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SCAND 150 A: Norwegian Literary And Cultural History

Meeting Time: 
TTh 1:30pm - 3:20pm
SIG 224
Terje Leiren
Terje I. Leiren

Syllabus Description:



Winter Quarter 2016

5 credits VLPA


Professor Terje Leiren

Office: RAI 305U (Raitt Hall)

Office Hours: T 10-11 am and by appointment


Course Description:

This course is a basic introduction to the cultural history of Norway from the Viking Age to the present day with emphasis on the period since 1800.  We will be introduced to the lives and works of some of the major figures in Norwegian cultural and political history as well as aspects of the lives of ordinary Norwegians.


Learning Objectives:

This course has basically two learning objectives: to develop a fundamental knowledge of Norwegian culture and historical traditions and to develop a critical understanding of the history of Norway. This will be done primarily through lectures and discussion centered around readings relevant to the topic.  Studietns should be able to understand and discuss various aspects of Norwegian culture that are unique as well as those things which might be shared with other peoples and cultures.


Exams and Grades:

There will be two short-essay exams based on assigned readings and class lectures. Exams are scheduled during the fifth and tenth weeks of the quarter.  Each exam will constitute forty (40) percent of the final grade.  In addition to the exams, two 3-page response papers, each related to one of the course topics, will constitute twenty (20) percent of the final grade.  One paper will be due at the end of the fourth week, the other at the end of week nine.



Text:  Margaret O'Leary, Culture and Customs of Norway

Additional readings will include handouts distributed during class


Course Outline:

Weeks 1-2:  Norway. The Land, people and politics.  Overview of Norwegian history

     Read:  O'Leary, chapters 1-2

Weeks 3-4:  Religion and Thought:  Norse Paganism, Catholic Middle Ages, Lutheranism established

     Read:  O'Leary, chapters 3-4

Week 5:  Holidays and Leisure Activities - Skiing in Norwegian literary and cultural traditions

     Read:  O'Leary, chapters 5-6; John Weinstock, "Skiing in Literature" (handout)

Weeks 6-8:  Languages, Literary Traditions, Major Figures

     Read:  O'Leary, chapter 7

Week 9:  Media, Cinema, Performing Arts

     Read:  O'Leary, chapters 8-9

Week 10:  Old and New-Art and Architecture

     Read: O'Leary, chapter 10

Additional readings relating to the topics above will be assigned and distributed as handouts during the quarter.






Catalog Description: 
A survey of Norwegian literary and cultural history from the Vikings to the present. Authors read include Bjornson, Ibsen, Hamsun, and Roolvaag.
GE Requirements: 
Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA)
Last updated: 
October 5, 2016 - 9:17pm