SCANDINAVIAN LITERATURE AND CULTURE III

SCANDINAVIAN LITERATURE AND CULTURE III

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iten
Code
65319
ACADEMIC YEAR
2020/2021
CREDITS
9 credits during the 3nd year of 8740 Modern languages and cultures (L-11) GENOVA

6 credits during the 1st year of 9265 MODERN LANGUAGES AND LITERATURES FOR CULTURAL SERVICES (LM-37) GENOVA

6 credits during the 1st year of 9265 MODERN LANGUAGES AND LITERATURES FOR CULTURAL SERVICES (LM-38) GENOVA

SCIENTIFIC DISCIPLINARY SECTOR
L-LIN/15
LANGUAGE
Italian
TEACHING LOCATION
GENOVA (Modern languages and cultures)
semester
Annual
Teaching materials

OVERVIEW

This course develops the literary study begun with the monographic parts in the second year, by presenting tools and topics to deal with genres, phenomena and authors. Students will also approach literary texts in Swedish. The intended readings are meant to introduce students to contemporary literature (since the 1950s).

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AIMS AND CONTENT

LEARNING OUTCOMES

This course aims to introduce the students to a variety of aspects of the cultural and literary history of Nordic countries, while highlighting elements of uniformity and diversity among them and in relation to the rest of the European cultural world.

AIMS AND LEARNING OUTCOMES

Students will be able to critically deal with the genre of children’s literature and Nordic noir, while identifying the peculiarities of the Scandinavian tradition and trends. In addition to, they will acquire skills and tools to analyse literary texts linguistically and stylistically, working on the Swedish language.

PREREQUISITES

Knowledge of Swedish (or Danish or Norwegian) at level A2-B1.

Teaching methods

54 hours of classroom activities, articulated in two weekly hours over 9 weeks (part one) in the first term (October to December) and three weekly hours over 12 weeks (parts two and three, each consisting of 18 hours) in the second term (February to May).

In the first term, the course will be held online via Teams and Aulaweb; in the second term, unless otherwise indicated (and depending on the evolution of the state of emergency), the course will be regularly held in classrooms. Please, ask the teacher for further instructions or in case of doubts.

The whole course corresponds to 9 credits: students who need only 6 credits have to attend only the first two parts.

During part one, general remarks on the genre of fairy tales and the presentation of Scandinavian works will be largely accompanied by reading and commenting on texts, considered in Italian translation, with the participation of students: they will be warmly invited to analyse one or more course topics in depth and to present their work (individually or in groups, as they prefer) during the course, so as to refine their methods and stimulate discussion. This work (in case of a positive contribution) will be taken into account for the final evaluation; moreover, presenters will have a shorter list of books to read. Please contact me for further details.

Part two and part three, which deal with a linguistic-literary subject, will have a more markedly seminar character, therefore students are expected to contribute to analyses and discussions with their own remarks.

As regards the analysis of literary texts in Swedish, the observation of the authors’ stylistic features and linguistic strategies will be the starting point to formalize some concepts and methodologies of textual analysis and to show how the outcomes of the analysis can contribute to the interpretation of the text. This work will be introduced and initially lead by the teacher, but participants will be later asked to contribute with their own examination of assigned excerpts or even texts of their own choice (Swedish literary examples of the 20th or 21st century).

The monographic module on the Nordic noir will initially deal with general considerations on the characteristics of the genre and its history, later focusing on the examination of Scandinavian peculiarities, the most relevant phenomena and the most significant authors. This survey, primarily aimed at stimulating a discussion among the participants, will be finally enriched by their contribution, with the analysis of a Nordic crime fiction work of their choice to be presented in the classroom.

Further activities will be announced during the course. The course will be entirely held in Italian.

The course attendance is not compulsory, but highly recommended, especially as regards the second and third part.

SYLLABUS/CONTENT

PART ONE - Tradition and transgression in Scandinavian children's literature: the surprising features of a 'minor' genre

During the 20th century, Scandinavian literature offered interesting cases of alternative, provocative and innovative children’s books, which often highlighted the contradictions and limitations of traditional literature, the most famous example of which is certainly the series on Pippi Longstocking by the Swedish author Astrid Lindgren. No less disruptive – even though less celebrated – were the adventures of Bibi by the Danish writer Karin Michaëlis and those settled in the Moomin valley by the Finland-Swedish author Tove Jansson. We will address several issues concerning children’s literature, reconstruct its development in the different European socio-cultural contexts, point out its characteristic features and focus on aspects of similarity and diversity among the mentioned authors and among their works. This analysis will also consider pedagogical aspects and the role of literature in representing, suggesting and promoting social values, specifically related to children’s conditions and needs.

 

PART TWO - Introduction to the analysis of literary texts in Swedish


Each author necessarily acts within a specific literary and cultural tradition, which exerts its influence both as a source of inspiration and as the context that hosts the author's innovative contributions. Critically reading of literary texts allows to point out and become aware of a writer’s features and strategies and to obtain useful (sometimes fundamental) information towards a more plausible interpretation of the text. In this part of the course, passages taken from literary works by Swedish authors (e.g. Strindberg, Söderberg) will be examined with and by students.

 

PART THREE - The Nordic noir: origins, evolution and trends of a contemporary international breakthrough

Crime fiction is undoubtedly one of the genres that characterize the contemporary world, in particular the industrialized urban society. Its origins can be traced back to the late 19th century, but it is in the 20th century that criminal stories and investigations flourish, in a fruitful union between literary, film and television versions. In the last fifteen years, crime fiction has become one of the international brands of Nordic literature, from Finland to Iceland, passing through Sweden where Stieg Larsson’s Millennium triggered the breakthrough of Nordic noir writers overwhelming bookstores all over Europe. In this part of the course the principles and features of this genre will be highlighted, later on moving to a historical-literary examination of the main Scandinavian authors and phenomena. Starting from these analyses, students will be asked to contribute with their own survey of a Scandinavian crime novel at their choice.

 

RECOMMENDED READING/BIBLIOGRAPHY

Students are expected to know the contents of the lessons, including all the texts which will be examined during the course, and will have to read eight works of contemporary Scandinavian literature (two for each country: Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Iceland). These works may be read in any translation (or in Scandinavian languages, at students’ choice). In addition to, candidates who need 9 credits will have to read some tales in Swedish and to be able to translate them (some passages will be chosen by the teacher during the exam) into Italian and summarize them in Swedish.

Further critical bibliography will be given during the course. For details about the programme, the reading list and all the material for students who cannot attend the lessons, please contact me at davide.finco@unige.it.

TEACHERS AND EXAM BOARD

Ricevimento: Wednesdays from 9.30 to 11.30 or on appointment. Students are warmly asked to regularly check the teacher's personal page on the Department website to make sure about office hours.

Exam Board

DAVIDE AGOSTINO FINCO (President)

PAOLO MARELLI

CELINA NADIA BUNGE (Substitute)

CHIARA BENATI (Substitute)

LESSONS

Teaching methods

54 hours of classroom activities, articulated in two weekly hours over 9 weeks (part one) in the first term (October to December) and three weekly hours over 12 weeks (parts two and three, each consisting of 18 hours) in the second term (February to May).

In the first term, the course will be held online via Teams and Aulaweb; in the second term, unless otherwise indicated (and depending on the evolution of the state of emergency), the course will be regularly held in classrooms. Please, ask the teacher for further instructions or in case of doubts.

The whole course corresponds to 9 credits: students who need only 6 credits have to attend only the first two parts.

During part one, general remarks on the genre of fairy tales and the presentation of Scandinavian works will be largely accompanied by reading and commenting on texts, considered in Italian translation, with the participation of students: they will be warmly invited to analyse one or more course topics in depth and to present their work (individually or in groups, as they prefer) during the course, so as to refine their methods and stimulate discussion. This work (in case of a positive contribution) will be taken into account for the final evaluation; moreover, presenters will have a shorter list of books to read. Please contact me for further details.

Part two and part three, which deal with a linguistic-literary subject, will have a more markedly seminar character, therefore students are expected to contribute to analyses and discussions with their own remarks.

As regards the analysis of literary texts in Swedish, the observation of the authors’ stylistic features and linguistic strategies will be the starting point to formalize some concepts and methodologies of textual analysis and to show how the outcomes of the analysis can contribute to the interpretation of the text. This work will be introduced and initially lead by the teacher, but participants will be later asked to contribute with their own examination of assigned excerpts or even texts of their own choice (Swedish literary examples of the 20th or 21st century).

The monographic module on the Nordic noir will initially deal with general considerations on the characteristics of the genre and its history, later focusing on the examination of Scandinavian peculiarities, the most relevant phenomena and the most significant authors. This survey, primarily aimed at stimulating a discussion among the participants, will be finally enriched by their contribution, with the analysis of a Nordic crime fiction work of their choice to be presented in the classroom.

Further activities will be announced during the course. The course will be entirely held in Italian.

The course attendance is not compulsory, but highly recommended, especially as regards the second and third part.

LESSONS START

Lessons will start on September 28th, with the following schedule:

Monday 11-13

EXAMS

Exam description

An oral exam at the end of the course or in the following exam sessions (six every year, apart from reserved sessions for final year or Erasmus students: we recommend to look at teachers’ personal pages or at Genoa university website to be informed about the examination dates).

The examination takes place in Italian, but it includes a part in Swedish (see point 4).

The exam lasts approximately forty minutes and is meant to test both the knowledge of the syllabus and reasoning skills. Therefore:

1) Questions regard history and literary history of Scandinavian countries, their position in the European context, and texts that have been considered during the lessons (or which are included in the list for students who cannot attend the course), on some of which students are asked for a comment.

2) The eight readings indicated in the bibliography are integral part of the programme: students have to prove that they have read the chosen works and are expected to add personal analyses, observations, comparisons and evaluations based on the literary knowledge and skills acquired in the course. As regards this part of the exam, the examiners, of course, will take into proper account that these works have not been analysed in class, but that, however, they are a meaningful integration of the course topics.

3) To evaluate the skills acquired in the second of the course, students will be asked to read, translate and comment on (both theoretically and in praxis) some passages in Swedish taken from the examined texts. Further passages will be assigned before the examination for personal analysis.

4) Students are, moreover, requested to make a little, autonomous research on a topic at their choice, provided that it is related to the course programme. To fulfil this task, students may adopt a literary, historical, social, cultural, comparative or interdisciplinary perspective, according to general instructions that will be given during the course (students are expected to ask the lecturer about details of this task in case they cannot attend the course). This research will have to be presented in Swedish during the exam (not necessarily in a written form).

Students are allowed to divide the programme into (no more than) two parts to be prepared for two different exam sessions at their choice. The final evaluation will consider the results of both parts (however, they must be both sufficient, i.e. both evaluated at least with 18/30) and students are free to take the exam(s) as many times as they wish to take a better evaluation.

The final mark is announced at the end of the exam and it can be refused by the candidate. In case of a refused mark or a failed exam, the candidate may always sit the exam in the following session (no limit is prescribed in the number of attempts).

For final year or Erasmus students there are special sessions in addition to the six ordinary ones: even in this case, the examination days are indicated in the lecturers’ personal pages or in Genoa university website (students are requested to contact the teachers of “Sezione Scandinavistica” to have further information).

Assessment methods

In the overall evaluation, not only the knowledge of the syllabus (course topics, texts analysed in class – or included in the specific list – and readings) and reasoning skills, but also expository skills and accuracy in the use of the specific language of the discipline will be taken into account.

The main skills that will be evaluated are: capability of orientating oneself in the different periods of the literary history, setting the considered works (or texts) in the proper context, comparing different authors, ages, nations, movements, and adding a personal critical judgement on the considered phenomena, mainly basing on competences acquired and critical contributions presented during the course.

The part of the exam that has to be taken in Swedish is aimed to make students confident with speaking even in this language on formal subjects, like literature and culture. This is the reason why students will have freedom of choice and, in any case, the evaluation of their language skills will not be as strict as that by a language teacher (“lettore”). However, the complexity and originality of the chosen topic, as well as the adopted methodology and the linguistic skills students will be able to show, will be taken in appropriate account to formulate the final evaluation.

Exam schedule

Date Time Location Type Notes
07/09/2021 14:30 GENOVA Orale
23/09/2021 09:30 GENOVA Orale

FURTHER INFORMATION

Students will not have to formally enrol in this course; however, this course – as any other – is to be inserted in the learning plan to be officially acknowledged.

Those who want to take the exam must enrol through the university website within three days before the examination. Participants in the course will have to log in the Aulaweb platform, where all material that will be examined will be uploaded.

This course is obligatory for all third year students who have chosen Swedish as Language A or Language B in the curriculum “Lingue, letterature e culture moderne”. Other students may insert it in their learning plan, but they are warmly asked to contact me, even to have a specific programme designed according to their own academic needs.

Students who have been certified with special educational needs (DSA), such as dyslexia or dysgraphia, are invited to contact me, as well as to familiarise with the services (e.g. “ufficio disabilità  e DSA”) the University offers to support them.