Academic year
2019/2020 Syllabus of previous years
Official course title
Course code
LT70AB (AF:321351 AR:166225)
On campus classes
ECTS credits
Degree level
Bachelor's Degree Programme
Educational sector code
1st Semester
Course year
Go to Moodle page
Locating the subject within the study plan of the BA-programme

Swedish Literature 2 module 2 is offered at the second year of the BA-programme in Foreign Languages, Literatures and Cultures (Lingue, Civiltà e Scienze del Linguaggio) to the students who choose Swedish as one of their two three-year languages, and in particular to those who choose the literary curriculum. The course Swedish Literature 2 (12 ects) is thus divided in two modules, the first being kept by prof. Culeddu, and the second by prof. Ciaravolo.

History of Swedish Culture (6 ects) is offered at the second year of the BA-programme in Foreign Languages, Literatures and Cultures (Lingue, Civiltà e Scienze del Linguaggio) to the students who choose Swedish as one of their two three-year languages, and in particular to those who choose the international-political curriculum. History of Swedish Culture is also included in the Literary-cultural curriculum, and as a freely chosen subject it can be studied within the Linguistic-philological curriculum as well, being recommended to all Swedish language students who wish to go deeper in Scandinavian Studies.
Expected results

Swedish Literature 2 module 2 / History of Swedish Culture deals with Swedish and Scandinavian pedagogical culture in the 20th century; it examines how it finds expression in the welfare state policy as well as in a rich literature for children, teen agers and young adults. The course examines works of Swedish and Finno-Swedish literature, but also of Danish and Norwegian literature, written between the 1950s and the 1990s, in order to consider different models of narrative texts that are addressed to a younger reading public.
The aim of the course is to give a general knowledge of the cultural, social and political history of the North in the last 150 years, and an in-depth knowledge of Scandinavian children’s culture and literature; the students should learn to contextualize the studied works historically, socially and literarily, and to analyse their contents, worldviews, styles and forms.


The course is addressed to the students of the three curriculums at Foreign Languages, Literatures and Cultures (Lingue, Civiltà e Scienze del Linguaggio), who have already attended Swedish Literature 1. Skills in Swedish language will allow the more advanced students to approach the original texts.

Children’s culture and literature in Scandinavia

The radical process of democratic emancipation Scandinavia experiences in the last decades of the 19th century, through the 20th century, and up to present time, implies that traditionally marginalized categories acquire new dignity, voice, visibility and subjectivity. Among these categories are children, teen agers and young adults. Reflecting upon their needs and rights is connected with a new way of conceiving the family, the relationship between grown-ups and children, society as a whole: a way that goes beyond patriarchal and paternalistic models. This cultural dimension proves to be fecund also in the literary field. A particular turning point occurs at the end of World War Two, when great Swedish-speaking writers debut. They propose innovative contents and forms, which also allow considering the future with some hope, after the war catastrophe.
The course proposes an in-depth analysis of narrative texts written between the 1950s and the 1990s by the Swedish authors Astrid Lindgren and Ulf Stark, the Finno-Swedish author Tove Jansson, the Danish author Ole Lund Kirkegaard, and the Norwegian authors Tormod Haugen, Lars Saabye Christensen and Jostein Gaarder.

Primary sources

Tove Jansson 1954, Farlig midsommar, Förlaget M, Helsingfors 2019 (BALI university library) / Magia di mezza estate, Salani, Milano 2014 [2000] (BALI)

Astrid Lindgren 1954, Mio, min Mio, Rabén & Sjögren, Stockholm 2011 (BALI) / Mio piccolo Mio, Salani, Milano 2008 (bookshops and libraries)

Astrid Lindgren 1955, Lillebror och Karlsson på taket, Rabén & Sjögren, Stockholm 2003 (BALI) / Karlsson sul tetto, Vallecchi, Firenze 1976 (pdf on Moodle)

Ole Lund Kirkegaard 1975, Gummi-Tarzan, in Id., Gummi-Tarzan og andre historier, Gyldendal, København 2018 (BALI) / Tarzan di gomma, Mursia, Milano 1992 (BALI)

Tormod Haugen 1975, Nattfuglene, Gyldendal Norsk Forlag, Oslo 2019 (BALI) / Gli uccelli notturni, Salani, Milano 2004 (BALI)

Ulf Stark 1984, Dårfinkar och dönickar, Bonnier Carlsen, Stockholm 2013 (BALI + pdf Moodle) / Il paradiso dei matti, Feltrinelli, Milano 2019 (bookshops and libraries)

Lars Saabye Christensen 1988, Herman, Cappelen Damm, Oslo 2017 (BALI) / Herman, Piemme, Casale Monferrato 1993 (bookshops? and libraries)

Jostein Gaarder 1991, Sofies verden, Oslo, Aschehoug 2015 (BALI), only the first chapter, p. 11-49 (pdf on Moodle) / Il mondo di Sofia, Longanesi, Milano 2015 [1994] (BALI), only the first chapter, p. 7-50 (pdf on Moodle)

Secondary sources

Massimo Ciaravolo, Profilo di storia culturale, sociale e politica del Nord (dagli inizi del 1800 ai giorni nostri), 2019 (pdf outline on Moodle)

from Massimo Ciaravolo (ed.), Storia delle letterature scandinave, Iperborea, Milano 2019, the following pp.: 236-238 (Giuliano D’Amico on folk literature and the fairy-tale in Norwegian Romancism, P.C. Asbjørnsen and J. Moe); 254-258 (Bruno Berni on H.C. Andersen); 273-274 (MC on Z. Topelius); 341-347 (MC on S. Lagerlöf); 350-351 (MC on E. Key); 589-620 (Davide Finco, Anna Wegener and Sara Culeddu children’s literature in Scandinavia: conditions and modern masters); 844-884 (Laura Cangemi, AW, SaCu and Silvia Cosimini on Nordic children’s literature in the second half of the 20th century up to present time)

Maria Nikolajeva, Children’s Literature Comes of Age: Toward a New Aesthetic, Routledge, London 1996, p. 3-20 (introduction + on folktales and classics), 37-45 (on M. Gripe + A. Lindgren), 68-70 (on ‘committment’ and imagination, M. Gripe), 136-139 (on T. Jansson), 153-155 (on intertextuality), 207-208 (conclusion)

Boel Westin, “The Nordic Countries”, in Peter Hunt (ed.), International Companion Encyclopedia of Children’s Literature, Routledge, London 1996, p. 699-709 (pdf on Moodle)

Additional syllabus for students not attending the course

The students not attending the course have to prepare the additional material listed below (three works). Those who do not attend the course must talk to the professor before the examination during his office hours.

Tove Jansson 1957, Trollvinter, Rabén & Sjögren, Stockhom 2014 (BALI) / Magia d’inverno, Salani, Milano 2008 (BALI)

Ole Lund Kirkegaard 1967, Lille Virgil, in Id., Gummi-Tarzan og andre historier, Gyldendal, København 2018 [BALI] / Il piccolo Virgil, Iperborea, Milano 2018 (BALI)

Ulf Stark 1992, Kan du vissla Johanna, Lilla Piratförlaget, Stockholm 2018 (BALI) / Sai fischiare, Johanna?, Iperborea, Milano 2017 (BALI)


The examination is oral, it is generally in Italian and it lasts approximately 20 minutes. Some of the works dealt with in the course are discussed and they are referred to their significant literary, cultural and social contexts, as well as to the critical essays in the syllabus. One question will deal with the cultural, social and political history of the North (from about 1870 to present time; see the professor’s outline in the pdf version).
The students not attending the course must study the additional materials that have been indicated. They must come and talk to the professor at least once before the oral examination.
Didactic methods

The course offers mainly frontal lectures, but with moments of participatory learning, as students may, on a voluntary basis, present in class one of the works included in the syllabus. The original texts will be practiced in class. Italian is the language used in teaching, but with the presence of the original texts in Swedish, Danish and Norwegian.
If you have questions or need further explanations, please write to massimo.ciaravolo@unive.it. Booking time with an e-mail is recommended if you want to meet the professor. Student who cannot attend the course must contact the teacher in order to discuss the syllabus with the supplementary reading.

This subject deals with topics related to the macro-area "Human capital, health, education" and contributes to the achievement of one or more goals of U. N. Agenda for Sustainable Development

Definitive programme.
Last update of the programme: 21/11/2019