ENG4361 – Colonial and Postcolonial Literature

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

This introductory course has a twofold aim:

  1. It discusses literary texts written by British authors during the period of colonial and imperialist expansion.
  2. It focuses on texts written by authors who live in a country that was colonised, and who write in English.

The course is text-oriented, but matters of history and context are also considered as essential. The course includes a presentation and discussion of literary (postcolonial) theory. Overall, the literary texts under consideration are seen as a cultural meeting-point of male and female characters of different races and classes.

Learning outcome

After completing this course, you:

  • can discuss, and analyse colonial and postcolonial texts
  • know how race, class, gender, history, and identity are presented and problematised in the literary texts
  • have an understanding of the relationship between Great Britain (and implicitly the West) and nations that once were colonised
  • can critically evaluate and appropriate key concepts and theories in postcolonial studies when analysing a range of colonial and postcolonial literary texts


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.

Admittance to the Master programs in literature or LP, or another relevant Master program.

The course has a capacity of 15 students. ILOS will not provide additional capacity if there are more applicants.


Recommended previous knowledge

The course assumes a good proficiency in written and oral English

Overlapping courses

10 credits overlap with ENG2321 – Colonial and Postcolonial Literature


Seminar, two hours per week for 10 weeks, 20 hours in all.

Attendance is obligatory 8 out of 10 seminars. Additional absences must be justified by documentation the exam coordinator.

Students will write an essay (5 standard pages, 11.500 bytes) at an appointed time. The essay must be approved by the tutor; if it is not, the student will be barred from attempting the final exam. Read more about guidelines for compulsory activities.


The form of assessment is a term paper of approximately 10 standard pages (a standard page consists of 2,300 characters). References and bibliography comes in addition.

Previously given exam assignments

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.

Once the course requirements have been fulfilled, they remain valid for the current and the two consecutive semesters when the course is given.

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 offered irregularly


This course is offered irregularly

Teaching language