This course is discontinued

ENG4318 – Postmodernism in American Fiction

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

This course attempts to explore the many ramifications of the complex concept of literary postmodernism, the way it is expressed by some of the most influential American authors during the period 1965 to 2001. Against the background of the five novels on the reading list, we will discuss central terms like “the death of Truth,” “the loss of Self,” “language as a construction of reality,” meta-fiction, and intertextuality. An attempt will also be made to show how some of the most important postmodern concepts are traceable in other areas of culture than literature during this period. The course will also deal with significant developments in the literary criticism of the period (e.g., post-structuralism and deconstructionism), but such theories will be explored as a part of the textual analyses rather than as ends in themselves.

Learning outcome

The course will try to give the students a reasonably sophisticated understanding of postmodernism as a literary term and cultural phenomenon in the United States during the period 1965-2001. It will also emphasize the many significant differences between the syllabus authors within the postmodernist framework. Additionally, the course aims to develop the students’ critical and analytical abilities in their meeting with central novels from our own time.


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.

The minimun number of attendants for this course is 3, the maximum 10.


Formal prerequisite knowledge

Admission to the Master programme in literature or teacher training.


The course is taught throughout the semester with 2 hours per week for 10 weeks, 20 hours in all. Half-way through the semester there is a period of one (autumn term) or two (spring term) reading weeks without teaching, to be used for individual study and work on assignments. 80% attendance is compulsory.


Portfolio: A seven-page term paper and a two-hour written exam. The teacher and the student must agree on the topic of the term paper.

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.

The results will be found at the StudentWeb within three weeks after the exam is completed.

Explanations and appeals

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Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.

Facts about this course






This course has changed its code to ENG4432 – Postmodernism in American fiction (discontinued)

Teaching language