Scandinavian Studies Courses Spring 2021

FEATURED COURSE!

Sexual Politics In Scandinavia

  • MWF 11:00-11:50 am
  • Instructor: Nete Schmidt

Course Description: During the 19th and 20th century, women’s roles and rights have changed dramatically in Scandinavia as in the US. The battles leading to votes and independence for women are clearly reflected in literature and mass media. In this class, we will read and discuss works by Scandinavian writers of the nineteenth and twentieth century reflecting the changing sexual politics and roles of women in society.

  • SCAND ST 102 – Second Semester Norwegian

    (4 credits)

    • Section 001: ONLINE (MTWRF 9:55-10:45 am)          Instructor: Laura Moquin
    • Section 002: ONLINE (MTWRF 1:20-2:10 pm)            Instructor: Michael Knudson

    Course Description: This course continues to build basic skills in speaking, listening, reading and writing Norwegian. We offer a thematic, communicative approach to language teaching that strives to put language in the context of culture. Classroom time focuses on communication and listening, as well as introducing basic grammatical concepts. Homework centers on reinforcing vocabulary, reading, grammar exercises and writing. Thematic units covered in Norwegian 102 include clothing, family and relationships, appearance and personality, celebrations, hometowns and housing, work and economy.   We end the semester with a student-produced group video project.

    Prerequisites: SCAND ST 101 or appropriate score on placement exam. Open to first-year students.

    (This course is also offered to graduate students as SCAND ST 404.)

  • SCAND ST 112 – Second Semester Swedish

    (4 credits)

    • ONLINE (MTWRF 12:05-12:55 pm)          Instructor: Elliot Brandsma

    Course Description: Continuation of SCAND ST 111.

    Prerequisites: SCAND ST 111 or appropriate score on placement exam. Open to first-year students.

  • SCAND ST 122 – Second Semester Danish

    (4 credits)

    • ONLINE (MTWRF 11:00-11:50 am)          Instructor: Ailie Kerr

    Course Description: Continuation of SCAND ST 121.

    Prerequisites: SCAND ST 121 or appropriate score on placement exam. Open to first-year students.

  • SCAND ST 202 – Second Year Norwegian

    (4 credits)

    • ONLINE (MTWR 2:25-3:15 pm)

    Course Description: SCAND ST 202 is an intermediate fourth semester language course that requires the completion of Norwegian 201 or equivalent.  The course builds on the vocabulary and topics introduced in third semester Norwegian and explores various aspects of Norwegian culture through texts, video, internet and classroom discussion.    Classroom topics include Vikings, Nordic mythology, Norwegian language and dialects, and Norway as a modern welfare state.   Students read and discuss Naiv. Super by contemporary Norwegian writer Erlend Loe.  An important component of fourth semester Norwegian is individual oral presentations in Norwegian on a topic of interest related to Norway.

    Prerequisites: SCAND ST 201 or consent of instructor.

    (This course is also offered to graduate students as SCAND ST 404.)

  • SCAND ST 212 – Second Year Swedish

    (4 credits)

    • ONLINE (MTWR 11:00-11:50 am)        Instructor: Benjamin Mier-Cruz

    Course Description: Continuation of SCAND ST 211.

    Prerequisites: SCAND ST 211 or consent of instructor.

  • SCAND ST 222 – Second Year Danish

    (4 credits)

    • ONLINE (MTWR 9:55-10:45 am)        Instructor: Nete Schmidt

    Course Description: The purpose of this class is to continue building on the Danish skills gained in 121, 122, and 221. We will be talking, listening, reading, and writing.  We will include more grammar and grammatical exercises, and we will expand your vocabulary, working towards a higher degree of proficiency in Danish. Apart from continuing with the textbooks, we will also be reading (more) authentic texts that cover aspects of Danish culture and the Danes, so we can continue analyzing and comparing with that of the US. We will focus on contemporary reading and include films, music, podcasts, and every imaginable form of technology to enhance our authentic language and culture acquisition.

    Prerequisites: SCAND ST 221 or consent of instructor.

  • SCAND ST 374 – Masterpieces Of Scandinavian Literature: The Twentieth Century

    (3 credits)

    • ONLINE (TR 12:05-12:55 pm)        Instructor: Susan Brantly

    Course Description: Can thrillers, science fiction novels, or films be literary masterpieces? Yes, they can! Explore the changing fashions in literature throughout the 20th Century, while you learn important survival skills for the media age. Everybody wants something, so how do you assess what different writers want from you, and what tricks do they use to go about getting it? Through a selection of short texts, novels, and plays, we’ll be learning from some of the best: Nobel Laureates (Knut Hamsun, Pär Lagerkvist), medical doctors (P.C. Jersild), and other provocateurs (August Strindberg, Isak Dinesen, Ingmar Berman, Peter Hoeg, and the rest).

    Prerequisites: 2 years of Scandinavian language or consent of instructor.

  • SCAND ST 401 – Contemporary Scandinavian Languages

    (3 credits)

    • ONLINE (MWF 12:05-12:55 pm)        Instructor(s): Scott Mellor, Dean Krouk, and Claus Elholm Andersen

    Course Description: Intensive work in spoken and written Danish, Norwegian, and Swedish, based on contemporary readings, for undergraduate and graduate students with a basic command of a Scandinavian language. Required of graduate students.

    Prerequisites: 3 years of Norwegian, Danish or Swedish or consent of instructor.

  • SCAND ST 404 – Continuing Finnish

    (4 credits)

    • TR 4:40-6:45 pm        Instructor: Thomas DuBois

    Course Description: Introduction to languages of Northern Europe not covered by other department courses (e.g., Sami, Estonian). Practice in language, accompanied by introduction to grammar, culture, and literature. Other language-related topics offered occasionally; check timetable for details.

    Prerequisites: None

  • SCAND ST 408 – Intermediate Old Norse

    (3 credits)

    • TR 9:30-10:45 am        Instructor: Kirsten Wolf

    Course Description: The course is a direct continuation of 407 Old Norse I. Its primary purpose is a linguistic one: to obtain a reading knowledge of Old Norse-Icelandic through the study of Old Icelandic grammar and selections of Old Norse-Icelandic texts.The course builds on the aspects of grammar studied in 407 Old Norse I. Whereas the focus in 407 Old Norse I is nominal inflections, the focus in 408 Old Norse II is verbal inflections and syntax. Moreover, students will translate a variety of Old Norse-Icelandic texts, both prose and poetry, in order to enhance their vocabulary. Grammars and texts used are Michael Barnes’ A New Introduction to Old Norse. Part I: Grammer and Anthony Faulkes’ A New Introduction to Old Norse. Part II.

    Prerequisites: Medieval/SCAND ST 407.

  • SCAND ST 411 – Norden

    (1 credits)

    • TBD        Instructor(s): Scott Mellor and Kendall Allen-King

    Course Description:Concentrated study of topics within Scandinavian literature.

    Prerequisites: 5 semesters or equivalent of Scandinavian language.

  • SCAND ST 411 – Introduction to Runology

    (1 credits)

    • ONLINE (MWF 2:25-3:15 pm)          Instructor: Tristan Mueller-Vollmer

    Course Description: Trace the history and development of runic writing from the Migration Period through the Viking Age and Middle Ages and into the Modern period. Learn to read messages in different runic alphabets. Prior knowledge of a Scandinavian language is not a requirement, but is encouraged.

    Prerequisites: None

  • SCAND ST 432 – History Of Scandinavia Since 1815

    (3 credits)

    • ONLINE (TR 4:00-5:15 pm)        Instructor: Dean Krouk

    Course Description: Political, social, economic, and cultural development: political realignments and rise of nationalism, industrialization and rise of liberalism and socialism, democratization, independence struggles and social conflict, evolution of welfare states, World War II and its aftermath.

    Prerequisites: Sophomore standing.

  • SCAND ST 435 – The Sagas Of Icelanders In English Translation

    (3 credits)

    • ONLINE (TR 11:00 am – 12:15 pm)        Instructor: Kirsten Wolf

    Course Description: The course is designed to give students an understanding of saga literature as a genre and of the cultural history of Iceland in the Viking Era and the Middle Ages, based on the interplay between pagan codes of honor and Christian ethics. In addition, students will gain an understanding of the methodological problems involved in studying sagas as historical documents. The course, which is in lecture/seminar-format, will open with a survey of the history of Iceland from its discovery until the end of the Icelandic Commonwealth (1262). A number of sagas will then be read and analyzed. The reading of the sagas will familiarize students with the type of society in which the stories were delivered by mouth and finally recorded. Main points of discussion include the heroic ideal, codes of honor, concepts of fate, jurisprudence, and the role of women.

    Prerequisites: Sophomore standing.

  • SCAND ST 436 – Criminal Utopias

    (4 credits)

    • TR 11:00 am – 12:15 pm        Instructor: Nete Schmidt

    Course Description: Science fiction and Crime Literature are genres that hold up dual mirrors for their readers and facilitate discussions of the changing nature of society, and the nature of good and evil, through popular culture. Over the past decades, Scandinavian crime fiction has seen an explosion in both production and popularity.  Scandinavian crime authors have attracted large international audiences and are widely translated with names such as Mankell, Adler-Olsen, Nesbø, and Larson leading the ranks. This phenomenon poses interesting questions as the Scandinavian countries are known as peaceful, with low crime rates and a cradle-to-grave social-welfare system. Why has Scandinavia produced world-renowned writers of crime fiction and used the genre to international acclaim?  Does this conflict with our general perceptions of Scandinavia, and is there a specific Scandinavian element in the crime literature?  In contrast, science fiction which is a hugely popular genre in the US has never seen a large following in the Scandinavian countries, and again, this poses interesting questions.  Why are Scandinavians reluctant to embrace fantasy and science fiction? Is the Scandinavian culture too earthbound and secure to venture out onto imaginary limbs? What are the characteristic Scandinavian elements, if any, in the science fiction literature which is produced?

    Both genres are related in their exploration of the nature of good and evil and, consequently, eminently capable of spurring existential discussions about the role of humankind and our power to influence our surroundings. They both question the essence of the status quo and yield different answers to such essential questions as the nature of personal identities, values, beliefs, and worldviews.

    This course will attempt to answer the questions raised above, and more. It will, furthermore, include an examination of the origins of science fiction and the crime literature genre in a broader historical perspective, drawing on British and American texts and theories.

    Prerequisites: None.

  • SCAND ST 436 – Nynorsk Literature

    (3 credits)

    • ONLINE (TR 1:00 – 2:15 pm)        Instructor: Dean Krouk

    Course Description: This is a special topics course about literature written in nynorsk, one of the written versions of the Norwegian language. The classroom language will be English, and there is no language prerequisite needed to take this course. We will learn about the history and culture associated with nynorsk and read important literary works that were written in it. Students can choose to read the assigned books in translation or in the original nynorsk. We will discuss various issues that arise from the literary works, such as nature, landscape, mysticism, modernism, gender, experimentation, identity, translation, and politics. Please contact Dean Krouk (krouk@wisc.edu with any questions).

    Prerequisites: None.

  • SCAND ST 436 – The Scandinavian Tale & Ballad

    (3 credits)

    • ONLINE (TR 1:00 – 2:15 pm)        Instructor: Scott Mellor

    Course Description: The genres of ballad and tale, which originate in the distant past, have often been scorned by the literary establishment, but the fact that they survived through centuries of oral transmission until they were finally recorded in the fairly recent past testifies to their lasting existential appeal. The stories these texts tell are dashingly entertaining and often deeply disturbing: they may offer a profoundly fatalistic view of existence, but they may also voice an angry and, at the same time, humorous protest against oppression. When this narrative type was discovered by scholars and the societal elite about 1800, it inspired many first-rank Nordic authors, e.g., Hans Christian Andersen, Henrik Ibsen, Selma Lagerlöf; and in the 20th century it has cast its spell over Isak Dinesen, Villy Sørensen, and Pär Lagerkvist and its influence has moved from literary to other media today. The course examines both the original literature and its modern “imitations” as well as gives an introduction to the critical methodologies that have recently been developed to deal with this seemingly simple, but in reality highly sophisticated, narrative.

    Prerequisites: None.

  • SCAND ST 438 – Sexual Politics In Scandinavia

    (3 credits)

    • MWF 11:00-11:50 am        Instructor: Nete Schmidt

    Course Description: During the 19th and 20th century, women’s roles and rights have changed dramatically in Scandinavia as in the US. The battles leading to votes and independence for women are clearly reflected in literature and mass media. In this class, we will read and discuss works by Scandinavian writers of the nineteenth and twentieth century reflecting the changing sexual politics and roles of women in society.

    We will explore female and male writers from Scandinavia who, in their works, focus on various expressions of sexual politics and the roles of women in the 19th and 20th centuries, including Victoria Benedictsson, Henrik Ibsen, Astrid Lindgren, Gerd Brantenberg, and Tove Ditlevsen. We will read novels, short stories, poems, and theory in both a historical and literary context. – And presentations and discussions will constitute the core of the class.

    Further, we will compare the sexual politics and roles of women in Scandinavia to those of women in the U.S. before and now.

    We will use movies to enhance our understanding and appreciation of the topics discussed.

    Prerequisites: Sophomore standing.

  • SCAND ST 450 – Scandinavian Decadence In Its European Context

    (3 credits)

    • TR 2:30-3:45 pm        Instructor: Susan Brantly

    Course Description: As the 19th Century reached its end, there was a feeling among some literary figures that the world was in a state of decay. Mercantile barbarism was taking over and destroying the fragile and sensitive old aristocratic world. Women, who had gained some small advances in society, were seen as dangerous, even fatal. How does one respond to a world in collapse? With indulgences, apathy, criminality, hypersensitivity, aestheticism…and some fairly strange hobbies.  We will explore the odd world of the Nordic decadents and compare them to their European counterparts. Be prepared to be amazed and amused.

    Prerequisites: 2 years of Scandinavian language or equivalent.

  • SCAND ST 475 – The Writings Of Hans Christian Andersen For Scandinavian Majors

    (4 credits)

    • ONLINE (MWF 8:50-9:40 am)        Instructor: Claus Elholm Andersen

    Course Description: Hans Christian Andersen’s fairytales are known all over the world. He wrote The Little Mermaid, The Snow Queen, The Ugly Duckling and many, many more. This course to going to familiarize you with the works of Hans Christian Andersen, with an emphasis on his fairy tales. During the course, we will read and analyze some of his best-known fairytales, but also look at a few texts from some of the other genres he mastered. Our readings will include the biographical traits of his stories, but will primarily focus on his mastery of the genre and his complex narrative method. We will also talk about the time and place in which Hans Christian Andersen wrote his fairytales – Denmark in the 19th century ­– and discuss how this influenced his stories. Though his stories/tales might seem simply, they are complex literary artifacts. This course will argue that Andersen should be considered one of the great authors of the 19th century, not just an author of simple fairy tales for children.

    Prerequisites: 2 years of Scandinavian language or consent of instructor. Open to first-year students.

  • SCAND ST 520 – Nordic Television

    (3 credits)

    • ONLINE (TR 9:30-10:45 am)        Instructor: Liina-Ly Roos

    Course Description: You might have heard of Nordic television series such as Wallander, The Bridge, Borgen or SKAM. These are just some examples of what Nordic TV, an increasingly popular phenomenon has to offer. In this special topics course, we will look at a variety of contemporary Nordic television series and discuss the history and significance of the public broadcasting systems in the Nordic region. In order to effectively analyze and discuss this rich body of series and programs, we will incorporate theoretical concepts pertaining to television studies such as storytelling, genre, transmedia, and seriality. You will also develop/improve basic skills to analyze the aesthetic and formal aspects of tv-series. We will also identify some of the common themes in the series that reflect on broader topics in the Nordic societies and cultures such as environmental consciousness, Nordic noir, the welfare state, borderlands, race, ethnicity, and sexuality.

    Prerequisites: None.