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SCAN4203 - Nordic Literature in a Global World

Value: 0.5 course units
Dr Jakob Stougaard-Nielsen
Teaching structure: Term two only.
One assessed essay (4,000 words; 100%).

Module Description:

This module examines contemporary literature written in the Nordic languages (Danish, Faroese, Finnish, Greenlandic, Icelandic, Norwegian and Swedish) through the themes, theories and perspectives of migration, exile, postnationalism, postcolonialism, cosmopolitanism, regionalism, world literature, translation and adaptation. The module will investigate what Nordic literature is, when so many literary works today are traversing, ignoring or rewriting the geographical, temporal, ethnic and linguistic borders that traditionally marked the limits of national cultures, identities and societies. Works studied in the original languages and/or in English will be by Kerstin Ekman, Peter Høeg, Mikael Niemi, Jonas Hassen Khemiri and Jakob Ejersbo or similar.

Preparatory Reading and Set Texts:

Primary Texts:

Jakob Ejserbo, Eksil (2009; English translation by Mette Petersen: Exile: Book One of the Africa Trilogy, 2011)

Kerstin Ekman, Händelser vid vatten (1993; English Translation by Joan Tate: Blackwater, 1996)

Peter Høeg, Frøken Smillas Fornemmelse for Sne (1992; English Translation by F. David: Miss Smilla's Feeling for Snow, 1996)

Jonas Hassen Khemiri, Montecore - En unik tiger (2006; English translation by Rachel Willson-Broyles: Montecore: The Silence of the Tiger, 2011)

Jan Kjærstad, Forføreren (1993; English translation by  Barbara J. Haveland: The Seducer, 2003)

Henning Mankell, Mördare utan ansikte (1991; English translation by Steven T. Murray: Faceless Killers, 1997)

Mikael Niemi, Populärmusik från Vittula (2000; English translation by Laurie Thompson: Popular Music from Vittula, 2004)

Suggested background reading:

Appiah, K. Anthony. Cosmopolitanism. Ethics in a World of Strangers. New York: Norton, 2006.

Beck, Ulrich. What  is  Globalization? Cambridge: Polity Press, 2000.

Damrosch, David. What Is World Literature? Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2003.

Kongslien, Ingeborg. “New Voices, New Themes, New Perspectives. Contemporary Scandinavian Multicultural Literature”. Scandinavian Studies, 2007, Vol. 79: 2, pp. 197-226.

Nestingen, Andrew. Crime and Fantasy in Scandinavia: Fiction, Film, and Social Change. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2008.

Thomsen, Mads Rosendahl.  Mapping World Literature: International Canonization and Transnational Literatures. London: Continuum, 2008.

Tomlinson, John (ed.). Globalization  and Culture. Chicago: University  of  Chicago Press, 1999.