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CODE 65319


This course develops the literary study begun with the monographic parts in the second year, by presenting tools and topics to deal with genres, phenomena and authors. Students will also approach literary texts in Swedish, Danish and Norwegian. The intended readings are meant to introduce students to contemporary literature (since the 1950s).




This course aims to introduce the students to a variety of aspects of the cultural and literary history of Nordic countries, while highlighting elements of uniformity and diversity among them and in relation to the rest of the European cultural world.


Students will be able to critically deal with some concepts regarding the imagery about the North, its stereotypes and their deconstruction or questioning, drawing examples from a corpus of literary and extra-literary works. In addition to, they will acquire skills and tools to analyse literary texts linguistically and stylistically, working on the Swedish language,​and will be introduced to the main peculiarities of Danish and Norwegian, taking literary texts into account as well.


54 hours of classroom activities, articulated in two weekly hours over 9 weeks (part one) in the first term (October to December) and three weekly hours over 12 weeks (parts two and three, each consisting of 18 hours) in the second term (February to May).

The whole course corresponds to 9 credits: students who need only 6 credits have to attend only two parts at their choice.

The course will have a markedly seminar character, therefore students are expected to contribute to analyses and discussions with their own remarks.

As regards the analysis of literary texts in Swedish, the observation of the authors’ stylistic features and linguistic strategies will be the starting point to formalize some concepts and methodologies of textual analysis and to show how the outcomes of the analysis can contribute to the interpretation of the text. This work will be introduced and initially lead by the teacher, but participants will be later asked to contribute with their own examination of assigned excerpts or even texts of their own choice (Swedish literary examples of the 20th or 21st century).

Further activities will be announced during the course. The course will be entirely held in Italian.

The course attendance is not compulsory, but highly recommended.


PART ONE - August Strindberg's style: introduction to the analysis of literary texts in Swedish
Each author necessarily acts within a specific literary and cultural tradition, which exerts its influence both as a source of inspiration and as the context that hosts the author's innovative contributions. Critical reading of literary texts allows to point out and become aware of a writer’s features and strategies and to obtain useful (sometimes fundamental) information towards a more plausible interpretation of the text. In this part of the course, passages taken from literary works by August Strindberg (Röda Rummet; Taklagsöl) will be examined with and by students.


PART TWO - Images of the North, imagery about the North: between mythemes, borealism and northernness

This module offers an initial reflection on the stereotypes that are associated with the Northern countries, in particular from the Italian perspective, drawing examples from literature and cinema: which images have been successful or most frequent? What functions did they have? Have there been any attempts to deconstruct (some of) them? The participants, on the basis of the literary criticism indicated and inspired by the suggested examples, will be asked to enrich the research corpus and to discuss the dynamics, evolution and implications of such narratives on the North.


PART THREE – Introduction to Danish and Norwegian with analysis of literary texts
Scandinavian languages ​​show remarkable similarities, obviously due to the proximity of the respective cultural areas, but also (as regards Danish and Norwegian) to historical-political reasons and common literary tradition along some centuries. Basing our work on the degree of knowledge and skills in the Swedish language expected from third year students, we will examine some of the main phonetic, morphological, lexical and stylistic differences of Danish and Norwegian ​through the reading of some literary prose excerpts. In the case of Norwegian, the survey will be introduced by a reconstruction of the main cultural and political events (including the numerous linguistic reforms) in which the complex question of language was articulated between the late 19th and the early 20th century.


Storia delle letterature scandinave. Dalle origini a oggi, a cura di Massimo Ciaravolo, Milano, Iperborea 2019, pp. 589-940.


For PART ONE - Analyses of literary texts in Swedish:

August Strindberg, Röda Rummet, text available at

A. Strindberg, La Sala Rossa, trad. di Attilio Veraldi, Milano, Rizzoli (1986) 2002

A. Strindberg, Taklagsöl, text available at

A. Strindberg, La festa del coronamento, trad. di Franco Perrelli, Milano, Carbonio Editore 2022


For PART TWO - Images of the North:

Andrea Meregalli and Camilla Storskog (eds.), Bridges to Scandinavia, Milano, di/segni, Dipartimento di Lingue e letterature straniere, Università degli Studi di Milano 2016, pp. 141-155

Robert Zola Christensen (ed.), Rethinking Scandinavia. A collection of articles based on presentation held at the CSS Conference 2017 – (web proceedings), Lund, International web community for Scandinavian Studies 2018

Bruno Berni and Anna Wegener (eds.), Translating Scandinavia. Scandinavian Literature in Italian and German Translation, 1918-1945, Roma, Edizioni Quasar 2018, pp. 109-129

Frédérique Toudoire-Surlapierre et Alessandra Balloti (dir.), Nordiques n° 38 – Automne 2019. Le petit héros scandinave, Bibliothèque de Caen-Association Norden

Alessandra Ballotti, Claire McKeown, Frédérique Toudoire Surlapierre (dir.), De la nordicité au boréalisme, Reims, Presses Universitaires 2020

Jens Bjerring-Hansen, Torben Jelsbak, Anna Estera Mrozewicz (eds.), Scandinavian Exceptionalisms. Culture, Society, Discourse, Berlin, Nordeuropa-Institut der Humboldt Universität 2021

Further bibliography will be announced during the course.


For PART THREE - Introduction to Danish and Norwegian:

Anna Wegener, Inger-Marie Willert Bortignon, Luca Panieri, Grammatica danese. Fonetica, morfologia, sintassi ed esercizi, Milano, Hoepli 2013

Irene Burdese, Cathrine Rysst, Lær deg norsk! Corso di lingua norvegese, Milano, Hoepli 2015

All literary excerpts that will be examined in class will have been regularly uploaded on Aulaweb.


Students are expected to know the contents of the lessons, including all the texts which will be examined during the course, and will have to read eight works of contemporary Scandinavian literature (two for each country: Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Iceland). These works may be read in any translation (or in Scandinavian languages, at students’ choice). In addition to, candidates who need 9 credits will have to read some tales or essays in Swedish and to be able to translate them (some passages will be chosen by the teacher during the exam) into Italian and summarize them in Swedish. In details:

- Astrid Lindgren, “Pippi flyttar in i Villa Villekulla” and “Pippi vill inte bli stor” (from Boken om Pippi Långstrump, 1952) or Birgitta Svanberg, “På barnets sida. Om Astrid Lindgren” (in Elisabeth Møller Jensen, Nordisk kvinnolitteraturhistoria 3, 1996, available at

- Tove Jansson, “Vårvisan” or “Granen” (da Det osynliga barnet, 1962) or Ebba Witt-Brattström, “Motståndets utopi. Om Tove Jansson” (in Nordisk kvinnolitteraturhistoria 3)

Further critical bibliography will be given during the course. For details about the programme, the reading list and all the material for students who cannot attend the lessons, please contact the teacher at


Exam Board



CHIARA BENATI (Substitute)




Lessons will start in the first week of the semester (3-7 October 2022).

The course schedule will be announced in September.

Please check the teacher's personal page (at for updated information.



An oral exam at the end of the course or in the following exam sessions (six every year, apart from reserved sessions for final year or Erasmus students: we recommend to look at the teacher's personal page or at Genoa university website to be informed about the examination dates).

The examination takes place in Italian, but it includes a part in Swedish (see point 3).

The exam lasts approximately forty minutes and is meant to test both the knowledge of the syllabus and reasoning skills. Therefore:

1) The eight readings indicated in the bibliography are integral part of the programme: students have to prove that they have read the chosen works and are expected to add personal analyses, observations, comparisons and evaluations based on the literary knowledge and skills acquired in the course. As regards this part of the exam, the examiners, of course, will take into proper account that these works have not been analysed in class, but that, however, they are a meaningful integration of the course topics.

2) To evaluate the skills acquired in the first part of the course, students will be asked to read, translate and comment on (both theoretically and in praxis) some passages in Swedish taken from the examined texts. Further passages will be assigned before the examination for personal analysis.

3) Students are, moreover, requested to make a little, autonomous research on a topic at their choice, provided that it is related to the course programme. To fulfil this task, students may adopt a literary, historical, social, cultural, comparative or interdisciplinary perspective, according to general instructions that will be given during the course (students are expected to ask the lecturer about details of this task in case they cannot attend the course). This research will have to be presented in Swedish during the exam (not necessarily in a written form).

Students are allowed to divide the programme into (no more than) two parts to be prepared for two different exam sessions at their choice. The final evaluation will consider the results of both parts (however, they must be both sufficient, i.e. both evaluated at least with 18/30) and students are free to take the exam(s) as many times as they wish to take a better evaluation.

The final mark is announced at the end of the exam and it can be refused by the candidate. In case of a refused mark or a failed exam, the candidate may always sit the exam in the following session (no limit is prescribed in the number of attempts).


In the overall evaluation, not only the knowledge of the syllabus (course topics, texts analysed in class – or included in the specific list – and readings) and reasoning skills, but also expository skills and accuracy in the use of the specific language of the discipline will be taken into account.

The main skills that will be evaluated are: capability of orientating oneself in the different periods of the literary history, setting the considered works (or texts) in the proper context, comparing different authors, ages, nations, movements, and adding a personal critical judgement on the considered phenomena, mainly basing on competences acquired and critical contributions presented during the course.

The part of the exam that has to be taken in Swedish is aimed to make students confident with speaking even in this language on formal subjects, like literature and culture. This is the reason why students will have freedom of choice and, in any case, the evaluation of their language skills will not be as strict as that required in a typical language assessment. Nonetheless, the complexity and originality of the chosen topic, as well as the adopted methodology and the linguistic skills students will be able to show, will be taken in appropriate account to formulate the final evaluation.

Exam schedule

Data appello Orario Luogo Degree type Note
26/01/2023 09:30 GENOVA Orale
10/02/2023 09:30 GENOVA Orale
28/04/2023 10:00 GENOVA Orale
09/06/2023 09:30 GENOVA Orale
10/07/2023 09:30 GENOVA Orale
06/09/2023 14:30 GENOVA Orale
21/09/2023 09:30 GENOVA Orale


Students will not have to formally enrol in this course; however, this course – as any other – is to be inserted in the learning plan to be officially acknowledged.

Those who want to take the exam must enrol through the university website within three days before the examination. Participants in the course will have to log in the Aulaweb platform, where all material that will be examined will be uploaded.

This course is obligatory for all third year students who have chosen Swedish as Language A or Language B in the curriculum “Lingue, letterature e culture moderne”. Other students may insert it in their learning plan, but they are warmly asked to contact me, even to have a specific programme designed according to their own academic needs.

Students who have been certified with special educational needs (DSA), such as dyslexia or dysgraphia, are invited to contact me, as well as to familiarise with the services (e.g. “ufficio disabilità  e DSA”) the University offers to support them: further information available at