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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures : European Languages & Cultures - Scandinavian Stud

Undergraduate Course: Scandinavian Civilisation B: From National Romanticism to the Nordic Model (ELCS08038)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 1 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryA wide-ranging survey of Scandinavian history and culture (literature, film and the visual arts), with a focus on the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. At the end of the course, the student will have an understanding of the individuality of the Scandinavian nations, of their shared heritage and their connections with Europe as a whole, in respect of the periods studied. No language knowledge is involved and all texts will be dealt with in translation. When available, this course can be taken together with Scandinavian Civilisation A to form a 40 credit block, ideal for outside subjects and full-year visiting students.
Course description This course offers a wide-ranging survey of Scandinavian history and culture (including literature, visual arts and film) from c. 1800 to the present day. We begin by defining and distinguishing the key concepts 'Nordic' and 'Scandinavian', and exploring some regional commonalities in societal, economic and cultural outlook. Special emphasis is placed on the centrality of landscape.

Within this context, we will then proceed to explore the radical changes to national identity in the early 19th century, which followed the growth of cultural movements such as Romanticism and National Romanticism, and the realities of European geopolitics from the closing stages of the Napoleonic Wars. After this, we will examine how life and society changed on a more domestic level, and how these developments inspired the output of authors and artists, such as August Strindberg, P.S. Krøyer, and Edvard Munch. As part of this examination, we will undertake close-reading and critique of a selection of relevant literature and artworks.

We will then move on to the issue of migration, using Sweden as a case-study, to examine how the movement of people from and to the area has impacted on the national consciousness through the ages. We will dwell on the boom in emigration following the American Civil War, the growth of multiculturalism following the Second World War and the national response to refugee crises in more recent times.

After this, we will shine a spotlight on the War itself, focussing on the role played by the 'Scandinavian' countries in averting the Holocaust, as well as their relationship with Nazi Germany, and the subsequent ways in which these experiences have fed into the development of self-image and identity.

The remainder of the course will be spent negotiating the evolution of Nordic culture in the Postcolonial period, covering topics such as the development of regional identity as seen in popular literature. We will also consider the evolving relationship of the Nordic region with the rest of Europe and the EU in particular, against a background of divergence from long-term political trends, before concluding the course with a discussion of the choices and challenges facing the Nordic countries in the foreseeable future.

Breakdown of Learning & Teaching Activities:
You will begin each week by watching some short videos as an introduction to the specific themes to be studied [Asynchronous]. The videos are linked to further resources and core reading materials, available via the course Learn Ultra page [Asynchronous]. Engaging with these materials is essential for participation in the weekly seminars and tutorials. You will be assigned to a smaller group for your weekly tutorials, where discussion will focus on several questions relating to the week's specified themes.

Summative Assessment:
Following each week's learning and teaching activities, you will complete a computer-marked Multiple-Choice Quiz via Learn [Asynchronous]. The Quiz will test whether you have absorbed and understood the factual underpinning of a named theme from the required readings. Each week's Quiz will have to be completed before 5pm on Friday of the relevant teaching week.

Online Assessments 1 and 2 share a common format. At least one question will be mapped to the content of each week's tuition. In Flexible Learning Week, and Week 11 respectively, you will select two questions from the relevant weeks' pool (ie. 1-5 & 6-10), on which to write and submit two, 500-word 'Snap-shots of Scandinavian Civilisation'. Detailed formative feedback will be provided for Online Assessment 1 only.

Potentially Re-Traumatising Content:
In this course, we will be discussing content that may be re-traumatising to some students. Themes broached will include misogyny, military violence, the Holocaust, and racism. We believe in the importance of engaging with this material and so please rest assured that we will work with you to ensure you can participate fully and demonstrate your achievement of the learning outcomes of the course, without compromising your wellbeing or your academic development. If you have concerns at any point we invite you to approach the course organiser to discuss how we can best support you in your work on this course. We affirm that you will be treated with dignity and respect in all discussions and at every stage of the course.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2024/25, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  0
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 22, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 174 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Coursework 100%
Leading and participating in group discussion (Formative)
20%: 10 x Weekly Quiz
40%: Online Assessment 1 (1000 words)
40%: Online Assessment 2 (1000 words)
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate a broad understanding of the main currents in Scandinavian history, culture and politics underpinning the development of Nordic identities from c. 1800 to the present day, as seen through a range of disciplines, using a selection of core theories, principles and concepts.
  2. Appraise a variety of source materials to compare and contrast ideas, concepts and issues while taking account of different disciplinary and geographical contexts
  3. Use a range of approaches to formulate evidence-based responses to defined issues within the common understanding of Scandinavian history, culture and politics between c. 1800 and the present day
  4. Develop effective communication, presentation and interaction skills across a range of media.
  5. Demonstrate self-reliance, initiative, and the ability to work flexibly with others as part of a team.
Reading List
Andersen, H.C. (1835; 1838) The Tinder Box; The Brave Tin Soldier
Strinderg, A. (2006) Miss Julie. Methuen Student Editions, London.
Ibsen, H. (2008) A Doll's House (Student Edition). Methuen Student Editions, London.
Niemi, M. (2004) Popular Music from Vittula. Seven Stories Press, London.

Booth, M. (2014) The Almost Nearly Perfect People. Jonathon Cape
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsScandinavia,Nordic,National Romanticism,Immigration,Emigration,Strindberg,Ibsen,Abba,WWII
Course organiserDr Alan MacNiven
Tel: (0131 6)50 3279
Course secretaryMs June Cahongo
Tel: (0131 6)50 3620
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