"Sexual Politics in Scandinavia"


Scand. 438

Lit Trans 438



Spring 2021


Monday-Wednesday-Friday 11-11:50


Chamberlin Hall, C 2103




Nete Schmidt,Ph.D. aschmidt2@wisc.edu, 1368 Van Hise,

Office hours T- R 12:15-1 and by appointment

Required Texts:

Isak Dinesen  Anecdotes of Destiny
Gerd Brantenberg        Egalia’s Daughters
Astrid Lindgren Pippi Longstocking
Sissel-Jo Gazan The Arc of the Swallow

Grading Scale:

Participation   15%
3 Presentations and write-ups 45%
Formal Essay 10%
2 Exams 30%






In order to do well in this course, you should attend every class period and participate actively in class discussion and presentations.   You should be prepared for every class by having read and thought about the scheduled text, so you can share your thoughts and insights and benefit from listening to your fellow students.

If you are going to be absent, please let me know in advance.  If you are unable to attend a class, please call a classmate to find out what went on, so you will be up-to-date with assignments.


Each student will give two-three 20-minute power point presentations of one of our authors and texts. Presentations should provide a general summary of the author’s life and work and discuss, in particular, styles and themes associated with the author.

Students should provide a brief handout for the class including questions to initiate a discussion about the reading by the author chosen for the class.

Students should provide a write-up of the presentation to be handed in at the end of the class. The write-up should consist of power point slides, questions, and a brief summary of the purpose of the presentation.

The Syllabus:

The syllabus shows the reading and discussion topic for each day of the week, so the first entry is the reading for Monday, the second entry the reading for Wednesday, and the third entry the reading for Friday.

Please read the texts listed so you are able to participate in class discussions.

The course will consist of lectures, presentations, and discussion.

Formal Essay:

You will write one 3-5 page (750-1250 words) analysis of the readings that we have studied during the course. Topics for the essay will be provided. You must include outside sources in your essay to make it more academic.


Your essay must be word-processed, double-spaced in MLA format.  All should have a standard heading on the top left corner of the page (your name, date, my name, class), and each paper should have a title. The formal essay is due on April 30.

Prompt for formal essay.



The first exam is on Wednesday, March 10, during class.

The second exam is on Friday, April 30, during class.


You must give credit to any source you use for ideas or wording. Representing the ideas and words of another as one’s own is a violation of the standards for academic honesty. Do NOT buy papers from the web as that is academic dishonesty and will result in a failing grade for the class.  Plagiarism, which is defined as the deliberate use of another’s ideas or words as if they were one’s own, can take many forms such as:  

- Borrowing, buying or stealing a paper from elsewhere; lending or selling a paper for another’s use as his or her own; using printed material written by someone else as one’s own  
- Getting so much help on a paper from someone else, including a college tutor, that the student writer can no longer legitimately claim authorship  
- Intentionally using source material improperly, e.g., neither citing nor using quotation marks on borrowed material; supplying an in-text citation but failing to enclose quoted material within quotation marks; leaving paraphrased material too close to the original version; failing to append a works-cited page when sources have been used  
- Unintentional misuse of borrowed sources through ignorance or carelessness  

Sanctions recommended for dishonesty are an “F” on the assignment and/or an “F” in the course. More serious violations may be referred to the Academic Dean’s Office for appropriate action.

Syllabus - liable to change!


Readings & Discussions.  UW = reading is online in Canvas 

Week 1

Jan. 25, 27, 29


Introduction to the class, syllabus,


Suzanne Brøgger: “Who Needs Witches?” 1976   UW,

Sign up for presentations

Victoria Benedictsson Money, 1885   UW

Week 2

Feb 1, 3, 5 


Victoria Benedictsson “Happiness” 1884 UW  


August Strindberg “Miss Julie” 1888 UW or



Charlotte Perkins Gilman, “The Yellow Wallpaper” 1892



Week 3

Feb. 8, 10, 12



Amalie Skram: Betrayed, 1892 (M & W) UW


Friday Movie Time. “The Yellow Wallpaper”

Watch any or all of these three selections:


Masterpiece Theatre, 8 parts. Here is no. 1, and the others will be listed if you play this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BAJm6gFJb4I


Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/95343563


Imbd: http://www.imdb.com/video/imdb/vi2524552473


Week 4

Feb. 15, 17, 19


Lecture on Amalie Skram Constance Ring, 1885


Lecture on Kristian Krogh Albertine, 1886


Poems by Karin Boye


Week 5

Feb.22, 24, 26

Poems by Edith Södergran, 1923   UW (M & W)


Cora Sandel:  “Thank you Doctor”  1927   UW


Week 6

March 1, 3, 5


Cora Sandel: “A Mystery” 1927   UW


Cora Sandel: “The Art of Murder” 1927   UW


Suzanne Brøgger: “No Man’s Land” 1975   UW


Week 7

March 8, 10, 12


Isak Dinesen: “The Blank Page” 1958   UW

First exam (W)


Isak Dinesen: “Ehrengaard” 1958

Week 8

March 15, 17, 19



Isak Dinesen: “Babette’s Feast” 1958 (M & W)


Movie "Babette's Feast" streamed (F - on your own time)

Week 9

March 22, 24, 26


Tove Ditlevsen: The Faces, 1968 (M & W) UW


Dorrit Willumsen: “A Couple” 1982   UW

Week 10

March 29, 31


Solvej Balle: According to the Law, 1993   UW (M & W)


Week 11

April 5, 7, 9

Gerd Brantenberg: Egalia’s Daughters, 1986 (M & W)

Laurie Halse Anderson and Rupi Kaur UW

Week 12

April 12, 14, 16


Inger Christensen “It” 1969   UW

Bjørg Vik: “The Breakup” 1979   UW


Kerstin Ekman: “A City of Light” 1983   UW

Week 13

April 19, 21, 23


Astrid Lindgren: Pippi Longstocking, 1945-48, 2000

Week 14

April 26, 28, 30


Sissel-Jo Gazan: The Arc of the Swallow, 2013 (M & W)


Formal Essay due


Second Exam (F)


University of Wisconsin-Madison, Syllabus, Scand. Studies 438 / Lit in Trans 438, Sexual Politics in Scandinavia.
Credits: 4
Course URL: https://canvas.wisc.edu/courses/240112

Course Designation and Attributes:
Breadth - Literature. Counts toward the Humanities req
Level - Intermediate / Advanced
L&S Credit - Counts as Liberal Arts and Science credit in L&S
Grad 50% - Counts toward 50% graduate coursework requirement
M-W-F 11:00-11:50, Chamberlin Hall, C 2103
Instructional Mode: Face-to-Face
Credit hours: Traditional Carnegie Definition
Instructor: Faculty Associate Nete Schmidt
Office Hours: Tuesday and Thursday 12:15-1 pm and by appointment
Email: aschmidt2@wisc.edu
Course Description:
The purpose of this class is to explore female and male writers from Scandinavia who, in their works, focus on the role of women. We will read novels, short stories, poems, and theory in both a historical and literary context.
Further, we will compare the role of women in Scandinavia to that of women in the U.S. before and now.
We will use movies to enhance our appreciation of the depictions of women.

Course Learning Outcomes:
The students will gain an ability to identify and understand the categories depicting the position of women in Scandinavia as portrayed through various works of literature
The students will gain an ability to analyze and discuss the important features characterizing the position of women in Scandinavia as portrayed through various works of literature
The students will achieve the ability to compose and produce writing that applies the concepts introduced to describe, analyze, and differentiate the position of women as portrayed through various works of literature about Scandinavian women.

Participation:                                                                   15%
3 presentations and write-ups:                                      45%
Formal Essay:                                                                  10%
2 exams:                                                                            30 %

Required Textbooks:
Amalie Skram: Betrayed
Isak Dinesen: Anecdotes of Destiny
Gerd Brantenberg: Egalia’s Daughters
Astrid Lindgren: Pippi Longstocking
Tove Ditlevsen: The Faces
Sissel-Jo Gazan: The Arc of the Swallow
A number of short stories, plays, and poems.
Exams etc:
The class has two-three presentations with write-ups, two exams, and one formal essay
Homework is assigned every week according to the detailed syllabus.
Accommodations for students with disabilities:
The University of Wisconsin-Madison supports the right of all enrolled students to a full and equal educational opportunity. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Wisconsin State Statute (36.12), and UW-Madison policy (Faculty Document 1071) require that students with disabilities be reasonably accommodated in instruction and campus life. Reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities is a shared faculty and student responsibility. Students are expected to inform faculty [me] of their need for instructional accommodations by the end of the third week of the semester, or as soon as possible after a disability has been incurred or recognized. Faculty [I], will work either directly with the student [you] or in coordination with the McBurney Center to identify and provide reasonable instructional accommodations. Disability information, including instructional accommodations as part of a student's educational record, is confidential and protected under FERPA.
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