fullscreen background
Skip to main content

Spring Quarter

Spring Quarter Underway
Late-Start Classes
Still Available
shopping cart icon0


« Back to Liberal Arts & Sciences

CLS 85 — Northern Crimes: Scandinavian Murder Mysteries in Literature and Film

Quarter: Spring
Day(s): Mondays
Course Format: On-campus course
Duration: 8 weeks
Date(s): Apr 3—May 22
Time: 6:30—9:00 pm
Drop Deadline: Apr 16
Unit: 1
Tuition: $355
Instructor(s): Beverly Allen
On-campus course
6:30—9:00 pm
Apr 3—May 22
8 weeks
Drop By
Apr 16
1 Unit
Beverly Allen
Murder most frozen! Scandinavian crime fiction has been sweeping down from the north since the 1990s. Readers and filmgoers worldwide are familiar with Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and its unforgettable protagonist, Lisbeth Salander. Many also feel a kinship with the endearing, aging detective Kurt Wallander, created by Henning Mankell (whose father-in-law, Ingmar Bergman, had a say in the film versions of those books). Often marvelously entertaining, these well-crafted works also provide a window into some of the most important global issues of our time. They take a cold, hard look at corruption, human trafficking, terrorism, misogyny, and climate change.

This course provides a multimedia introduction to Scandinavian crime fiction. Together we will read classics from this gripping genre, including Faceless Killers and Firewall (Mankell), The Ice Princess (Camilla Läckberg), and The Bat (Jo Nesbø). And, of course, we will watch crime fiction stories made for television and film—Smilla’s Sense of Snow, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and Occupied. Don’t worry if you don’t recognize all these titles and authors—or if you can’t pronounce the Scandinavian names. An appetite for a good adventure is all that is needed.

Beverly Allen, Visiting Professor in Comparative Literature, Stanford

Beverly Allen is professor emerita of French, Italian, and comparative literature at Syracuse University, where she held the William P. Tolley Distinguished Teaching Professorship in the Humanities. She has taught at UC Santa Cruz, Cornell, and the University of Zagreb. She received a PhD from UC Berkeley. Allen has lived in Sweden and Norway and has been studying this genre for a decade.

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) Henning Mankell, Faceless Killers (ISBN 978-1-4000-3157-3)
(Required) Peter Høeg, Smilla’s Sense of Snow (ISBN 0-385-31514-7)
(Required) Stieg Larsson, The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo (ISBN 978-0-307-94948-6)
(Required) Jo Nesbø, The Bat (ISBN 978-0-345-80709-0)
(Required) Camilla Läckberg, The Ice Princess (ISBN 978-1-4516-2174-7)
(Required Viewing) Directed by Henning Mankell’s Wallander, The Troubled Man (Available on Netflix or purchase from MHz)
(Required Viewing) Directed by Bille August, Smilla’s Sense of Snow (ISBN B000056BSI)
(Required Viewing) Directed by David Fincher, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo: (Available on Netflix)
(Required Viewing), Occupied (Norwegian TV Series Available on Netflix)
(Required) Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö, The Terrorists (ISBN 978-03-07390882)