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SCAND 152 A: Latvian Literary And Cultural History

Meeting Time: 
MW 2:30pm - 4:20pm
SAV 132
Photo of Guntis Smidchens
Guntis Šmidchens

Syllabus Description:

Questions about this course? Write to the instructor,

This course gives a broad introduction to Latvian culture and history. Folklore, literature, music and film will be studied in its historical context, exploring the relation between people and culture in Latvia.  We will pay special attention to works that Latvians have identified as the “Latvian Cultural Canon” – key texts for understanding Latvian identity and worldview.  

Course Objectives:

  • Encounter Latvian folklore, art, music, literature, film, architecture and landscapes-- explore a "treasure trove" of Latvian culture!
  • Develop skills to interpret, critique and perform literature and art

Required Readings

  • Selected works of literature, music and film, as posted on class website


  • 25% participation in class discussions
  • 25% three reports (1 page, 3-5 minutes) about Latvian culture
  • 25% quizzes on assigned readings
  • 25% four take-home essay exams



Catalog Description: 
Survey of Latvian literary and cultural history from the nineteenth century to the present. Authors include Pumpurs, Rainis, Aspazija, Blaumanis, Nesaule, Bels, and Zalite.
GE Requirements: 
Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA)
Last updated: 
October 5, 2016 - 9:23pm