Image by Alex Litvin



Foul Play Nordic Style:
Scandinavian Crime Fiction

October 26 - December 14, every Tuesday

7 PM - 9 PM

Nordia House



Join us for an eight-week workshop focusing on Nordic crime films and novels. Tom Birnie, instructor in Scandinavian Studies at Portland State University, is back to lead this one-of-a-kind course, in which we will learn about, discuss and savor several films and books from the northernmost reaches of Europe.


Nordic crime novels and films have attained an extraordinary international presence over the past three decades. Frequently addressing social issues, these allied genres investigate the troubling shadows lurking in what may at first glance be a perfect set of Scandinavian welfare states, where nothing can go wrong. Through examinations of corruption, exploitation, inequity and crooked politics, the reader/viewer is treated to superb studies of human character.


About the Instructor:


Thomas Birnie holds a Ph.D. in German Literature, with a doctoral minor in Scandinavian Studies, from the University of Washington. He has taught Scandinavian subjects at Portland State University since 1990 and is actively engaged in Nordic events locally.

Class Schedule:

October 26

Introduction; major writers and directors; setting the scenes

November 2

Film:  Death is a Caress (1949);  Edith Carlmar, director

November 9

Film:  Insomnia (1997); Erik Skjoldbjærg, director

November 16  

Film:  The White Lioness (1996);  Per Berglund, director

November 23

Book:  Copper Heart (1993), by Leena Lehtolainen

November 30

Book:  The Water’s Edge (2007), by Karin Fossum

December 7

Film:  Smilla’s Sense of Snow (1997);  Bille August, director

December 14

TV Series:  Beforeigners (2019); Jens Lien, director

COVID-19 Safety Precautions:

Our thoughts go out to those who have been personally affected by the pandemic. Nordic Northwest is concerned and cares about the health and well-being of each guest at Nordia House and we are taking all the precautions we can during this time of the COVID-19 pandemic.  We cannot eliminate all risk, but we are following Oregon mandates and guidelines.  Here is what we are doing to make your visit enjoyable and as safe as possible and how you contribute to your own safety and the safety of others.

  • Face coverings are required when indoor & when physical distancing is not possible outdoor - except for when guests are actively eating or drinking and unless the individual is: under 5 years of age; has a medical condition that makes it hard to breath or has a disability that prevents the individual from wearing a face covering. If you do not have a face covering on, you will be asked to kindly leave.  

  • At Nordic Northwest events we will physically distant seating.  Each workshop participant will have their individual work table.

  • At most Nordic Northwest events and whenever possible we will offer guests the option to join in person or through live streaming, giving guests the choice to participate in Nordic educational and cultural programming in the format you feel the safest.

  • When visiting Nordia House maintain social distancing in lobby areas and when visiting the Exhibit.

  • Wash your hands before and after visiting.  Hand sanitizer is available at our events and at Nordia House entrances/exits.

  • Stay at home if you’re feeling sick or have been in contact with someone who is sick.  Follow Oregon quarantine mandates if you have a confirmed COVID-19 case or you have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19.

  • Follow local and national health guidance.  


We encourage those 12 and older to get vaccinated. For more information on COVID-19 visit the Oregon Health Authority website or call 211.


Refunds: All sales are final. Tickets are non-refundable


Parking: We encourage guests to use public transportation or ride-sharing services. Our 50-space parking lot is open on a first come, first-served, basis and limited street parking is available on SW 89th & 90th Avenues.

Accessibility: Nordia House has two accessible parking spots in our main lot facing SW Oleson Rd. Both the main entrance facing SW Oleson Rd. and our side entrance facing SW Taylors Ferry Rd. are wheelchair accessible. All restrooms have accessible stalls but no power doors. We will do our best to accommodate your needs upon arrival. Please call 503-977-0275 or email to arrange further assistance.