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SCAND 315 A: Scandinavian Crime Fiction

Meeting Time: 
MW 12:30pm - 2:20pm
SAV 132
Photo of Andrew Nestingen
Andrew K. Nestingen

Syllabus Description:

Course Information                                              
5 Credits                                                                                                                          
Savery 132                                                                                                              
Time: M, W 12:30-2:20                                                                                            
Office Hours: W, 11:00-12:00 or by appt.


Scandinavian crime fiction has become a global entertainment “brand” since the 1990s – Nordic noir. Popular authors have sold hundreds of millions of books, and film and television producers have adapted Scandinavian crime fiction to the screen for audiences around the world, reaching tens of millions more. But the Scandinavian crime novel is also strongly associated with “social criticism”—not often thought of for its entertainment value. Scandinavian crime fiction entertains, but also engages in debate about corruption, inequity, discrimination, exploitation, and other political issues. How does this combination of entertainment and politics work? What can it teach us about global popular culture, and American culture?

This course introduces students to the Scandinavian crime novel and its key themes and debates. It also trains students to develop critical approaches to analysis of the crime novel—and other forms of popular culture.

We will study the Scandinavian crime novel by reading a selection of novels and acquiring critical terms and concepts, which we will use to define the central institutions, structures, and ideas necessary for a critical approach to the Scandinavian crime novel. In analyzing the novels on the syllabus, you will hone your use these keywords.


  • Acquire a critical vocabulary for analysis of Scandinavian crime fiction, including generally relevant literary terms and specifically relevant cultural terms

  • Use this vocabulary and critical analytical skills to speak about Scandinavian crime fiction

  • Use this vocabulary write a short paper and a final paper on specific critical questions about the contemporary Scandinavian crime novel
Catalog Description: 
Studies Scandinavian crime-fiction literature and cinema since 1965, approaching crime fiction as a changing cultural artifact. Analyzes major issues and texts in the genre and its public status, while also training students in critical approaches to study of popular literature and culture. Offered: jointly with JSIS D 317; Sp.
GE Requirements: 
Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA)
Last updated: 
August 2, 2019 - 9:22pm