SCAND 335 - Spring Quarter 2016
Scandinavian Children’s Literature - 5 credits
Mondays & Wednesdays 1:30 – 3:20 in GLD 322
Instructor: Lotta Gavel Adams, Professor firstname.lastname@example.org
Office Hours: Wednesdays 12:30- 1:20 (Raitt Hall 305Z)
This course offers the opportunity to study the narrative and pictorial tradition of Scandinavian children’s literature from the 17th century to the present. The stories and picture books will be discussed in their historical, pedagogical, and social contexts, from the pre-WWII focus on moral and religious themes to the 20th and 21st centuries’ focus on the child as an individual needing to adapt to an increasingly diverse and multicultural society. The emphasis of the course will be on analysis and interpretation of texts and pictures in their esthetic, political and social contexts. Recent picture books will be analyzed in terms of their pictorial-narrative techniques, themes, and how they reflect the child’s position in society with regard to ethnicity, gender, and power constellations.
By the end of the course, students will be able
- to understand and discuss the structures and changing conventions of children’s literature in Scandinavia in their historical, pedagogical and social contexts.
- to approach children’s literature with a critical/analytical eye towards environmental, gender, ethnicity and power issues.
- to demonstrate skills in interpreting, writing about, and presenting children’s literature.
Grading is based on a midterm and a final exam, a group project, and participation in class and group discussions:
30% Two-Part Midterm (short-answer quiz + short analyses of early tales and stories)
20 % Group project (writing/producing a short children’s story (either an original story or reworking a traditional fable or fairytale) making use of the narrative techniques and themes discussed in class.
40 % Two-Part Final (short-answer quiz in-class May 25, 2016 + Two short take-home reflection essays due June 6, 2016.
10% Class preparation (pop quizzes) and participation in class and small group discussions.
Norwegian and Swedish Folk and Fairy Tales (Selections in Course Reader
at RAMS Copy Center)
Kalevala – Finnish National Epic (Excerpts in Course Reader at RAMS Copy Center)
H.C. Andersen. Fairy Tales. (available as $1.99 iBook)
Selma Lagerlöf. The Wonderful Travels of Nils (available at UBookstore or as free iBook)
Astrid Lindgren. Pippi Longstocking.
Astrid Lindgren. Ronja the Robber’s Daughter.
Tove Jansson. Tales from the Moomin Valley.
Maria Gripe. The Glassblower’s Children. (Course Reader at RAMS Copy Center)
Recommended picture books (will be presented in class; a selection is available at the UBookstore)
Der Struwwelpeter/Shock-headed Peter (1845).
Elsa Beskow. The Children of the Forest (1910).
Gro Dahle & Svein Nyhus. Sinna Mann (Angry Man; 2003). Snill (Nice; 2004).
Mauri Kunnas. The Canine Kalevala (2004).
Pija Lindenbaum, Mini Mia and Her Darling Uncle (2007).
Ulf Nilsson, Eva Eriksson. All the Dear Little Animals (2006).
Ulf Nilsson, Anna-Clara Tidholm. Goodbye, Mr. Muffin (2002).
Sven Nordqvist. The Fox Hunt (1986).
March 28 Course Introduction; History: Locke, Rousseau; Charles Perrault, the Brothers Grimm;
Early Fables, Moral Examples, and Legends, Urban Legends
March 30 Folk and Fairy Tales: characters, plots, functions
Norwegian stories and tales (Asbjørnsen and Moe)
Norwegian Trolls (Kittelsen, Werenskiold)
(Read selection in Course Reader)
Apr 4 Swedish stories and tales (Read selection in Course Reader)
Swedish Tomtes and Trolls (Nyström, Bauer)
Apr 6 Picture Books: Nature, Environment, Death, Grieving, Anger: Elsa Beskow, Ulf Nilsson, Anna-Clara Tidholm,
Eva Eriksson, Pija Lindenbaum, Gro Dahle & Svein Nyhus
Apr 11 The Finnish Oral Tradition: Kalevala
The Canine Kalevala
Apr 13 Swedish Children’s Theater: Champions of the World
Guest speaker: Linda Zachrison, Cultural Counselor at
The Swedish Embassy in Washington DC
Apr 18 The Authored Tale: H.C. Andersen
Read: “The Princess on the Pea,” “The Little Mermaid,” “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” “The Nightingale,”
“The Ugly Duckling,” “The Snow Queen,” “The Shadow.”
Group analysis and discussion
Apr 20 Selma Lagerlöf: The Wonderful Travels of Nils;
Eco-criticism; What does it mean to be a human being?
Review for Midterm
Apr 25 MIDTERM
Apr 27 No class - Lotta at SASS conference in New Orleans
May 2 Post-WWII Children’s Literature: The child as individual
Astrid Lindgren and Pippi Longstocking
May 4 Astrid Lindgren: Ronja, the Robber’s Daughter
INTRO TO GROUP PROJECTS
May 9 Lindgren: Ronja, wrap-up
May 11 Representations of multiculturalism in children’s picture books
May 16 Maria Gripe: The Glassblower’s Children; critique of commercialism in children’s culture and adult
May 18 Work on Group Projects
May 23 Tove Jansson: Tales from the Moomin Valley:
“The Filliyonk Who Believed in Disasters,” “The Last Dragon in the World,” The Hemulen Who Loved Silence,”
“The Invisible Child,” “Cedric,” “The Fir tree.”
May 25 Final Short-Answer Quiz
May 30 Memorial Day - no class
June 1 Presentations of Group Projects
TAKE-HOME FINAL (two 20-points reflection essays with prompts) due on or before June 6, 2016 at 2:30 in Raitt Hall 318.