1366.19 - The world through the porthole. Sea and ship as places and spaces in Faroese novels (BA)

Course number
The world through the porthole. Sea and ship as places and spaces in Faroese novels (BA)
Students must have completed the required core components of the BA in Faroese or other equivalent preconditions. This course can also be taken as an individual course with other prerequisites (please refer to the academic programme in force).
To study how maritime life takes shape in Faroese novels with respect to the sea and ships as exceptional places and spaces in Faroese literature compared with life and practices on land. The sea will be considered as a scene for a different way of acquiring knowledge of life and ultimately as an alternative maritime perception of reality in relation to the terrestrial ones. Among the issues to be discussed are 1) how the sailor is described as a front figure and macho in the midst of his tough and perilous world, where most conditions appear more clearly than on land and 2) how maritime literature, as it is best, simultaneously views the Faroe Islands from the outside and the inside with a particularly mix of modern distance and confidentiality. Our approach will be how the sea as a motive and theme in Faroese literature creates meaning and turns out as a special form of consciousness. As a whole, the course will employ concepts in order to describe how sea and ship, the rhythm and movement of the sea out on the sea and by coastal areas represent a different existential, social, working reality and dynamics than the one on land.
Works within novelistic Faroese and the International canon will be analyzed. Articles on key concepts within novelistic theory and crossdisciplinary theory within World Literature, Place Studies, Island Studies, Post-colonialism, Ocean Studies, Gender Studies will be read. We look more closely into the selected novels as travel novels, maritime modernism, maritime realism. Using these tools, the novels will be linked to literary flows from the 1700s up to the present. Special light will be shed on two different perceptions of space, which is the classic - Newtonian - European understanding of space as empty and the ‘robinson space’, where space is filled with discoveries of ‘new’ geographies outside and on the outskirts of Europe ‘writing back’ to European literature in order to be canonized on equal footing with European literature. This also turns out to be a self-discovery resisting the Newtonian space and the continental gaze while at the same time using this gaze as a way of exotifying the Faroese archipelago. In this context, ‘marine literature’ will be read as postcolonial literature, where shipwreck and various kinds of misfortunes are central.
Learning and teaching approaches
Lectures, presentations by teacher and students, group work.
Learning outcomes
Succesful students can demonstrate: • To convey knowledge about the connection between literature (the novel) and geography with respect to maritime conditions and contrasts between life on board and life on land. • To analyze different approaches to concepts as ‘place’, ‘space’ ‘Imagined Geography’, ‘maritime realism’ and ‘maritime modernism’. • To be able to use concepts within novel theory, World Literature, Place Studies, Island Studies, Post-Colonialism, Ocean Studies, Gender Studies and prose-theory. • To analyze connections between the novel as prose and as modern epic connecting these aspects to conquests of seaborned geography as islands etc. • To analyze connections between European and Faroese literature, between continental exotifyings and Faroese self-exotifyings. • To analyze man myths in the midst of a tough and perilous reality. • To analyze connections between literature and cosmopolitanism/cultural globalization with respect to place anchoring chains between the local, the national, the regional, and the global.
Assessment method
Assignment (3 weeks)
Marking scale
2 thesis and 4 literary works (novels) Primer: Margaret Cohen: The Novel and the Sea. Princeton UPress, 2010
Bergur Rønne Moberg