ENG4373 – Multicultural Literature in English

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

Choose semester

Course content

This course is an examination of modern and contemporary English literature through the lens of multiculturalism.

The focus of the course will change from semester to semester, foregrounding different sets of literary texts by writers concerned with issues of race, identity, and the multicultural dynamics of the English-language world.

Possible topics include:

  • Race and sexuality
  • First Peoples’ literature and cultures
  • Jazz and African American literature
  • Cultural politics
  • Immigration and literature
  • Asian American literature
  • Hispanic literature and culture

We will read a variety of literary genres, including novels, plays and creative non-fiction, by writers who are concerned with issues of colonialism, race, language and identity within multicultural societies. Some of the important questions we will address are:

  • What are the concerns of so-called “ethnic” writers in contemporary cultures of the English-language world?
  • What is the relationship between identity politics and literature?
  • How can we use critical race analysis as a part of literary study?

Learning outcome

After completing this course, you:

  • will have knowledge of English-language literature by analyzing texts written by authors who openly challenge the literary canon, and who furthermore acknowledge the race and class divisions at the heart of English-language cultures.
  • will have an understanding of the relationship between politics, identity, and the place of literature in a range of contemporary English-language societies.


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.

Overlapping courses

10 credits overlap with ENG2333 – Multicultural Literature in English


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

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

In order to qualify for the exam (submission of term paper) students must submit a preliminary draft of your term paper by a stated deadline. The preliminary draft must be at least 2000 words (excluding footnotes/bibliography), that is, approximately 5 pages written out in fluent prose, and containing the introductory paragraphs. You will get feedback on both the language and content of your draft.

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 4500 words (excluding footnotes/bibliography).

You can either choose your own topic or select from a list of suggested topics. In any case, you will be expected to develop a thesis statement (“problemstilling”), to be approved by the teacher.

The paper should make use of at least three different secondary sources (material published by an academic press or journal).

Students will be offered individual term paper supervision.

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

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.


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






This course is offered irregularly


This course is offered irregularly

Teaching language