Valtakunnallisen humanistisen verkko-opetuksen tarjoamat verkkokurssit

North and south as dimensions of thought

"the southerners respect the northerners, but do not love them. The northerners love the southerners, but do not respect them"

This is one of many stereotypes, or figures of thought, that most people know exists at some level in our European concert. How are we to examine these thought patterns in the field of academic cultural studies? Historically the two directions have had different substances, and one aim of the course is to examine the evolution and shifts of north-south figures of thought in history. When did the Scandinavians become peaceful, neutral and harmless? When did the German Man cease to be regarded upon as a lazy beeing? When was the unrational, superstitious and backward "Southern Europe" invented?

These are questions which will be regarded upon in the course. This will partly be done by reading classical key text excerpts from works such as Montesquieus The Spirit of the Laws (1748), Mme de Staël's Corinne, or, Italy (1807), Guiseppe Acerbi's Trawels (1802) and José Enrique Rodó's Ariel (1900). In addition some of the very scarce research material on this issue will be included as part of the course material. The methodological point of departure is to be found in the realm of travelogue studies, human geography and the discourses on otherness. The over all focus will be historical.

The language in the course is English. The course uses WebCT 3.8 as its virtual platform.

The course is worth four ECTS credits, i.e. two credits of the University of Helsinki.

Target group

The course is meant for university students both from Finland and other countries. There are no strict limits whether students should be in some particular phase of their studies when they enter the course.