West European Studies | Scandinavian Culture: The Multiethnic North
W605 | 14986 | May


Topics in Scandinavian Culture: The Multiethnic North (3 cr.)

This class meets second eight weeks. It is taught in English and
carries Arts and Humanities credit and Culture Studies credit.
The class meets with GER-K 506, WEUR-W 406 and WEUR-W 605.

Since the 1970's there has been a tremendous change in the ethnic
landscapes of the Scandinavian societies as they opened to political
and economic refugees from various parts of the world. The steady
influx of immigrants gradually transformed these traditionally
single-ethnic societies into vibrant multi-cultural entities.
Numerous
literary works, films and musical pieces created by immigrant authors
have appeared in the past 20-30 years reshaping dramatically and
irreversibly the way Scandinavia comprehends and relates to
belonging,
otherness, ethnic identity and nationality. The new "immigrant",
"transnational", "world" literature, film and music tell stories of
migration and exile, split identity, bilingualism and loneliness, but
also recount the intoxicating experience of gaining freedom, and
emphasize the appreciation of creative challenge and cultural
enrichment.

This course will approach Scandinavian culture through the exciting
lens of the immigrant eye. How is Scandinavia today illuminated by
the
immigrant tales? How does the "host culture" respond and cope with
the
challenges posited by the "newcomers"? This is one of the most
exciting angles from which Scandinavia can be studied today. It
relates further to our experience as citizens of a global,
"transnational" world in need of more understanding.

The final grade will be based on three response papers on the texts
and films, a final exam, a final paper, regular class attendance, and
participation in the class discussions.

Texts:

A Course Reader