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History, memory and identity in the Baltic Sea region


The History of Scandinavia and the Baltic Sea Region: 1850-2000

7.5 credits

Autumn / Spring



This course examines the Baltic Sea as a region united and divided by 20th century geopolitics. You will compare the survival of old countries, national identities and European memories with the making of new ones, assessing the effects of the two world wars and the Cold War on the West and East Baltic.

This course is only open for exchange students.

Want to know why you should study at Södertörn University? Find out here.

Societal analysis, then and now After studying History, you will have the ability to see and analyse complex sequences of events from overall and long-term perspectives. Many people who have studied History choose to work as teachers or researchers, or in museums or in the heritage sector. The subject is also suitable if you want to work as a journalist, external analyst or in public administration. History provides a general education that is useful for numerous professions, and knowledge that will be beneficial in your private life too. Read about research in this subject
Compare and contextualise national and regional development and narratives The course provides an overview of 20th century history in Scandinavia and the Baltic Sea Region. It starts with the rise of nationalism in the late 1800s, and goes on to discuss WWI and the inter-war independence of the East Baltic nations. The Second World War had very different impacts on these countries, as opposed to Scandinavia, and the Cold War seemed to cement this divide. The fall of the Iron Curtain heralded attempts to create and build a new, coherent region, beginning with the Nordic and pan-Scandinavian movements of the last century. The emphasis is on a comparative study of nation-building, national (and regional) identities, national narratives and memories. Course design The course is taught through a combination of lectures and compulsory seminars, and teaching may also take place outside the university, e.g. at a museum. Examination is in the form of active participation, written assignments and a take-home essay.
General education and understanding of contemporary society Knowledge of history is important for understanding the world we live in. Contemporary society and the human condition are the result of historical processes. Investigating and explaining historical processes, events and decisions help us understand contemporary society and major societal issues. For example, an historical perspective on gender, class and ethnicity can show us the changes that have taken place and led us to where we are today. If you study history, you will have the tools and skills to conduct these analyses. History is a broad subject that is part of the humanities, so you will study humans as cultural beings through different periods of history. The subject deals with developments and changes in human societies over time. As a subject, History has many different perspectives on, and approaches to, human history. Source criticism, gender theory and the management of historical source material are just a few examples of issues you will discuss during your studies. History at Södertörn University focuses on describing, understanding and explaining different types of historical events and processes using a factual and reflective approach.