Undergraduate course

Scandinavian Literature - 19th Century - Scandinavian Area Studies

  • ECTS credits15
  • Teaching semesterAutumn
  • Course codeSAS2A
  • Number of semesters1
  • LanguageEnglish
  • Resources

Level of Study


Teaching semester


Place of Instruction


Objectives and Content

The course offers an introduction to Scandinavian 19th century literature. The primary focus is on the emergence of literary realism and naturalism during the so-called "Modern Breakthrough" of the 1870s and 1880s, as well as on the more experimental literary tendencies of the 1890s. The course will provide a literary-historical survey along with discussions of central works by central writers such as Henrik Ibsen, Amalie Skram, J. P. Jacobsen, Knut Hamsun and August Strindberg. We will discuss the turn toward realism and naturalism both in terms of intellectual influences, such as the Danish literary critic Georg Brandes, and as a reflection of the major changes the Scandinavian countries were going through at the time. In addition we will also look at several of the issues the authors of the Modern Breakthrough typically addressed in their writings, including the relationship between the sexes, sexual morality, religion and various social problems.

Learning Outcomes

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


The candidate will have a thorough knowledge of 19th-century

Scandinavian cultural and intellectual trends, of Scandinavian literary history, as well as an understanding of important authorships and representative literary works.


The candidate will be able to discuss central literary developments and be able to analyze and to write about central works in 19th-century Scandinavian literature.

General competence

The candidate will have a broad knowledge of 19th-century Scandinavian cultural and literary history and of important writers and individual works.

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


Forms of Assessment

7-day home exam (2/3) and oral examination (1/3).

Grading Scale


Reading List


Course Evaluation

Courses are evaluated regularly in accordance with the University of Bergen´s quality assurance system.


Contact Information

Department of Linguistic, Literary, and Aesthetic Studies.

E-Mail: advice@lle.uib.no

Exam information

  • Type of assessment: Take-home examination and oral examination

    • Exam part: Take-home examination

      Examination system
      Digital exam
    • Exam part: Oral examination