ENG4340 – Nineteenth-Century American Literature

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

The course gives an overview of American literature in the nineteenth century with major emphasis on the American Renaissance, realism, naturalism, and the local color movement. The syllabus consists of selected, representative essays, poems, short stories, and novels from the period.

Learning outcome

After completing this course, you:

  • understand the development of American literature during the nineteenth century, the literary texts' historical context, and the characteristics of various literary genres
  • can critically analyze nineteenth-century American essays, short stories, novels, and poems
  • have advanced skills in scholarly writing about literature, including developing a thesis; scholarly style, structure, and argumentation; and working with and documenting secondary sources


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.

Students enrolled in other Master's Degree Programmes can, on application, be admitted to the course if this is cleared by their own study programme.

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

This course is only available for students in the ENGLABS program spring 2019. You can only sign up for this course if you need a course in literature before 1900, in accordance with the structure rules of the ENGLABS program. If you have questions, please contact your study advisor.

Overlapping courses

10 credits overlap with ENG2340 – Nineteenth-Century American Literature


Seminar, two hours per week for 14 weeks, 28 hours in all.

Attendance is obligatory at least 11 out of 14 seminars. Additional absences must be justified by documentation. Read more about rules concerning valid excuses and how to apply for approved absences or postponements here.

Students prepare by studying the primary texts and completing assignments they are given in class or that are posted in Fronter. All handouts in connection with the course will be available in Canvas.

All obligatory attendance and assignments are only valid the semester you attend the course.


The assessment of the course is based on a term paper of approximately ten pages (4000 words). The topic for the term paper will be determined by the teacher and student together. Students are required to submit the term paper at an appointed time. Beforehand, students will be given an opportunity to submit a draft of the term paper and receive individual feedback on both the form and content of the draft.

Assessment guidelines.

Submit assignments in Inspera

You submit your assignment in the digital examination system Inspera. Read about how to submit assignments in Inspera.

Use of sources and citation

You should familiarize yourself with the rules that apply to the use of sources and citations. If you violate the rules, you may be suspected of cheating/attempted cheating.

Language of examination

The examination text is given in English, and you submit your response in English.

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

Withdrawal from an examination

A term paper or equivalent that is passed may not be resubmitted in revised form.

If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

If you want to re-take your exam, you must write on a different topic.

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.

Reports from periodic evaluations (in Norwegian)

Facts about this course






Spring 2019

This course is taught irregularly


Spring 2019

This course is taught irregularly

Teaching language