Overview of Nordic History 3508

Course Objectives

The course will provide:

  • An overview of the Nordic region’s history from the Middle Ages to the present
  • An understanding of the characteristic features of Nordic societies and how they have evolved
  • An understanding of the role of the Nordic countries internationally in the past and present
  • An insight into the historian’s methods and the basis for historical knowledge
  • The ability to assess historical material and historical hypotheses critically and independently
  • The ability to give written and oral presentations of historical material

Course Description

The course will focus on:
• Nordic history in the Viking Age and the Middle Ages: Social, economic and cultural conditions. Political history up to approx. 1340.
• Nordic history 1340-1520, with an emphasis on the Kalmar Union: Background, the founding of the Union, lines of conflict, dissolution.
• Politics, religion and economy, 1510-1610.
• Politics, economy and social conditions, 1610-1815.
• Great changes in the Nordic region: Social and economic development in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
• The struggle for independence and the emergence of bourgeois democracy.
• The Nordic countries in Europe: Differing interests and security policy needs.
• Political and economic development in the Nordic countries after 1945.
• The ‘Nordic’ concept: Should the Nordic region be viewed as an integrated whole? What does the term ‘Nordic’ mean?
• Comparison: How and why should one compare the Nordic countries? Basic introduction to comparative methods.

The course is research-based and the lecturers include active scholars who teach and draw on their own experience where relevant. During the excursion related to the course (see below), the students will also have direct contact with active researchers.

The course is part of the specialization study programme in history (please refer to separate document); it is expected that this course will be taken together with two specialization courses in Nordic history, each comprising 10 ECTS credits. This course, Overview of Nordic History (3508), provides background knowledge and the methodological foundation for studying these specialization courses and should therefore always be taken together with or prior to them.

Learning Methods

The instruction is organised into seminars and lectures. The methodology component of the syllabus will always be taught as a seminar, where active participation is required. Students must be well prepared for the lectures in order to attain the learning outcomes. Total instruction per week will normally comprise about three hours; the instruction is not compulsory. However, it is recommended that students regularly attend classes.
In addition to teaching at the university college, the course includes an excursion of 4-7 days to another Nordic country. The excursion will be related to the course syllabus and will normally take place in October. The excursion is compulsory for students who are taking at least 20 ECTS credits in history in the autumn semester. Students who may have legitimate reasons for not participating in the excursion must apply for an exemption early in the semester. The excursion is normally heavily subsidized, but students will have to cover a portion of their expenses.

Students who do not attend classes (in whole or in part) may be required to submit one or more compulsory assignments before they will be allowed to sit the final course examination (see below); the subject teacher is responsible for arranging such requirements. The course also includes compulsory work, such as the submission of assignments. These compulsory requirements must be fulfilled before students will be allowed to sit the final examination (this includes external candidates and students taking re-sits, unless an exemption has been granted). Apart from these assignments, students must also complete a compulsory home assignment. The teacher may wish to discuss the assignment with the student before it is approved.
Where appropriate information concerning compulsory attendance and submission requirements will be specified in the semester plan.

Assessment Methods

The assessment comprises a six-hour written examination at the end of the autumn semester. The examination will assess the students' knowledge and understanding of historical development, and their skills in analytical and critical thinking, cf. the points mentioned above under ‘learning outcomes’.
The grade given will be on a letter scale from A to E, where F represents a failing grade.

Minor adjustments may occur during the academic year, subject to the decision of the Dean

Publisert av / forfatter Birgit Norendal <Birgit.NorendalSPAMFILTER@hit.no>, last modified Ian Hector Harkness - 24/03/2011