Special topics in Scandinavian art, literature, culture, and history. Course offerings based on instructor's specialty and student demand.
This course considers the full spectrum of reproduction – from babies to artworks – in modern and postmodern Norwegian cultural production, read in conversation with feminist scholarship and queer theory. We begin with a comparative study of contemporary birthing cultures and representations (including reality television) in Norway and the US. We then jump back to the nineteenth century, exploring the history of welfare and midwife-centered care in Norway, and work our way to the twenty-first century through depictions of pregnancy, birth, babies, and motherhood in the dramas of Henrik Ibsen, novels by Sigrid Undset and Cora Sandel, the poetry of Gro Dahle, and Margret Olin’s film, The Angel (2009). Ibsen and Sandel also serve as a means of exploring the reproductive metaphor – wherein the artist or writer is conceived as the parent of the artwork – and tensions between biological and aesthetic production. To be taught by Visiting Assistant Professor Olivia Gunn.