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Undergraduate course

Language, Culture and the Construction of National Identity in Scandinavia - Scandinavian Area Studies

Level of Study

Bachelor

Teaching semester

Spring

Place of Instruction

Bergen

Objectives and Content

The course gives an introduction to the role of language and culture in the construction of national identity in Scandinavia. The primary focus is on the period from the 19th century to the present, but reference will also be made to earlier periods, for example the Viking era.

Among the topics that will be covered are the following: the historical evolution of the Scandinavian languages, including the emergence of the two varieties of standard Norwegian (bokmål and nynorsk), different dialects and sociolects, and ideological debates over language planning and culture. In order to explore the issue of a distinct Scandinavian identity, we will also look at the relationship between the Scandinavian countries and their Nordic neighbors (Finland, Iceland, Greenland, the Faroe Islands and the Åland Islands). In addition, the languages and cultures of the indigenous people in Scandinavia will be addressed.

Throughout the course of the 19th century, different attempts were made to forge a distinct Norwegian, Swedish or Danish national identity, often by focusing on what set one of the countries apart from the other two. At the same time, one can also find an intellectual movement that stressed brotherhood and unity among the three Scandinavian countries, which were often likened to three branches growing out of the same tree. Through a focus on language and culture, SAS1 traces the evolution of these two opposing tendencies - the desire for a separate national identity as well as for a specifically Scandinavian identity - up until the current moment.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the programme the candidate should have the following learning outcomes, defined in terms of knowledge, skills and general competence:

Knowledge

The candidate will have a thorough knowledge of central issues concerning language, culture and national identity in a Scandinavian context.

Skills

The candidate will be able to discuss the importance of language and culture for the construction of national identity in a Scandinavian context in light of relevant theoretical texts.

General competence

The candidate will have a broad knowledge of how linguistic, historical, cultural and social conditions have contributed to the construction of national identity in the Scandinavian countries.

Required Previous Knowledge

The course requires spoken and written proficiency in English.

Recommended Previous Knowledge

-

Access to the Course

The course is open to exchange students and other students with upper secondary education from outside Norway with admission to the University of Bergen.

Teaching and learning methods

One lecture per week. Total of 12-14 lectures.

Compulsory Assignments and Attendance

 None.

Forms of Assessment

Written examination in the end of spring term and autumn term. Examination duration 6 hrs.

Grading Scale

A-F.

Reading List

-

Course Evaluation

Courses are evaluated regularly in accordance with UiBs quality assurance system. 

Contact

Contact Information

Department of Linguistic, Literary, and Aesthetic Studies.

E-mail: advice@lle.uib.no

Exam information

  • For written exams, please note that the start time may change from 09:00 to 15:00 or vice versa until 14 days prior to the exam. The exam location will be published 14 days prior to the exam.

  • Type of assessment: Written examination

    Date
    08.05.2018, 09:00
    Duration
    6 hours
    Withdrawal deadline
    24.04.2018
    Examination system
    Inspera
    Digital exam
    Location