Scandinavian literature

The discipline of Scandinavian literature examines literature written in the Scandinavian languages (Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic and Faroese) from the perspectives of literary studies and literary history.

A special focus of the discipline is on Swedish-language literature in Finland as well as its societal conditions, duties and significance in various time periods. 

The research carried out in the discipline of Scandinavian literature ranges from the classics of Scandinavian literature to Nordic noir. An analytical and critical perspective on the special characteristics of literature and its change over time increases understanding of Scandinavian culture, Scandinavian societies and (the Scandinavian countries’ shared) history. 

We are living in a time when it is particularly important to learn to read texts critically and understand the ways in which texts guide us. Literary texts in all their complexity develop and challenge our ability to understand. Literature is a reflection of the society in which it originates and, thus, a source of knowledge about people’s emotions, thoughts and behaviours.  

In what ways can Scandinavian literature help us understand the time period we live in? How is our understanding guided by the characteristics of a text? How does a text lure us into understanding its message in a particular way, and how can a resistant reading strategy be used? What is the relationship between Scandinavian literature and world literature? 

Focus areas of research are

  • Styles and tendencies in prose, poetry and drama, especially modernism and postmodernism
  • Scandinavian literature from the Viking Age to the present
  • Literature that spans linguistic, spatial, temporal and medium-specific boundaries
  • Interrelations between literature and society
  • Theoretical perspectives, such as ecocriticism, postcolonial research and queer studies, qualitative and quantitative literary research, literature and digitalisation, philology and translation studies
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