Marianne T Stecher
Seminar on various topics in Scandinavian prose, including shorter prose texts, as well as a selection of the significant novels of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
Topics in Scandinavian Prose: Violence in Prose, Winter quarter 2013. taught by Marianne Stecher-Hansen.
How does violence engage and affect readers of fiction? How is violence represented as a consequence and an expression of culture, history, society, and as an aspect of human psychology? During the Winter quarter 2013, SCAND 508 will focus on canonical and contemporary texts in Nordic prose that speak to these questions. From blood-feuding in the Icelandic family saga to WWII novels about humanity’s war-mongering spirit, to contemporary novels preoccupied with gender and racial violence, this seminar will explore Nordic masterpieces within the framework of an engaging theoretical discourse provided by the linked seminar, SCAND 504, taught by Professor Andrew Nestingen. Reading for SCAND 508 includes Laxdaela Saga, and selected work by Knut Hamsun, J.V. Jensen, Sigrid Undset, Aino Kallas, Väino Linna, Pär Lagerkvist, and Karen Blixen as well as recent novels by Sofi Osksanen, Christian Jungersen, and Jonas Khemiri.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
Seminar format. Faculty- and graduate student-led discussions.
Seminar is intended for graduate students in Scandinavian literature; reading ability in Danish, Norwegian and Swedish is strongly encouraged. Graduate students in Comparative Literature, Drama, English, and Germanics are also welcome to enroll in the seminar - assigned works are available in English translations.
Class assignments and grading
Students expected to read assigned texts in advance of meetings and to contribute actively to discussions and analysis of literary texts.
The principle assignment for the seminar is a term research paper.
For students enrolling in both linked seminars, SCAND 504 (Critical Theory) and SCAND 508 (Topics in Prose), for 10 credits in total, evaluation will be based on a single substantive research paper 20 - 25 pages, which constitutes the primary assignment for both seminars.