The course Swedish Culture is intended for exchange students and visiting students participating in bilateral University exchange programmes or in University or national scholarship schemes for students from other countries.
The course gives 30 credits and stretches over one semester. It comprises three modules: Swedish History (15 credits), Swedish Art and Music (7.5 credits), and Swedish Literature (7.5 credits).
The course starts with the history module, that gives an outline of the historical development of Swedish society from prehistoric times to the present. Important periods and developments, such as the Middle Ages, the Great Power Period, and the 19th century mass emigration, are highlighted. Special emphasis is put on the 20th century, including Sweden’s security policy and the emergence of the welfare state.
Swedish Art & Music
The art and music module deals with Swedish audio visual culture from the early 16th century and onwards. Themes centering around national identity, ethnicity, gender, and class are covered. Emphasis is put on discussing issues related to audiovisual movements, styles, and individual artists. Music in Sweden covers a history of various ethnic groups and social layers, for example medieval ballads, fiddlers’ groups, the music of the royal court, and Swedish popular music on a global market.
The course also gives an overview of modern Swedish literature, with a focus on the period from the 1880s to the present. Specific examples of Swedish literature are studied and discussed in relation to their social and historical context and to literary traditions and tendencies in and outside of Sweden. Some of the studied authors are August Strindberg, Selma Lagerlöf, the female working class writer Moa Martinson, and children's literature author Astrid Lindgren. Different styles of poetry, and examples of this from the period mentioned, are also discussed. Literary genres that are represented in the course range from naturalism, neo-romanticism, symbolism, and modernism to working class literature, children's literature, and postmodernism.