History | Modern Scandinavia and Baltic States
B303 | 27834 | Raun

Above class open to undergraduates and Education MA’s only
A portion of the above class reserved for majors
Meets with CEUS-U 320 and HIST-D 300

This course offers a comparative survey of Scandinavian and Baltic
history since the beginning of the 19th century.  It focuses on
eight countries (Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Estonia,
Latvia, and Lithuania) that are small in population (about 32
million in the year 2009), but who are today key players in the
vibrant Baltic Sea area, which is taking important steps toward new
forms of regional integration.  The contribution of the Nordic
countries to modern European development has been significantly out
of proportion to their modest numbers.  Note, for example, their
role in the emergence of the welfare state, neutrality in foreign
policy, women’s movements, and culture (literature, painting,
architecture, music, film, and design, to name only certain major
areas).  In the 20th century they also became models of political
stability and democracy.  For comparative purposes we will also
discuss the development of the Baltic states, who culturally–in many
ways–belong with Scandinavia, but whose political history is
contrasting.  With the restoration of Baltic independence in 1991
the concept of “Baltoscandia” has reemerged, and we are witnessing a
growing integration of the entire Baltic Sea region.   Six of the
eight countries we will cover are members of the European Union, and
a different six are members of NATO, a situation that makes for
interesting comparisons.

There will be three written assignments: (1) a 5-7-pp. essay on the
plays of Ibsen and Strindberg, (2) a midterm exam, and (3) a
comprehensive final exam.  The exams will be of the essay type.