67310 - Northern Literatures (LM)

Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

No poverty Good health and well-being Quality education Gender equality

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

At the end of the classes the student will have theoretical and methodological instruments in order to know Nordic literatures.Nordic literatures it means literary expressions in Danish, Feroese, Icelandic, Norwegian and Swedish languages, from the very beginnings to the contemporary age. Due to the strong linguistic and cultural similitude, the classes will follow a comparatistic approach to Nordic literatures taking into account also other arts (painting, movie, music, etc.). The student will be able to know the most important social aspects of the Nordic culture which will be useful in a larger humanistic learning.

Course contents

1st Semester: (from 28th September) 30 hours (6 CFU)

Woman in Nordic Society

Most about the Nordic world is stereotyped matter: sublime nature, advanced welfare, sexual freedom etc., whereas Nordic society has its own history, and women are part of this development. After a general contextualization of the Nordic world, the course will take into account some topic literary works between 19th and 20th centuries. They will give the opportunity to think and discuss in classroom about the representation and role of woman in the Nordic society. Some novels, short novels and plays from Norway, Sweden, Iceland, Fær Øer and Denmark will be analysed in order to explain the variety of Nordic literature.



- Henrik Ibsen, Quando noi morti ci destiamo, in Id. Tutto il teatro, a cura di Paolo Chiarini, Milano, Newton Compton, 1973 (or any other edition)

-August Strindberg, Signorina Julie, in Id., Teatro naturalistico, II, a cura di Luciano Codignola, Milano, Adelphi, 1982 (or any other edition), pp. 141-219.

- Halldór Laxness, L'onore della casa, Milano, Iperborea, 1996 (or any other edition)

- Jorgen-Frantz Jacobsen, Barbara, Milano-Roma, Rizzoli, 1941 (selected pages suggested by the teacher)

- Karen Blixen, Il pranzo di Babette, in Ead., Capricci del destino, Milano, Feltrinelli, 1978 (or any other edition), pp.9-46


- Storia delle letterature scandinave. Dalle origini a oggi, a cura di Massimo Ciaravolo, Milano, Iperborea, 2019, pp. 281-289; 297-313; 322-334; 441-445; 489-493; 498-504; 511-512.

- other essays suggested by the teacher

Non attending students:

To the previous bibliography it must be added:

- Davidson, Peter, L'idea di Nord, Roma, Donzelli, 2005.

-Vico Faggi, August Strindberg, Firenze, La nuova Italia, 1978.

- Bruno Berni, Vedere la cicogna. Introduzione a Karen Blixen, Roma, Robin, 2004 (or any other edition)

- Scipio Slapater, Ibsen, (qualsiasi edizione integrale)

Teaching methods

Classroom (if COVID conditions will allow it).

Assessment methods

The exam consists inan oral interview. During the interview the methodological and critical skills acquired by the student willbe evaluated. The student will be invited to discuss the texts covered during the course andtomove within the sources and bibliographical material in order to be able to identify in them the useful information that will enableto illustrate the similarities and cultural areas of the discipline. The achievementof an organic vision of the issues addressed during the classes and theircritical use, which demonstrateownership of a mastery of expression and specific language, will be assessed with marks of excellence. Mechanical and / or mnemonic knowledge of matter, synthesis and analysis of non-articulating and / or correct language but not always appropriatewill lead to discrete assessments; training gaps and / or inappropriate language - although in a context of minimal knowledgeof the material - will lead to votes that will not exceed the sufficiency. Training gaps, inappropriate language, lack of guidance within the reference materials offered during the course will lead to failed assessments.

Teaching tools

During the course, some audiovisual material will be used. Teaching material will be posted on the web platform of the course.

Office hours

See the website of Alessandro Zironi