You are here

SCAND 490 A: Special Topics

Meeting Time: 
MW 12:30pm - 2:20pm
RAI 314
Joint Sections: 
Photo of Olivia Gunn
Olivia Noble Gunn

Syllabus Description:

SCAND 510, ARCHIVES in Scandinavian Studies:

“Afro/Nordic Perspectives”

Professor: Olivia Gunn,

Time and place: M/W 12:30 – 2:20, RAI 314

Office hours: W 3:00-4:00, or by appointment

All elements of this syllabus are subject to change!

Course description

An archive is a place or institution, where public records and other documents are stored. The concept of the archive can refer to preservation, history, and memory. It also evokes the law, authority, and social order. The apparent temporality of the archive is often of the past, established and complete, although it is also understood to be a place of commencement, a place that will continue to determine what we know, allowing as it does certain traces to speak (while silencing or simply lacking others). SCAND 510 can address 1) physical archives in buildings or online; 2) practices and methods of archival research; or 3) the archive as a theoretical concept. This particular version of the SCAND 510 explores some aspects of what might be called the Afro/Nordic archive, or the formation and/as erasure of blackness in Northern European canons and contexts.

The slash in the term Afro/Nordic is meant both to separate and to unite these two names in different ways, depending on the texts under consideration. In the first two weeks, we will encounter readings that establish globalized relationships between Europe and blackness, as well as several articles by contemporary Afro-Nordic or Afropean scholars. We will then encounter Scandinavian texts that depict blackness and African-American texts that depict Scandinavian-ness. Finally, each student will choose an Afro-Nordic artist, thinker, work, or institution to research and present to the class. During the quarter, we will also host several guest speakers, both from the department and from other institutions.

Student Learning Objectives

  1. Gaining familiarity with critical race studies
  2. De-naturalizing whiteness
  3. Centering and de-centering American blackness
  4. Confronting assumptions about Nordic exceptionalism and homogeneity
  5. Recognizing, exploring, and critiquing our (not necessarily shared) assumptions about ethnicity and racialization
  6. Gaining familiarity with the Afro/Nordic archive and its embeddedness in the global archive of colonial-modernity
  1. Developing analysis, presentation, and writing skills by means of two short papers and in-class presentations

Download the complete syllabus here: SCAND510_FALL19_AfroNordicPerspectives.docx

Catalog Description: 
Special topics in Scandinavian art, literature, culture, and history. Course offerings based on instructor's specialty and student demand.
Last updated: 
August 2, 2019 - 9:22pm