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Martin Kevorkian, Chair CAL 226, Mailcode B5000, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-4991

Spring 2008

E 322 • Crime Fiction in Scandanavia

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
34995 MWF
2:00 PM-3:00 PM
Andersen, C

Course Description

In the past decade, there has been an explosion in the production of Scandinavian crime novels and films. In this class, we will explore this growing genre through analysis of and discussions about these contemporary novels and films. We will also investigate what has brought about this recent focus on crime fiction in Scandinavia, as is it somewhat unexpected due to region's reputation of being a peaceful part of the world, with low crime rates and a "cradle to the grave" welfare state that takes care of everyone. An examination of the crime novel genre in a broader historical perspective will also be an integral part of course.

We will read a number of contemporary crime authors from Denmark, Norway and Sweden and watch several films and TV-shows. The course will begin with the 'founding fathers' of the modern Scandinavian crime novel: Sjöwall and Wahlöö. We will also read authors such as Henning Mankell, Karin Fossum, Peter Høeg and Kerstin Ekman in relation to various themes, including crime, the welfare state, globalization, gender and immigration. Finally, we will watch movies such as Pusher, The Nightwatch, and Beck with a focus on violence, crime and the crime-film genre.

Grading Policy

Essay 1 (3pp) which must be substantially revised - 6 pp total): 15%
Essay 2 (3pp) : 15%
3 Response papers (1 page each): 15%
Quizzes: 20%
Participation: 10%
Final essay (5-7pp): 25%


Peter Høeg: Smilla's Sense of Snow
Henning Mankell: Faceless Killers
Liza Marklund: Paradise Trust
Sjowall and Wahloo: Roseanna
Karin Fossum: Don't Look Back
Kerstin Ekman: Blackwater
Leif Davidsen: Lime's Photography
Course Reader


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