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SCANG014 - Crime and Small Communities in Nordic Literature

Value: 15 credits
Tutor: Dr Helga Luthersdottir
Teaching structure: Two-hour weekly seminar (jointly with undergraduate version of this module) plus five extra seminars for MA students in term 2.
Assessment: 1 essay and participation in online forum.


Module Description:

The module provides a focused approach to selected topics of Icelandic literature from the modern and/or contemporary period. It provides a unique opportunity to delve deeply into the work of a specific author, genre, theme or a movement in the context of the appropriate theoretical framework while simultaneously anchoring the topic in Icelandic literary history. The topic for academic year 2013-14 is Crime in Small Numbers. All assigned readings are in English, although students are welcome to read the texts in the source language. No prior knowledge of Icelandic language or literature is required.

Preparatory Reading and Set Texts:

The lists below are specifically designed for the Special Topic: Crime in Small Numbers, to be taught in academic year 2013-14. All readings are in English although students are welcome to read the texts in the source language.

Primary Texts (provisional):

  • Vilhjálmsson, Thor. Justice Undone. London: Mare's Nest Publishing. 1995
  • Sigurdardottir, Yrsa. I Remember You London: Hodder & Stoughton. 2012
  • Thorarinsson, Arni. Season of the Witch. Las Vegas: AmazonCrossing. 2012
  • Ingolfsson, Viktor Arnar. House of Evidence. Las Vegas: AmazonCrossing. 2012
  • Indridason, Arnaldur. Silence of the Grave. London: Vintage. 2010
  • Please note that additional texts may be introduced or texts on this list replaced as new texts become available in translation

Films (provisional):

  • Reykjavik-Rotterdam. Dir. Óskar Jónasson. Iceland, 2008.
  • Contraband. Dir. Baltasar Kormákur. USA, 2012.

Secondary Texts (provisional):

  • Nestingen, Andrew. Crime and Fantasy in Scandinavia: Fiction, Film and Social Change. Seattle and London: U of Washington P. 2008
  • Scaggs, John. Crime Fiction. London and New York: Routledge. 2005
  • Pokalo, K. E. "Early Crime Novels: Icelandic Sagas as Precursors to Scandinavian Crime Fiction" (Conference paper given at the 46th International Congress on Medieval Studies)
  • Neijmann, Daisy (ed). A History of Icelandic Literature. Lincoln and London: U of Nebraska P, 2006
  • Óskarsson, Þórir. “From Romanticism to Realism.” In A History of Icelandic Literature. Daisy Neijmann (ed). 251-307.
  • Elísson, Guðni. “From Realism to Neoromanicism.” In A History of Icelandic Literature. Daisy Neijmann (ed). 308-356.
  • Jóhannsson, Jón Yngvi. “Realism and Revolt: Between the World Wars.” In A History of Icelandic Literature. Daisy Neijmann (ed). 357-403.
  • Eysteinsson, Ástráður and Úlfhildur Dagsdóttir. “Icelandic Prose Litearture, 1940-2000.” In A History of Icelandic Literature. Daisy Neijmann (ed). 404-470.
  • Kress, Helga. “Searching for Herself: Female Experience and Female Tradition in Icelandic Literature.” In A History of Icelandic Literature. Daisy Neijmann (ed). 503-551.