Scand C180: The Supernatural in Contemporary Nordic Cultures

Instructor: Kimberly Ball

This course will explore representations of the supernatural in recent Nordic literature and film.  We will also consider the beliefs, experiences, and attitudes vis-à-vis the supernatural in contemporary Nordic societies, and what role(s) the supernatural plays in contemporary Nordic worldview and culture.  Questions we may ponder include: How do recent works of Nordic fiction reflect and reflect upon folk traditions of the supernatural?  Given that the supernatural is associated with traditional beliefs and stories from past eras, how do representations of the supernatural figure our relationship to the past?  What is the relationship between the supernatural and modernity, rationality, or science?  What does the supernatural element bring to existing genres such as detective fiction, coming-of-age stories, murder mysteries, young adult fiction, or social-realist novels/films – and why does the supernatural element tend to be the least horrific aspect of recent Nordic supernatural horror stories?  How do supernaturally monstrous beings make us think about what it means to be human, to be animal, to be different, to be alive?  All readings in English translation; all films with English subtitles.  SCAND C180 is a variable topics course that may be repeated for credit with topic change. Taught in English.

TR 12:30-1:45      Bunche 2160