This course is discontinued

HIS4335 – Into the Ice: Norwegian Polar History

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

Choose semester

Course content

The course will examine the history of Norwegian activities in the Arctic and Antarctic, including heroic expeditions, research activities, and commercial exploitation. Attention will be given to national political and cultural as well as international comparative perspectives on the making of Norway as a ‘polar nation’.

A particular focus will entail assessing the historical significance of Fridtjof Nansen and Roald Amundsen for the emergence and maintenance of a national polar identity. The course will examine the cultural-politics of constructing polar heroes: what values and visions of masculinity are propagated? The changing interconnections of politics and science with respect to polar activities and the comparative significance of Norway in the international polar community will be addressed.

Learning outcome

After having taken the course you can:

• give a presentation on Norwegian activities in the polar region, especially during the past two centuries.
• connect the polar activities with the general political and cultural history of Norway.
• assess the importance of the Norwegian polar activities as compared to that of other nations.
• describe how the polar activities have inspired or been utilised by art, film, heritage industry and popular historical writing.


Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.


Formal prerequisite knowledge

No obligatory prerequisites beyond the minimum requirements for entrance to higher education in Norway.

Overlapping courses

10 credits overlap with include:ref: null


Access to teaching

A student who has completed compulsory instruction and coursework and has had these approved, is not entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework. A student who has been admitted to a course, but who has not completed compulsory instruction and coursework or had these approved, is entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework, depending on available capacity.


Examination support material

No examination support material is allowed.

Language of examination

You may submit your response in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or English. If you would prefer to have the exam text in English, you may apply to the course administrators.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.


The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.

Facts about this course






This course is currently not offered.


Teaching language