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Rikke Cortsen


LecturerPh.D., Comparative Literature and Modern Culture, University of Copenhagen

Rikke Cortsen

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Courses


DAN 604 • Accelerated First-Year Danish

36810 • Fall 2019
Meets MWF 9:00AM-11:00AM BUR 232

Why Learn Danish? Ja, hvorfor ikke? You will be given the opportunity to get to know a new language and culture. Learning Danish will also provide you with the necessary skills to read texts in the other Scandinavian languages. Danish and English are very similar in sentence structure and basic vocabulary: Vil du have en kop kaffe og en kage? For historic reasons, Danish may very well be the closest foreign language to English, seeing as old Anglo-Saxon had its geographical origin in the southern parts of Denmark. In this class, which gives you the opportunity to fulfill your language requirement in two semesters, you will be brought up to a level where you can communicate with a Dane in everyday situations and be able to read short stories, simple newspaper articles, etcetera within the period of a few short months. We will also watch a variety of Danish films to acquaint you with the rhythm of the language and to introduce you to modern Danish culture. The type of classroom environment fostered in this Danish language class will be student-centered rather than teacher-centered. This means that I will not typically stand in front of class giving you a prepared lecture. Instead, I will come to class with a variety of prepared activities designed to give you the opportunity to practice and build skills that will enable you to learn Danish. You will be asked to practice speaking with a partner and in small groups. You will answer questions about things we have read and viewed in class. During listening activities you may be asked to fill in missing dialogue, listen for specific words or phrases, or get the gist of a text. Furthermore, we will spend quite a lot of time on pronunciation (since this constitutes one of the bigger challenges of learning Danish). Learning about life and culture in Denmark is, of course, an integral part of the course, and we will spend most Fridays discussing Danish culture or watching Danish movies so you will become familiar with the rhythm and pronunciation of Danish.

DAN 327 • Advanced Danish I

36815 • Fall 2019

In Advanced Danish 327 the student will get enhanced reading, writing, and speaking skills in Danish as well as improved listening abilities and get a more thorough understanding of the language and its structures. Finally, the student will gain a deeper understanding of Danish culture.

This course will continue on from material covered in DAN 612.

EUS 347 • Contemp Scandinavn Stories

35525 • Fall 2019
Meets MWF 1:00PM-2:00PM CMA 3.114
(also listed as GSD 341J)

Please check back for updates.

DAN 612 • Accelerated Second-Year Danish

37485 • Spring 2019
Meets MWF 9:00AM-11:00AM BUR 234

Accelerated Second-year Danish is a course for students who have taken Danish 604 or have similar prerequisites. In this course we will continue to learn to read, listen, write and speak Danish. You will get even better at asking and answering questions, naming and describing persons, things, places, events, narrate orally and in writing and comprehend a variety of texts. You will continue to broaden your knowledge of Danish culture. We will start to read original Danish texts and watch Danish television and films without English subtitles.

T C 358 • Copenhagen - City Of Culture

42275 • Spring 2019
Meets MWF 1:00PM-2:00PM CRD 007A

Copenhagen – City of Culture

At various points in history, Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark, has been a cultural hub, which has fostered famous writers, filmmakers, philosophers, architects and designers. This course is an interdisciplinary course that uses Copenhagen as a prism through which to look at cultural developments in European history and get a wider perspective on specifically the culture of the Scandinavian countries. This course uses human geography and philosophies of place to discuss what makes a place like Copenhagen special and how we can use an understanding of places to know more about the people and events that shaped and were shaped by the city.

Throughout the course we will delve into the Golden Age of Copenhagen in the Romantic period through readings of famous Danes like H.C. Andersen and Søren Kierkegaard. We will also dig into the Modern Breakthrough where writers like Georg Brandes and J.P. Jacobsen set the scene for a cultural movement that also included well known Scandinavians like August Strindberg and Edward Munch.

Copenhagen´s history has shaped some of its current cultural expressions and the course will go into depth with the urban planning strategies of the city, the thoughts of some of its famous architects as well as its current claim to fame as one of the bicycle capitals of the world. City planning ties in with the Danish welfare state (or Nordic model) which will be discussed as it also plays a role in the film culture of Denmark, specifically with the Dogma 95 directors like Lars von Trier and Thomas Vinterberg. Recently, “New Nordic” or “Nordic Cool” has meant a hightened focus on Nordic fashion, Nordic Design and Nordic cooking which in this class will be discussed through Copenhagen´s world famous restaurants and the designers that calls this city home. To some, Copenhagen will be known mostly through the many TV-series that have surfaced featuring the city and this course uses this platform to discuss issues of gender, equality and politics in Denmark through a closer look at the Nordic crime fiction wave.    

The streets of Copenhagen has been traversed by famous philosophers, fictive crime fiction heroes and the Copenhageners in their everyday life and as such, it serves as a great point of departure for historical and contemporary discussions of life in Scandinavia and how it relates to the US.  

Major texts/readings:

Cresswell, Tim. Place – a short introduction.

Jan Gehl. Life between the buildings.

Søren Kierkegaard

H.C. Andersen

Karen Blixen

Peter Høeg: Smilla’s sense of snow

Nella Larsen: Quicksand

TV series: Kristoffer Nyholm:  The Killing

Adam Price: Borgen

Film: Nicolaj Arcel A royal affair

 

Assignments:

Essays (one resubmit, one peer review): 30%

Final essay (6-8 pages long): 30%

Smaller writing assignments: 20%

Participation (in class exercises, discussions and one oral presentation): 20%

 

The essays are 3-4 pages long, the smaller assignments address key features, concepts or writing skills and are 1 page long. There will be 5 smaller assignments throughout the semester.

About the Professor: Rilke Platz Cortsen is lecturer in Danish and teaches Scandinavian culture and Danish language at the Department of Germanic Studies. She holds a Ph.D. in graphic narrative and an MA in comparative literature from the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. Her current research includes space and place in contemporary Nordic comics, Danish comics, Scandinavian culture, heavy metal music and innovative teaching strategies.

DAN 604 • Accelerated First-Year Danish

37625 • Fall 2018
Meets MWF 9:00AM-11:00AM SZB 278

Why Learn Danish? Ja, hvorfor ikke? You will be given the opportunity to get to know a new language and culture. Learning Danish will also provide you with the necessary skills to read texts in the other Scandinavian languages. Danish and English are very similar in sentence structure and basic vocabulary: Vil du have en kop kaffe og en kage? For historic reasons, Danish may very well be the closest foreign language to English, seeing as old Anglo-Saxon had its geographical origin in the southern parts of Denmark. In this class, which gives you the opportunity to fulfill your language requirement in two semesters, you will be brought up to a level where you can communicate with a Dane in everyday situations and be able to read short stories, simple newspaper articles, etcetera within the period of a few short months. We will also watch a variety of Danish films to acquaint you with the rhythm of the language and to introduce you to modern Danish culture. The type of classroom environment fostered in this Danish language class will be student-centered rather than teacher-centered. This means that I will not typically stand in front of class giving you a prepared lecture. Instead, I will come to class with a variety of prepared activities designed to give you the opportunity to practice and build skills that will enable you to learn Danish. You will be asked to practice speaking with a partner and in small groups. You will answer questions about things we have read and viewed in class. During listening activities you may be asked to fill in missing dialogue, listen for specific words or phrases, or get the gist of a text. Furthermore, we will spend quite a lot of time on pronunciation (since this constitutes one of the bigger challenges of learning Danish). Learning about life and culture in Denmark is, of course, an integral part of the course, and we will spend most Fridays discussing Danish culture or watching Danish movies so you will become familiar with the rhythm and pronunciation of Danish.

DAN 327 • Advanced Danish I

37627 • Fall 2018

Check back later for more details.

EUS 347 • Hans Christian Andersen

36245 • Fall 2018
Meets MWF 1:00PM-2:00PM PHR 2.114
(also listed as GSD 341E)

Please check back for updates.

DAN 612 • Accelerated Second-Year Danish

37365 • Spring 2018
Meets MWF 1:00PM-3:00PM BUR 234

Accelerated Second-year Danish is a course for students who have taken Danish 604 or have similar prerequisites. In this course we will continue to learn to read, listen, write and speak Danish. You will get even better at asking and answering questions, naming and describing persons, things, places, events, narrate orally and in writing and comprehend a variety of texts. You will continue to broaden your knowledge of Danish culture. We will start to read original Danish texts and watch Danish television and films without English subtitles.

EUS 307 • Intro Study Of Northern Europe

35825 • Spring 2018
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM RLM 5.122
(also listed as GSD 301)

Please check back for updates.

DAN 604 • Accelerated First-Year Danish

37850 • Fall 2017
Meets MWF 1:00PM-3:00PM BUR 234

Why Learn Danish? Ja, hvorfor ikke? You will be given the opportunity to get to know a new language and culture. Learning Danish will also provide you with the necessary skills to read texts in the other Scandinavian languages. Danish and English are very similar in sentence structure and basic vocabulary: Vil du have en kop kaffe og en kage? For historic reasons, Danish may very well be the closest foreign language to English, seeing as old Anglo-Saxon had its geographical origin in the southern parts of Denmark. In this class, which gives you the opportunity to fulfill your language requirement in two semesters, you will be brought up to a level where you can communicate with a Dane in everyday situations and be able to read short stories, simple newspaper articles, etcetera within the period of a few short months. We will also watch a variety of Danish films to acquaint you with the rhythm of the language and to introduce you to modern Danish culture. The type of classroom environment fostered in this Danish language class will be student-centered rather than teacher-centered. This means that I will not typically stand in front of class giving you a prepared lecture. Instead, I will come to class with a variety of prepared activities designed to give you the opportunity to practice and build skills that will enable you to learn Danish. You will be asked to practice speaking with a partner and in small groups. You will answer questions about things we have read and viewed in class. During listening activities you may be asked to fill in missing dialogue, listen for specific words or phrases, or get the gist of a text. Furthermore, we will spend quite a lot of time on pronunciation (since this constitutes one of the bigger challenges of learning Danish). Learning about life and culture in Denmark is, of course, an integral part of the course, and we will spend most Fridays discussing Danish culture or watching Danish movies so you will become familiar with the rhythm and pronunciation of Danish.

EUS 347 • Northern European Comics

36445 • Fall 2017
Meets MWF 10:00AM-11:00AM MEZ 1.120
(also listed as C L 323, GSD 340)

Description:

The burgeoning field of comics and graphic novels has received attention in the last few decades where publishers, critics and new readers have engaged enthusiastically with a medium which has historically not been at the pinnacle of cultural good taste. This course provides an introduction to comics and graphic novel with an emphasis on works from Northern Europe as a specific area of comics culture that tends to stand in the shadow of more known comics cultures. The course will go into depth with the mechanics of comics, how images and text work together, as well as how this particular way of telling stories relates to other media. The main readings will delve into the rich material from the Northern European sphere but will situate these comics in the wider world of international comics culture through parallel readings of American, Franco-Belgian and Japanese manga. The main focus will be on comics from the last 30 years, but the course will include a historical element that considers the history of comics globally.

One of the main reasons comics have surfaced as an artistically viable and serious medium in recent years is the diversity of subjects and the quality of writing and drawing of comics artists today. This course discusses style, line, coloring and structure as important aspects of comics and graphic novels story telling but also emphasizes the wide variety of topics that comics portray with great sensibility and complexity. From adventure stories to graphic memoir, from avant-garde experimental comics to newspaper humor strips, this course allows you to read, write, discuss and think critically about comics and graphic novels as well as it provides a greater understanding of the cultures of Northern Europe.

The course meets the Writing Flag and the Global Cultures Flag Criteria

 

Course Materials:

Ivan Brunetti, Cartooning: Philosophy & Practice (Yale UP)

Jeet Heer & Kent Worcester, eds., A Comics Studies Reader (UP Mississippi).

Jason: Hey, wait…

Steffen Kverneland: Munch

Tommi Musturi: Book of Hope

Tove Jansson:  Moomin

Martin Kellerman: Rocky

Ulli Lust: This is the last day in the rest of your life.

 

Grading

Essays: 30%   

Final essay: 20%        

Quizzes: 20%             

Midterm: 10%            

Participation: 20%

NB: plus/minus grades will be assigned in this class.

DAN 612 • Accelerated Second-Year Danish

37780 • Spring 2017
Meets MWF 1:00PM-3:00PM BUR 234

 Accelerated Second-year Danish is a course for students who have taken Danish 604 or have similar prerequisites. In this course we will continue to learn to read, listen, write and speak Danish. You will get even better at asking and answering questions, naming and describing persons, things, places, events, narrate orally and in writing and comprehend a variety of texts. You will continue to broaden your knowledge of Danish culture. We will start to read original Danish texts and watch Danish television and films without English subtitles.

GSD 341J • Contemp Scandinavn Stories

38180 • Spring 2017
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM CLA 0.122

Description:

The principal focus of this course will be to analyze contemporary Scandinavian literature, film and comics and examine how the arts reflect a Scandinavian reality that is under transformation. The main focus will be Scandinavian stories from the last 25 years.

Scandinavian fiction has reached international audiences lately, gaining new followers with the concept of “Nordic Noir” which expands on the previous success of Scandinavian crime fiction as a form of fiction explicitly concerned with social critique in TV-series, novels and films. Literary fiction discuss aspects of identity, personal struggle, nationality and the Scandinavian welfare state. These themes also appear in what is a golden age for Danish cinema in the Dogma 95 movement. The past is imposing itself on the present, and the family as an institution is being questioned time and again, while the youth seem lost in a world where all values are debatable and the Scandinavian absurd humor can be used as a reflection of the challenges to society. The Scandinavian comics scene is experiencing a diverse and creative growth mirroring the international development in the field and visual culture plays an important role in discussions of sustainability, immigration, equality and democracy in the North.

In our discussions, we will compare similarities and differences between the various materials and look at how they each tackle historical and contemporary themes including how these artistic forms negotiate Scandinavian identity and interact with an increasingly global and interconnected world. We will examine what makes Scandinavian stories Scandinavian and discuss, in what ways the individual countries in the region might differ from each other in their political discussions as well as their creative output.

Using creative output from Scandinavia, this class develops your ability to discuss, write, and read carefully and critically as well as challenge your preconceived notions and aids you in becoming better at crafting arguments and communicating your thoughts to others.

 

Readings:

Books:

Stieg Larsson: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Erlend Loe: Doppler

Mikael Niemi: Popular Music from Vittula

Steffen Kverneland: Munch

 

Films and TV series:

Thomas Vinterberg: The Celebration

Aki Kaurismäki: The Man Without Past

Lukas Moodysson: Show me love

Amanda Kernell: Sami Blood

Nicolaj Arcel: A Royal Affair

Kristoffer Nyholm:  The Killing

 

DAN 604 • Accelerated First-Year Danish

37630 • Fall 2016
Meets MWF 1:00PM-3:00PM BUR 234

Why Learn Danish? Ja, hvorfor ikke? You will be given the opportunity to get to know a new language and culture. Learning Danish will also provide you with the necessary skills to read texts in the other Scandinavian languages. Danish and English are very similar in sentence structure and basic vocabulary: Vil du have en kop kaffe og en kage? For historic reasons, Danish may very well be the closest foreign language to English, seeing as old Anglo-Saxon had its geographical origin in the southern parts of Denmark. In this class, which gives you the opportunity to fulfill your language requirement in two semesters, you will be brought up to a level where you can communicate with a Dane in everyday situations and be able to read short stories, simple newspaper articles, etcetera within the period of a few short months. We will also watch a variety of Danish films to acquaint you with the rhythm of the language and to introduce you to modern Danish culture. The type of classroom environment fostered in this Danish language class will be student-centered rather than teacher-centered. This means that I will not typically stand in front of class giving you a prepared lecture. Instead, I will come to class with a variety of prepared activities designed to give you the opportunity to practice and build skills that will enable you to learn Danish. You will be asked to practice speaking with a partner and in small groups. You will answer questions about things we have read and viewed in class. During listening activities you may be asked to fill in missing dialogue, listen for specific words or phrases, or get the gist of a text. Furthermore, we will spend quite a lot of time on pronunciation (since this constitutes one of the bigger challenges of learning Danish). Learning about life and culture in Denmark is, of course, an integral part of the course, and we will spend most Fridays discussing Danish culture or watching Danish movies so you will become familiar with the rhythm and pronunciation of Danish

 

EUS 347 • Hans Christian Andersen

36315 • Fall 2016
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM RLM 5.116
(also listed as GSD 341E)

Please check back for updates.

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  • Center for European Studies

    University of Texas at Austin
    158 W 21st Street
    A1800
    Austin, Texas 78712
    512-232-3470