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Kit Belgum, Chair 2505 University Avenue, Burdine Hall 336, Mailcode C3300, Austin TX 78712-1802 • 512-471-4123

Jakob Holm

Lecturer

Jakob Holm

Contact

DAN 604 • Accelerated First-Year Danish

38010 • Fall 2014
Meets MWF 100pm-300pm BUR 234
show description

Course Description

Why Learn Danish? Ja, hvorfor ikke? You will be given the opportunity to get to know a new language and culture. Learning Danish will also provide you with the necessary skills to read texts in the other Scandinavian languages. Danish and English are very similar in sentence structure and basic vocabulary: Vil du have en kop kaffe og en kage? For historic reasons, Danish may very well be the closest foreign language to English, seeing as old Anglo-Saxon had its geographical origin in the southern parts of Denmark. In this class, which gives you the opportunity to fulfill your language requirement in two semesters, you will be brought up to a level where you can communicate with a Dane in everyday situations and be able to read short stories, simple newspaper articles, etcetera within the period of a few short months. We will also watch a variety of Danish films to acquaint you with the rhythm of the language and to introduce you to modern Danish culture. The type of classroom environment fostered in this Danish language class will be student-centered rather than teacher-centered. This means that I will not typically stand in front of class giving you a prepared lecture. Instead, I will come to class with a variety of prepared activities designed to give you the opportunity to practice and build skills that will enable you to learn Danish. You will be asked to practice speaking with a partner and in small groups. You will answer questions about things we have read and viewed in class. During listening activities you may be asked to fill in missing dialogue, listen for specific words or phrases, or get the gist of a text. Furthermore, we will spend quite a lot of time on pronunciation (since this constitutes one of the bigger challenges of learning Danish). Learning about life and culture in Denmark is, of course, an integral part of the course, and we will spend most Fridays discussing Danish culture or watching Danish movies so you will become familiar with the rhythm and pronunciation of Danish

Grading Policy

Quizzes 21%

Tests 24%

Essays 9%

Participation/preparation/homework 30%

Oral exam 8% Last exam 8

Texts

Lise Bostrup: Aktivt Dansk Kim Andersen and Lise Bostrup: Aktivt Dansk. Grammar and Word List for Beginners The course materials are available at the University Co-op.

GSD 341K • Scandvn Contrib World Lit

38415 • Fall 2014
Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm CLA 0.106
(also listed as C L 323, EUS 347 )
show description

Course Description:

It happened in music, it happened in arts, and it happened in literature – the transition to modernity asked for completely new expressions in order to interpret the revolutions that happened in the society and in the human relationships. In this course we will read a variety of texts from the golden age of Scandinavian literature - 1890-1910 - and we will at the end of the course be able to understand why and what happened in that period, and that will increase our understanding of a world of thoughts and ideas which laid the foundation for the emancipated lives we are all living.

The transition to modernity in Scandinavia created namely an artistic outburst never seen before or since. The amount of eternal classics written in that period is astounding. Nobel prize-winning authors like Knut Hamsun, Selma Lagerlöf, Johannes V. Jensen, Sigrid Undset and Henrik Pontoppidan all wrote masterpieces in that period as did August Strindberg and Henrik Ibsen.

This course is enhancing the students’ analytical skills in reading texts, but as we can’t understand these texts if they are not read according to the historical and social context in which they were written, we will also take a closer look at the many societal changes. It means that the students will be acquainted with the most important social reforms of the day, and they will be able to analyze historical events and their significance for the individual person.

Reading:

August Strindberg: Miss Julie and other plays, Knut Hamsun: Hunger, Selma Lagerlöf: Saga of Gosta Berling, Henrik Ibsen: Four major plays, Johannes V. Jensen: Fall of the king, Hjalmar Soderberg: Doctor Glas, Sigrid Undset: Gunnar’s daughter

Grading:

Essays: 30%

Quizzes: 20%

Midterm: 10%

Participation: 20%

Final essay: 20%

DAN 612 • Accelerated Second-Year Danish

38205 • Spring 2014
Meets MWF 100pm-300pm BUR 234
show description

Course Description

 Accelerated Second-year Danish is a course for students who have taken Danish 604 or have similar prerequisites. In this course we will continue to learn to read, listen, write and speak Danish. You will get even better at asking and answering questions, naming and describing persons, things, places, events, narrate orally and in writing and comprehend a variety of texts. You will continue to broaden your knowledge of Danish culture. We will start to read original Danish texts and watch Danish television and films without English subtitles.

Grading Policy

Active Participation: 25%

Essays/translations: 20%

Quizzes: 20%

Midterm: 10%

Final project: 15%

Final exam: 10%

GRC 323E • Contemp Scandinavian Stories

38605 • Spring 2014
Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm BUR 337
(also listed as C L 323, EUS 347, SCA 373 )
show description

WRITING FLAG COURSE

Description:

The principal objective of this course is to analyze contemporary Scandinavian literature and film and examine how the arts reflect Scandinavian reality. The main focus will be Scandinavian fiction from the last 15 years.

There is a lot going on in Scandinavian fiction at the moment, reflecting that the societies are trying to adapt to a globalized world: crime fiction is more significant than ever, although the Scandinavian countries count among the safest in the world, inextricable ethic issues are raised in what appears to be a golden age for Danish cinema, the past is imposing itself on the present, and the nature – the land and the sea – is still playing a major role in the literature of the modern Scandinavians. At the same time the validity of the Scandinavian countries’ welfare system is being questioned, and national issues are being raised all the time – and all of this is described in a distinctly Scandinavian tone.

Since these current trends are reflected in literature and film alike, we will examine how these genres are connected, but also how they differ in their treatment of subjects like immigration, family, history, and identity. We will also examine exactly what it is that makes Scandinavian stories Scandinavian.

Our readings will include both well-known stories like Stieg Larsson’s and Jo Nesbø’s widely popular crime fiction and well known Scandinavian artists’ films, but at the same time the course is also a possibility to get to know some of the Scandinavian stories of outstanding artistic quality that are less known to the American audience. 

This course aims at increasing your ability to think and work analytically. This includes developing the ability to read and analyze literary and non-literary texts, to voice criticism through coherent argumentation, to reason by analogy, to pose interesting questions and to communicate your discoveries to others.

 

Course materials

The following books are required reading:

 

Sofi Oksanen: Purge

Karl Ove Knausgaard: My struggle, book 1

Jo Nesbo: The Snowman

Morten Ramsland: Doghead

 

The following movies are required to watch (I’ll schedule a screening of them):

 

Thomas Vinterberg: The celebration + The Hunt

Susanne Bier: After the Wedding

Niels Arden Oplev: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Lars von Trier: Dancer in the Dark + Melancholia

Winding Refn: Pusher

Ole Christian Madsen: Flame and Citron

Peter Schønau Fog: The Art of Crying

Daniel Espinosa: Easy Money

Morten Tydum: Headhunters

Nikolaj Arcel: A Royal Affair

Lindholm/Noer: R

 

Grading

Essays: 30%

Final essay: 20%

Quizzes: 20%

Midterm: 10%

Participation: 20%

SCA 373 • Contemp Scandinavian Stories

38755 • Spring 2014
Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm BUR 337
(also listed as C L 323, EUS 347, GRC 323E )
show description

WRITING FLAG COURSE

Description:

The principal objective of this course is to analyze contemporary Scandinavian literature and film and examine how the arts reflect Scandinavian reality. The main focus will be Scandinavian fiction from the last 15 years.

There is a lot going on in Scandinavian fiction at the moment, reflecting that the societies are trying to adapt to a globalized world: crime fiction is more significant than ever, although the Scandinavian countries count among the safest in the world, inextricable ethic issues are raised in what appears to be a golden age for Danish cinema, the past is imposing itself on the present, and the nature – the land and the sea – is still playing a major role in the literature of the modern Scandinavians. At the same time the validity of the Scandinavian countries’ welfare system is being questioned, and national issues are being raised all the time – and all of this is described in a distinctly Scandinavian tone.

Since these current trends are reflected in literature and film alike, we will examine how these genres are connected, but also how they differ in their treatment of subjects like immigration, family, history, and identity. We will also examine exactly what it is that makes Scandinavian stories Scandinavian.

Our readings will include both well-known stories like Stieg Larsson’s and Jo Nesbø’s widely popular crime fiction and well known Scandinavian artists’ films, but at the same time the course is also a possibility to get to know some of the Scandinavian stories of outstanding artistic quality that are less known to the American audience. 

This course aims at increasing your ability to think and work analytically. This includes developing the ability to read and analyze literary and non-literary texts, to voice criticism through coherent argumentation, to reason by analogy, to pose interesting questions and to communicate your discoveries to others.

 

Course materials

The following books are required reading:

 

Sofi Oksanen: Purge

Karl Ove Knausgaard: My struggle, book 1

Jo Nesbo: The Snowman

Morten Ramsland: Doghead

 

The following movies are required to watch (I’ll schedule a screening of them):

 

Thomas Vinterberg: The celebration + The Hunt

Susanne Bier: After the Wedding

Niels Arden Oplev: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Lars von Trier: Dancer in the Dark + Melancholia

Winding Refn: Pusher

Ole Christian Madsen: Flame and Citron

Peter Schønau Fog: The Art of Crying

Daniel Espinosa: Easy Money

Morten Tydum: Headhunters

Nikolaj Arcel: A Royal Affair

Lindholm/Noer: R

 

Grading

Essays: 30%

Final essay: 20%

Quizzes: 20%

Midterm: 10%

Participation: 20%

DAN 604 • Accelerated First-Year Danish

38275 • Fall 2013
Meets MWF 100pm-300pm BUR 234
show description

Course Description

Why Learn Danish? Ja, hvorfor ikke? You will be given the opportunity to get to know a new language and culture. Learning Danish will also provide you with the necessary skills to read texts in the other Scandinavian languages. Danish and English are very similar in sentence structure and basic vocabulary: Vil du have en kop kaffe og en kage? For historic reasons, Danish may very well be the closest foreign language to English, seeing as old Anglo-Saxon had its geographical origin in the southern parts of Denmark. In this class, which gives you the opportunity to fulfill your language requirement in two semesters, you will be brought up to a level where you can communicate with a Dane in everyday situations and be able to read short stories, simple newspaper articles, etcetera within the period of a few short months. We will also watch a variety of Danish films to acquaint you with the rhythm of the language and to introduce you to modern Danish culture. The type of classroom environment fostered in this Danish language class will be student-centered rather than teacher-centered. This means that I will not typically stand in front of class giving you a prepared lecture. Instead, I will come to class with a variety of prepared activities designed to give you the opportunity to practice and build skills that will enable you to learn Danish. You will be asked to practice speaking with a partner and in small groups. You will answer questions about things we have read and viewed in class. During listening activities you may be asked to fill in missing dialogue, listen for specific words or phrases, or get the gist of a text. Furthermore, we will spend quite a lot of time on pronunciation (since this constitutes one of the bigger challenges of learning Danish). Learning about life and culture in Denmark is, of course, an integral part of the course, and we will spend most Fridays discussing Danish culture or watching Danish movies so you will become familiar with the rhythm and pronunciation of Danish

Grading Policy

Quizzes 21%

Tests 24%

Essays 9%

Participation/preparation/homework 30%

Oral exam 8% Last exam 8

Texts

Lise Bostrup: Aktivt Dansk Kim Andersen and Lise Bostrup: Aktivt Dansk. Grammar and Word List for Beginners The course materials are available at the University Co-op.

GRC 323E • Hans Christian Andersen

38680 • Fall 2013
Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm MEZ 1.120
(also listed as C L 323, EUS 347, SCA 373 )
show description

Description

Hans Christian Andersen is the best known Dane, a fact that would have made him proud, as the strive for fame was a driving force in his life: "25 years ago, I arrived with my small parcel in Copenhagen, a poor stranger of a boy, and today I have been drinking my chocolate with the Queen". A large part of his works, which included novels, plays, poetry, tales and short stories (besides his extensive diaries), is also an attempt to interpret his own social destiny: "The history of my life will be the best commentary on my work", he stated. Mistakenly, Andersen's works have been considered to be exclusively for children. However, he wrote for adults as much as for children, and though his tales are full of magic and joy, they also contain a subtle layer of suffering, deprivation and sorrow you will find if you dig deeper into the texts. His best stories do more than entertain us, they examine the human soul and deal with its complexity and force us to do the same.

Our readings will primarily focus on Hans Christian Andersen’s mastery of the fairy tale genre and his complex narrative method, and we will examine how Andersen is influenced by the old folk tales. We will also work with different models to look at the narrative structure of fairy tales in general. Furthermore, we will broaden the view, and Hans Christian Andersen will be placed in a historical, philosophical and literary context, and we will be discussing such themes as the notion of childhood, the Romantic idea of the genius, social ambitions and what it is to be an eternal traveller (he was 61 years old, before he got his own bed). Finally, we can’t avoid digging deeper into Hans Christian Andersen’s own biography, as he would have sympathized with a modern man like Don Draper (Mad Men) in the way he creates his own mythological self.

HCA's fantastic fairy tales have attracted numerous film (and theatre) makers. We will watch and analyze excerpts from these as part of the course. And we will hear a lot of (classical) music – Andersen was very fond of music, knew all the great composers of the day and some of his poems count among the most beloved Danish songs – and discuss some of the paintings of the period.

The course aims at increasing your ability to think and work analytically. This includes developing the ability to read and analyze literary and non-literary texts, to voice criticism through coherent argumentation, to reason by analogy, to formulate good questions and to communicate your discoveries to others by writing an academic essay.

Course materials

Hans Christian Andersen: The complete fairy tales and stories (Trans. by Erik Christian

Haugaard (available online)

The course packet and all other materials will be uploaded to blackboard.

Grading

Essay 1: 15%

Quizzes: 20%

Midterm: 15%

Participation: 30%

Final essay: 20%

SCA 373 • Hans Christian Andersen

38835 • Fall 2013
Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm MEZ 1.120
(also listed as C L 323, EUS 347, GRC 323E )
show description

Description

Hans Christian Andersen is the best known Dane, a fact that would have made him proud, as the strive for fame was a driving force in his life: "25 years ago, I arrived with my small parcel in Copenhagen, a poor stranger of a boy, and today I have been drinking my chocolate with the Queen". A large part of his works, which included novels, plays, poetry, tales and short stories (besides his extensive diaries), is also an attempt to interpret his own social destiny: "The history of my life will be the best commentary on my work", he stated. Mistakenly, Andersen's works have been considered to be exclusively for children. However, he wrote for adults as much as for children, and though his tales are full of magic and joy, they also contain a subtle layer of suffering, deprivation and sorrow you will find if you dig deeper into the texts. His best stories do more than entertain us, they examine the human soul and deal with its complexity and force us to do the same.

Our readings will primarily focus on Hans Christian Andersen’s mastery of the fairy tale genre and his complex narrative method, and we will examine how Andersen is influenced by the old folk tales. We will also work with different models to look at the narrative structure of fairy tales in general. Furthermore, we will broaden the view, and Hans Christian Andersen will be placed in a historical, philosophical and literary context, and we will be discussing such themes as the notion of childhood, the Romantic idea of the genius, social ambitions and what it is to be an eternal traveller (he was 61 years old, before he got his own bed). Finally, we can’t avoid digging deeper into Hans Christian Andersen’s own biography, as he would have sympathized with a modern man like Don Draper (Mad Men) in the way he creates his own mythological self.

HCA's fantastic fairy tales have attracted numerous film (and theatre) makers. We will watch and analyze excerpts from these as part of the course. And we will hear a lot of (classical) music – Andersen was very fond of music, knew all the great composers of the day and some of his poems count among the most beloved Danish songs – and discuss some of the paintings of the period.

The course aims at increasing your ability to think and work analytically. This includes developing the ability to read and analyze literary and non-literary texts, to voice criticism through coherent argumentation, to reason by analogy, to formulate good questions and to communicate your discoveries to others by writing an academic essay.

Course materials

Hans Christian Andersen: The complete fairy tales and stories (Trans. by Erik Christian

Haugaard (available online)

The course packet and all other materials will be uploaded to blackboard.

Grading

Essay 1: 15%

Quizzes: 20%

Midterm: 15%

Participation: 30%

Final essay: 20%

DAN 612 • Accelerated Second-Year Danish

37880 • Spring 2013
Meets MWF 100pm-300pm BUR 234
show description

Course Description

 Accelerated Second-year Danish is a course for students who have taken Danish 604 or have similar prerequisites. In this course we will continue to learn to read, listen, write and speak Danish. You will get even better at asking and answering questions, naming and describing persons, things, places, events, narrate orally and in writing and comprehend a variety of texts. You will continue to broaden your knowledge of Danish culture. We will start to read original Danish texts and watch Danish television and films without English subtitles.

Grading Policy

Active Participation: 25%

Essays/translations: 20%

Quizzes: 20%

Midterm: 10%

Final project: 15%

Final exam: 10%

GRC 323E • Scandvn Contribut To World Lit

38280 • Spring 2013
Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm GAR 2.112
(also listed as C L 323, EUS 347, SCA 373 )
show description

Course Description:

It happened in music, it happened in arts, and it happened in literature – the transition to modernity asked for completely new expressions in order to interpret the revolutions that happened in the society and in the human relationships. In this course we will read a variety of texts from the golden age of Scandinavian literature - 1890-1910 - and we will at the end of the course be able to understand why and what happened in that period, and that will increase our understanding of a world of thoughts and ideas which laid the foundation for the emancipated lives we are all living.

The transition to modernity in Scandinavia created namely an artistic outburst never seen before or since. The amount of eternal classics written in that period is astounding. Nobel prize-winning authors like Knut Hamsun, Selma Lagerlöf, Johannes V. Jensen, Sigrid Undset and Henrik Pontoppidan all wrote masterpieces in that period as did August Strindberg and Henrik Ibsen.

This course is enhancing the students’ analytical skills in reading texts, but as we can’t understand these texts if they are not read according to the historical and social context in which they were written, we will also take a closer look at the many societal changes. It means that the students will be acquainted with the most important social reforms of the day, and they will be able to analyze historical events and their significance for the individual person.

Reading:

August Strindberg: Miss Julie and other plays, Knut Hamsun: Hunger, Selma Lagerlöf: Saga of Gosta Berling, Henrik Ibsen: Four major plays, Johannes V. Jensen: Fall of the king, Hjalmar Soderberg: Doctor Glas, Sigrid Undset: Gunnar’s daughter

Grading:

Essays: 30%

Quizzes: 20%

Midterm: 10%

Participation: 20%

Final essay: 20%

SCA 373 • Scandvn Contribut To World Lit

38435 • Spring 2013
Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm GAR 2.112
(also listed as C L 323, EUS 347, GRC 323E )
show description

Course Description:

It happened in music, it happened in arts, and it happened in literature – the transition to modernity asked for completely new expressions in order to interpret the revolutions that happened in the society and in the human relationships. In this course we will read a variety of texts from the golden age of Scandinavian literature - 1890-1910 - and we will at the end of the course be able to understand why and what happened in that period, and that will increase our understanding of a world of thoughts and ideas which laid the foundation for the emancipated lives we are all living.

The transition to modernity in Scandinavia created namely an artistic outburst never seen before or since. The amount of eternal classics written in that period is astounding. Nobel prize-winning authors like Knut Hamsun, Selma Lagerlöf, Johannes V. Jensen, Sigrid Undset and Henrik Pontoppidan all wrote masterpieces in that period as did August Strindberg and Henrik Ibsen.

This course is enhancing the students’ analytical skills in reading texts, but as we can’t understand these texts if they are not read according to the historical and social context in which they were written, we will also take a closer look at the many societal changes. It means that the students will be acquainted with the most important social reforms of the day, and they will be able to analyze historical events and their significance for the individual person.

Reading:

August Strindberg: Miss Julie and other plays, Knut Hamsun: Hunger, Selma Lagerlöf: Saga of Gosta Berling, Henrik Ibsen: Four major plays, Johannes V. Jensen: Fall of the king, Hjalmar Soderberg: Doctor Glas, Sigrid Undset: Gunnar’s daughter

Grading:

Essays: 30%

Quizzes: 20%

Midterm: 10%

Participation: 20%

Final essay: 20%

DAN 604 • Accelerated First-Year Danish

37820 • Fall 2012
Meets MWF 100pm-300pm BUR 234
show description

Course Description

Why Learn Danish? Ja, hvorfor ikke? You will be given the opportunity to get to know a new language and culture. Learning Danish will also provide you with the necessary skills to read texts in the other Scandinavian languages. Danish and English are very similar in sentence structure and basic vocabulary: Vil du have en kop kaffe og en kage? For historic reasons, Danish may very well be the closest foreign language to English, seeing as old Anglo-Saxon had its geographical origin in the southern parts of Denmark. In this class, which gives you the opportunity to fulfill your language requirement in two semesters, you will be brought up to a level where you can communicate with a Dane in everyday situations and be able to read short stories, simple newspaper articles, etcetera within the period of a few short months. We will also watch a variety of Danish films to acquaint you with the rhythm of the language and to introduce you to modern Danish culture. The type of classroom environment fostered in this Danish language class will be student-centered rather than teacher-centered. This means that I will not typically stand in front of class giving you a prepared lecture. Instead, I will come to class with a variety of prepared activities designed to give you the opportunity to practice and build skills that will enable you to learn Danish. You will be asked to practice speaking with a partner and in small groups. You will answer questions about things we have read and viewed in class. During listening activities you may be asked to fill in missing dialogue, listen for specific words or phrases, or get the gist of a text. Furthermore, we will spend quite a lot of time on pronunciation (since this constitutes one of the bigger challenges of learning Danish). Learning about life and culture in Denmark is, of course, an integral part of the course, and we will spend most Fridays discussing Danish culture or watching Danish movies so you will become familiar with the rhythm and pronunciation of Danish

Grading Policy

Quizzes 21%

Tests 24%

Essays 9%

Participation/preparation/homework 30%

Oral exam 8% Last exam 8

Texts

Lise Bostrup: Aktivt Dansk Kim Andersen and Lise Bostrup: Aktivt Dansk. Grammar and Word List for Beginners The course materials are available at the University Co-op.

GRC 323E • Isak Dinesen/Karen Blixen

38220 • Fall 2012
Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm RLM 6.122
(also listed as C L 323, EUS 347, SCA 373, WGS 345 )
show description

Description:

 The Danish author Karen Blixen (1885-1962) is one of the most enigmatic and famous literary personalities in the 20th century. Her privileged but unhappy childhood, her marriage to Baron Blixen and their immigration to Africa on the eve of World War I, and her passionate affair with Denys Finch Hatton are among the distinctive events in a life that was full of tragedy and triumph.

Her literary career began in earnest with the undisputed masterpiece, Seven Gothic Tales, which was first published in the U.S. in 1934 under the pseudonym Isak Dinesen, a pseudonym she chose – of course – to ensure that her works in a male-dominated world were accepted by publishers and the public. Her second book, now the best known of her works, was Out of Africa, published in 1937, and its success firmly established her reputation as an author. Later followed books such as Winter´s tales, Anecdotes of destiny and Last tales that made her one of the most talked about authors of her day. The two movies Out of Africa (1985) and the adaptation of a story from Anecdotes of destiny, Babette´s feast (1987), which won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Picture, further increased the public awareness about Karen Blixen as did Judith Thurman´s biography, Isak Dinesen – The life of a storyteller (1983).

In this course we will make close readings of Karen Blixen´s works in order to get a deeper understanding of her artistic means. Furthermore, we will look at Africa in a post-colonial context, sexuality as empowerment, Blixen´s occupation with destiny and the timelessness in her traditional storytelling. Lastly, we will examine Karen Blixen´s position within the literary tradition.

The course aims at increasing your ability to think and work analytically. This includes developing the ability to read and analyze literary and non-literary texts, to voice criticism through coherent argumentation, to reason by analogy, to pose interesting questions and to communicate your discoveries to others.

Course materials:

Isak Dinesen/Karen Blixen: Seven gothic tales

Isak Dinesen/Karen Blixen: Out of Africa / Shadows on the grass

Isak Dinesen/Karen Blixen: Winter’s tales

Isak Dinesen/Karen Blixen: Anecdotes of destiny / Ehrengaard

Isak Dinesen/Karen Blixen: Last tales

Grading:

Writing assignments/essays: 25%

Quizzes: 20%

Midterm: 15%

Participation: 20%

Final essay: 20%

SCA 373 • Isak Dinesen/Karen Blixen

38365 • Fall 2012
Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm RLM 6.122
(also listed as C L 323, EUS 347, GRC 323E, WGS 345 )
show description

Description:

 The Danish author Karen Blixen (1885-1962) is one of the most enigmatic and famous literary personalities in the 20th century. Her privileged but unhappy childhood, her marriage to Baron Blixen and their immigration to Africa on the eve of World War I, and her passionate affair with Denys Finch Hatton are among the distinctive events in a life that was full of tragedy and triumph.

Her literary career began in earnest with the undisputed masterpiece, Seven Gothic Tales, which was first published in the U.S. in 1934 under the pseudonym Isak Dinesen, a pseudonym she chose – of course – to ensure that her works in a male-dominated world were accepted by publishers and the public. Her second book, now the best known of her works, was Out of Africa, published in 1937, and its success firmly established her reputation as an author. Later followed books such as Winter´s tales, Anecdotes of destiny and Last tales that made her one of the most talked about authors of her day. The two movies Out of Africa (1985) and the adaptation of a story from Anecdotes of destiny, Babette´s feast (1987), which won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Picture, further increased the public awareness about Karen Blixen as did Judith Thurman´s biography, Isak Dinesen – The life of a storyteller (1983).

In this course we will make close readings of Karen Blixen´s works in order to get a deeper understanding of her artistic means. Furthermore, we will look at Africa in a post-colonial context, sexuality as empowerment, Blixen´s occupation with destiny and the timelessness in her traditional storytelling. Lastly, we will examine Karen Blixen´s position within the literary tradition.

The course aims at increasing your ability to think and work analytically. This includes developing the ability to read and analyze literary and non-literary texts, to voice criticism through coherent argumentation, to reason by analogy, to pose interesting questions and to communicate your discoveries to others.

Course materials:

Isak Dinesen/Karen Blixen: Seven gothic tales

Isak Dinesen/Karen Blixen: Out of Africa / Shadows on the grass

Isak Dinesen/Karen Blixen: Winter’s tales

Isak Dinesen/Karen Blixen: Anecdotes of destiny / Ehrengaard

Isak Dinesen/Karen Blixen: Last tales

Grading:

Writing assignments/essays: 25%

Quizzes: 20%

Midterm: 15%

Participation: 20%

Final essay: 20%

DAN 612 • Accelerated Second-Year Danish

37760 • Spring 2012
Meets MWF 100pm-300pm BUR 234
show description

Course Description

This course will continue last semester's instruction in basic grammar and written and spoken Danish. The instruction will be based on a traditional textbook with grammatical exercises as well as a general reader including short stories, poetry, articles, etc. Also, everyday common usage will be studied in newspapers and magazines. Watching an ample selection of films and videos will further familiarize the students with spoken Danish.

Grading Policy

Attendance 10%.

Homework 20%.

Exam 15%. Tests 40%.

Quizzes 15%.

Texts

TBA Vinterberg, H. & Axelsen, J., eds. Dansk-Engelsk Ordbog and Engelsk-Dansk Ordbog. A reader will be provided by the instructor of the course.

GRC 323E • Contemp Scandinavian Stories

38150 • Spring 2012
Meets MWF 900am-1000am PAR 208
(also listed as C L 323, EUS 347, SCA 373 )
show description

Description:

The principal objective of this course is to analyze contemporary Scandinavian literature and film and examine how the arts reflect Scandinavian reality. The main focus will be Scandinavian fiction from 1990 till today.

There is a lot going on in Scandinavian fiction at the moment, reflecting that the societies are trying to adapt to a globalized world: crime fiction is more significant than ever, although the Scandinavian countries count among the safest in the world, inextricable ethic issues are raised in what appears to be a golden age for Danish cinema, the past is imposing itself on the present, and the nature – the land and the sea – is still playing a major role in the literature of the modern Scandinavians. At the same time the validity of the Scandinavian countries’ welfare system is being questioned, and national issues are being raised all the time – and all of this is described in a distinctly Scandinavian tone.

Since these current trends are reflected in literature and film alike, we will examine how these genres are connected, but also how they differ in their treatment of subjects like immigration, family, history, and identity. We will also examine exactly what it is that makes Scandinavian stories Scandinavian.

Our readings will include both well known stories like Stieg Larsson’s and Jo Nesbø’s widely popular crime fiction and well known Scandinavian artists’ films, but at the same time the course is also a possibility to get to know some of the Scandinavian stories of outstanding artistic quality that are less known to the American audience.

This course aims at increasing your ability to think and work analytically. This includes developing the ability to read and analyze literary and non-literary texts, to voice criticism through coherent argumentation, to reason by analogy, to pose interesting questions and to communicate your discoveries to others.

Course materials

The following books are required reading:

Jo Nesbø: The snowman

Erlend Loe: Naïve. Super

Per Petterson: Out stealing horses

Sjon: The Blue Fox (available in the COOP)

Mikael Niemi: Popular Music from Vittula (available in the COOP)

The following movies are required to watch (and are available through Netflix):

Niels Arden Oplev: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Erik Skjoldbjærg: Insomnia

Lars von Trier: Breaking the waves

Thomas Vinterberg: The celebration

Lukas Moodysson: Together

Susanne Bier: Brothers

Per Fly: ManslaughterAll other materials will be uploaded to Black Board.

Grading

Exams: 20%

Midterm: 20%

Participation: 20

Presentation: 20%

Final exam: 20%

SCA 373 • Contemp Scandinavian Stories

38300 • Spring 2012
Meets MWF 900am-1000am PAR 208
(also listed as C L 323, EUS 347, GRC 323E )
show description

Description:

The principal objective of this course is to analyze contemporary Scandinavian literature and film and examine how the arts reflect Scandinavian reality. The main focus will be Scandinavian fiction from 1990 till today.

There is a lot going on in Scandinavian fiction at the moment, reflecting that the societies are trying to adapt to a globalized world: crime fiction is more significant than ever, although the Scandinavian countries count among the safest in the world, inextricable ethic issues are raised in what appears to be a golden age for Danish cinema, the past is imposing itself on the present, and the nature – the land and the sea – is still playing a major role in the literature of the modern Scandinavians. At the same time the validity of the Scandinavian countries’ welfare system is being questioned, and national issues are being raised all the time – and all of this is described in a distinctly Scandinavian tone.

Since these current trends are reflected in literature and film alike, we will examine how these genres are connected, but also how they differ in their treatment of subjects like immigration, family, history, and identity. We will also examine exactly what it is that makes Scandinavian stories Scandinavian.

Our readings will include both well known stories like Stieg Larsson’s and Jo Nesbø’s widely popular crime fiction and well known Scandinavian artists’ films, but at the same time the course is also a possibility to get to know some of the Scandinavian stories of outstanding artistic quality that are less known to the American audience.

This course aims at increasing your ability to think and work analytically. This includes developing the ability to read and analyze literary and non-literary texts, to voice criticism through coherent argumentation, to reason by analogy, to pose interesting questions and to communicate your discoveries to others.

Course materials

The following books are required reading:

Jo Nesbø: The snowman

Erlend Loe: Naïve. Super

Per Petterson: Out stealing horses

Sjon: The Blue Fox (available in the COOP)

Mikael Niemi: Popular Music from Vittula (available in the COOP)

The following movies are required to watch (and are available through Netflix):

Niels Arden Oplev: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Erik Skjoldbjærg: Insomnia

Lars von Trier: Breaking the waves

Thomas Vinterberg: The celebration

Lukas Moodysson: Together

Susanne Bier: Brothers

Per Fly: ManslaughterAll other materials will be uploaded to Black Board.

Grading

Exams: 20%

Midterm: 20%

Participation: 20

Presentation: 20%

Final exam: 20%

DAN 604 • Accelerated First-Year Danish

37805 • Fall 2011
Meets MWF 100pm-300pm BUR 232
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Course Description

Why Learn Danish? Ja, hvorfor ikke? You will be given the opportunity to get to know a new language and culture. Learning Danish will also provide you with the necessary skills to read texts in the other Scandinavian languages. Danish and English are very similar in sentence structure and basic vocabulary: Vil du have en kop kaffe og en kage? For historic reasons, Danish may very well be the closest foreign language to English, seeing as old Anglo-Saxon had its geographical origin in the southern parts of Denmark. In this class, which gives you the opportunity to fulfill your language requirement in two semesters, you will be brought up to a level where you can communicate with a Dane in everyday situations and be able to read short stories, simple newspaper articles, etcetera within the period of a few short months. We will also watch a variety of Danish films to acquaint you with the rhythm of the language and to introduce you to modern Danish culture. The type of classroom environment fostered in this Danish language class will be student-centered rather than teacher-centered. This means that I will not typically stand in front of class giving you a prepared lecture. Instead, I will come to class with a variety of prepared activities designed to give you the opportunity to practice and build skills that will enable you to learn Danish. You will be asked to practice speaking with a partner and in small groups. You will answer questions about things we have read and viewed in class. During listening activities you may be asked to fill in missing dialogue, listen for specific words or phrases, or get the gist of a text. Furthermore, we will spend quite a lot of time on pronunciation (since this constitutes one of the bigger challenges of learning Danish). Learning about life and culture in Denmark is, of course, an integral part of the course, and we will spend most Fridays discussing Danish culture or watching Danish movies so you will become familiar with the rhythm and pronunciation of Danish

Grading Policy

Quizzes 21%

Tests 24%

Essays 9%

Participation/preparation/homework 30%

Oral exam 8% Last exam 8

Texts

Lise Bostrup: Aktivt Dansk Kim Andersen and Lise Bostrup: Aktivt Dansk. Grammar and Word List for Beginners The course materials are available at the University Co-op.

GRC 323E • Hans Christian Andersen

38208 • Fall 2011
Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm WEL 3.260
(also listed as C L 323, EUS 347, SCA 373 )
show description

Description

The principal objective of this course is to read and analyze Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tales. Andersen is a well known and loved storyteller, but his fairy tales are more than simple children’s stories. He wrote for adults as much as for children, and though his tales are full of magic and joy, they also contain a subtle layer of suffering, deprivation and sorrow you will find if you dig deeper into the texts. His best stories do more than entertain us, they examine the human soul and deal with its complexity and force us to do the same. 

Course materials 

Hans Christian Andersen: The Complete Fairy Tales and Stories (trans. ErikChristian Haugaard)

All other materials will be uploaded to blackboard.

SCA 373 • Hans Christian Andersen

38348 • Fall 2011
Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm WEL 3.260
(also listed as C L 323, EUS 347, GRC 323E )
show description

Description

The principal objective of this course is to read and analyze Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tales. Andersen is a well known and loved storyteller, but his fairy tales are more than simple children’s stories. He wrote for adults as much as for children, and though his tales are full of magic and joy, they also contain a subtle layer of suffering, deprivation and sorrow you will find if you dig deeper into the texts. His best stories do more than entertain us, they examine the human soul and deal with its complexity and force us to do the same. 

Course materials 

Hans Christian Andersen: The Complete Fairy Tales and Stories (trans. ErikChristian Haugaard)

All other materials will be uploaded to blackboard.

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