This course is discontinued

ENG4302 – The Lost Generation and the 1920s

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

This course focuses on the famous post-World War I-generation of American writers, with Hemingway and Fitzgerald as central figures, that have come to be known in literary history as "the Lost Generation." Through a selection of representative texts, the course will attempt both to present each author's particular profile and to show how they as a group constitute a special generation with a number of things in common. In addition to focusing on the literary qualities of each work, especially in the context of American modernism, the course will also try to integrate the historical context of the "Jazz Age" of the 1920's. Emphasis will thus be put on how these writers were deeply concerned with their own contemporary society, in addition to being vitally engaged in the decade's experimental esthetic debate.

Learning outcome

The course aims to give a broadly based understanding of a multi-faceted and fascinating decade in American history, both in the fields of literature and in the larger society. Focus will also be placed on the development of students' analytical and critical abilities, in the context of a selection of texts that have retained their relevance for our own day and age.


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

Minimum 3, maximum 15 students.


Formal prerequisite knowledge

For students outside the literature program at least 20 study points of English-language literature, English grammar or British or American civilization are required.


The course will consist of a weekly double period of seminar teaching throughout the semester. In the middle of the semester, there will be a teaching-free period (one week in the fall, two weeks in the spring) that are meant to be used for individual study and essay-writing. The course requires obligatory attendance 80%).


The course evaluation will be based on a final 2-hour classroom exam that counts 70% of the grade and on a 10-minute presentation in class on an approved topic (also to be submitted in written form) that counts 30%. Students who have definite plans for writing their master's thesis from this course, may choose to write a semester essay of about 12 standard pages from the area of their specialization, instead of taking the final exam. This essay will then count for 70% of the grade.

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.


With an extended reading list, this course can be taken as a 15 credit "hovedemne" for "hovedfag" in English.

Facts about this course






This course has a new code; ENG4435 – The Lost Generation and the 1920s (discontinued)

Teaching language