SCAND 335 - Winter Quarter 2020
Scandinavian Children’s Literature - 5 credits
Tuesdays & Thursdays 12:30 – 2:20 in SMI 102
Instructor: Lotta Gavel Adams, Professor, firstname.lastname@example.org
Office Hours: Tuesdays 11:00-12:00 (Raitt Hall 305 T)
This course offers the opportunity to explore the narrative and pictorial traditions 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 in class + two short analyses of early tales and stories on Canvas) .
20 % Group project (writing/producing a short children’s story (either an original story or reworking a traditional fable or fairy tale) making use of the narrative techniques and themes discussed in class.
40 % Final: two shorter reflection essays on Canvas, due March 19, 2020 or earlier.
10% Class preparation (pop quizzes) and participation in class and small group discussions.
Files available on Canvas
- Norwegian Folk Tales
- Swedish Fairy Tales
- Kalevala – Finnish National Epic
- Maria Gripe. The Glassblower’s Children
At University Bookstore, some also available as iBooks, and in the Library
- H.C. Andersen. Fairy Tales.
- Selma Lagerlöf. The Wonderful Travels of Nils
- Astrid Lindgren. Pippi Longstocking.
- Astrid Lindgren. Ronja the Robber’s Daughter.
- Tove Jansson. Tales from the Moomin Valley.
Recommended picture books (these will be presented in class and some will be available on Canvas; 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).
*Please visit Modules for easiest access to course materials.
Course Introduction; History; Locke, Rousseau; Charles Perrault, the Brothers Grimm; Early Fables, Moral Examples, and Legends, Urban Legends
Folk and Fairy Tales: characters, plots, functions; Norwegian stories and tales (Asbjørnsen and Moe); Norwegian Trolls (Kittelsen, Werenskiold)
Swedish Fairytales; Swedish Tomtes and Trolls (Nyström, Bauer)
Trolls in the Nordic Imagination: From Folklore - to Children's literature - to media for grown-ups
Picture Books: Nature, Environment, Death, Grieving, Anger
The Finnish Oral Tradition: Kalevala
The Canine Kalevala
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
Selma Lagerlöf: The Wonderful Adventures of Nils; Eco-criticism; What does it mean to be a human being?
Review for Midterm
MIDTERM (short-answer quiz in class + two short analyses, due at 11PM on Canvas)
Post-WWII Children’s Literature: The child as individual
Astrid Lindgren and Pippi Longstocking
INTRO TO GROUP PROJECTS
Astrid Lindgren: Ronja, the Robber’s Daughter
Lindgren: Ronja, wrap-up.
Maria Gripe: The Glassblower’s Children; critique of commercialism in children’s culture and adult self-absorption.
||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."
Tove Jansson, Moomin Valley, continued.
Representations of multiculturalism in children's picture books.
In Class Presentations of Group Projects
Prompts for Final Reflection Essays will be handed out.
FINAL: TWO SHORTER REFLECTION ESSAYS on Canvas, due March 20, 2019, but may be completed earlier.