Have you ever wondered why Finland has most heavy metal bands per capita? Or are you baffled with why a Finn would write a song about sandstorms even though there are none in Finland? This course will answer those questions and raise so many more.
This course is an intensive exploration of popular culture focusing on Finnish popular music. Popular music and popular culture in general are interesting windows to multilayeredness of a society: tradition and innovations, international and national, high and low cultures, mainstream and underground, majorities and minorities, and different media and genres.
This course is for students who want a fuller understanding of the contemporary Nordic and Baltic region. We will discuss Finnish popular culture in the frame of European and global popular culture and explore different views on defining how popular culture works in the interface of global and local, tradition and innovation. The course covers Finland in particular, but gives a regional perspective including study of indigenous popular culture, politicized popular culture, and uses of the national past. Examples of popular culture in other Nordic countries and Baltic countries will be discussed.
The course has an interdisciplinary approach, and we will discuss the topics related to popular culture from the perspectives of cultural studies, literary studies, sociolinguistics, TV and media studies, film studies, musicology, gender studies, and political studies. The class will be taught utilizing active student discussions and analytic group work, regular lectures and also flipped classroom.