students who are up to the challenge or reading and analyzing interesting books.
Class assignments and grading
There is a mid-term exam on terms and readings. Students also write three papers over the course of the quarter. The first two are 2-3 pages, the final paper is 6-10. (The final paper may be a revision and extension of one of the earlier papers.) Students may complete a 'w' credit by writing a longer final paper, if they choose.
Grades are based on participation and writing assignments.