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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Jan Sjavik
SCAND 480
Seattle Campus

Kierkegaard and Decadence in European Literature

Reading and discussion of core texts by Soren Kierkegaard, as well as a consideration of the relationship between Kierkegaardian thought and the literary practice of various writers of Scandinavian and European decadence. Offered: jointly with JSIS A 480.

Class description

Works by S°ren Kierkegaard (particularly Either/Or parts I and II, Stages on Life's Way, and Fear and Trembling), as well as four novels from the period of European Decadance: J.-K. Huysmans, Against the Grain, Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Arne Garborg, Weary Men, and Hjalmar S÷derberg, Doctor Glas.

Student learning goals

Develop a substantial degree of understanding of Kierkegaard's thought.

Become thoroughly familiar with key texts by Kierkegaard.

Develop a sense of some of the basic concerns of European decadent literature, 1880-1914.

Develop general skills in textual analysis.

Gain a basic sense of the relationship between opera and literature.

General method of instruction

Partly lecture/discussion, partly seminar format, including brief reports by students.

Recommended preparation

No specific background is required.

Class assignments and grading

Class reports, medium-length paper.

Fifty percent of the final grade will be based on class participation, including one or two brief reports (depending on the number of students in the course), with the remaining fifty percent based on a ten-page paper.


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 Sjavik
Date: 01/29/2007