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Epistemology and Scandinavian crime fiction: 'The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo' in a new light

May 18, 2011 |  2:25 pm

What could be more exciting than reading about Lisbeth Salander? Listening to academics discuss Lisbeth Salander.

Who needs "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" when you've got the presentation "The Millennium Trilogy in Genre Historical Light: Stieg Larsson and the Swedish Tradition(s) of Socially Critical Crime Fiction"?

Why page through "The Girl Who Played With Fire" when you could attend "From Periphery to Center: women in Scandinavian 'Femi-crimie'"?

Set aside that copy of "The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest": "Negotiating Swedishness in the 21st Century: Swedish, European, and African Alterities in Henning Mankell's Crime Novels" awaits.

That's just a sampling of panels at the symposium "Stieg Larsson and Scandinavian Crime Fiction" taking place right here in Los Angeles, at UCLA's Royce Hall. Presented by the Scandinavian Section at UCLA, the Nordic Council of Ministers and the Embassy of Sweden, the event begins Friday at 8:30 a.m. and continues through a 4:30 p.m. presentation on Sunday.

The highlight of the event may be Friday's keynote address by Daniel Alfredson, the director of the Swedish film adaptations of "The Girl Who Played With Fire" and "The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest."

Or it might be one of the academic talks, presented by an array of international scholars. Other presentations include "Representing and Investigating: Epistemology and Scandinavian Crime Fiction," "Solving crimes in sagas: Society, law and narrative in early Iceland," "Conventionally Unconventional: Lisbeth Salander's Sisters in Crime," "Is there Room for a Bad Cop? Contemporary Finnish Crime Fiction and the Demand of Realism" and "The Outlaw Heroine: Lisbeth Salander, Smilla Qaaviqaaq, Jaspersen, and the Ecology of Crime."

The Stieg Larsson and Scandinavian Crime Fiction symposium is free and open to the public; guest parking on UCLA campus is $10.

-- Carolyn Kellogg

Photo: Noomi Rapace as Lisbeth Salander in the Swedish version of "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo." Credit: Music Box Films