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CODE 61291


This course is meant as a prosecution and integration of the first year course: therefore, the development of Scandinavian (Danish, Icelandic, Norwegian, Swedish) literature from the end of the 19th century to the late 20th century will be investigated; literary phenomena will be, moreover, contextualized historically and socially, and some specific topics will be examined in depth (partly with reference to subjects that were dealt with in the first year course).



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


Students will become acquainted with the development of Scandinavian society from the late 19th to the late 20th century and will acquire the critical skills to analyse the different phenomena connected with Scandinavian poetry of the same period.


No binding prerequisite is foreseen, but the knowledge of the main trends in the development of Scandinavian literature, especially in the modernity, is warmly recommended.


54 hours of lectures, where literary, social and historical observations will be accompanied by comments on single literary works, even with reading of selected passages in Italian translation.

The first 36 hours of the course will be held in the first term, with a schedule of three weekly hours, the last 18 hours will take place in the second term (from the end of February, two weekly hours).

Course attendance is not compulsory, but warmly recommended.

As all other literary courses in the second year, this course corresponds to 9 credits.



PART ONE - From Naturalism to Modernism: a (poetic) journey through Scandinavian literature and society

The aim of this part of the course, which is meant to complete the literary history examined in the first year, is to consider the main aspects of the cultural and socio-historical evolution of the Scandinavian countries from 1880s to the present. This subject will be analysed in depth from the particular perspective of the cultural and social reflections in poetic texts, by examining a significant corpus from the literary traditions of Denmark, Sweden and Norway from Naturalism to the late expressions of Modernism in 1960s.

PART ONE will be held by prof. Davide Finco.

The course topics of PART TWO will be announced later and will be held by another lecturer.


Students will have to prove their acquaintance with course contents, including all the texts which will be examined during the course, and will have to read a number of Scandinavian works published in the period 1890s-1940s.

For details about the syllabus, the reading list and the materials for students who cannot attend the course, please contact the teacher at


Exam Board




Lessons will start in the first week of the first term (30th Sep - 4th Oct 2024).

The course schedule will be announced in the previous weeks.



Oral exam at the end of the course or in the following exam sessions (please check the dates on The exam lasts approximately forty minutes. It is specified that:

1) The questions will focus on the history and literary history of the Scandinavian countries, on their position in the European context, on the texts examined in class (or included in the list for non-attending students), some of which - chosen by the teacher - will have to be discussed by candidates.

2) Similarly, for the monographic parts, students must demonstrate that they know the general characteristics of the works and know how to comment on the passages examined in class or otherwise assigned and included in the exam program (as indicated in class and on Aulaweb).

3) The nine (or six) optional readings indicated in the bibliography are part of the program: in addition to verifying that they have been read, the teacher (prof. Finco) will ask the candidates for personal analyses and reflections, and any comparisons and judgments based on the literary knowledge acquired during the course, keeping in mind that the works were not subjected to specific analysis in class, but constitute an essential enrichment of the contents.

4) 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).This part will be asked by prof. Finco.

The examination will take place partly in Italian and partly in Swedish on a topic of the programme chosen and carefully analysed by the student.

Students are allowed to divide the syllabus into (no more than) two parts, which they may prepare for two different exam sessions. The final evaluation will take into consideration the results of both parts (which must be both pass marks, i.e. both marked at least with 18/30); moreover, students are free to take the exam(s) as many times as they wish to improve their marks.

Non-Scandinavianists (that is to say, students who do not have Swedish as their language A or B of specialization) will not be examined on the works included in the reading list (see Bibliography) nor will they have to take the part of the exam in Swedish.

For final year or Erasmus students special sessions in addition to the seven ordinary ones will be provided: even in this case, the examination days are indicated in the lecturers’ personal pages or in the university website (students are invited to contact the teachers of "Sezione Scandinavistica" to have further information).


In the overall evaluation, not only the knowledge of the syllabus (course topics, texts analysed in class – or included in the specific list for non-attendants – and readings indicated in the bibliography) 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: being able to orientate oneself in the different periods of the literary history, to set the considered works (or texts) in the proper context, to compare different authors, ages, nations, movements, to develop a personal critical judgement on the considered phenomena.

As regards the personal research on a topic to be presented in Swedish, students will be evaluated according to the complexity and originality of the chosen topic, the perspective they will have adopted, their research methodology and their proficiency in Swedish.


The course will be entirely held in Italian. During the lessons, texts in Swedish, Danish and Norwegian will be examined.

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 material that will be examined will be uploaded.

This course is obligatory for all second year students who have chosen Swedish as Language A or Language B. Other students may insert it in their learning plan, but they are warmly asked to contact prof. Finco, even to have a specific programme designed according to their own academic needs.

Students who have valid certification of physical or learning disabilities on file with the University and who wish to discuss possible accommodations or other circumstances regarding lectures, coursework and exams, should speak both with the instructor and with prof. Sara Dickinson (, the Department's disability liaison. Further information available at

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