ENG4414 – The Auto-Graphic Novel

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

Choose semester

Course content

The graphic novel is a relatively recent phenomenon, a genre that draws simultaneously on contemporary visual culture and narrative methods. Some of the most critically acclaimed graphic novels of recent memory are also autobiographical, telling a personal story of survival in the face of personal and/ or collective trauma.

The graphic novels in this course are all autobiographical, personal expressions of the artist confronting death, revolution, and/ or war, and they all depict the ways that the individual both shapes and is shaped by history.

With this as background, in this course we will study the graphic novel as a unique literary form, and discuss questions such as:

  • What does the graphic novel do that other genres cannot?
  • In what ways it is a useful vehicle for autobiography?
  • How do these text construct an ethics of encountering “the other”?

Learning outcome

After completing this course you have:

  • developed a vocabulary for discussing the relationship between texts and images
  • learned how to analyze graphic novels as a way to think about current events and debates
  • learned how to understand some of the ways that artists and writers use their lives and work to transform both personal and collective memory


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.


Seminars, 2 hours per week for 10 weeks. 20 hours in all.

Obligatory activity:

  • Attendance is obligatory at least 8 out of 10 seminars. Read more about rules concerning valid excuses and how to apply for approved absences or postponements here. Please note that absence exceeding 50 % of all seminars may not be approved, regardless of any excuses.

The obligatory activity must be approved for you to sit the exam. Approved obligatory attendance is only valid the semester you attend the course.


The form of assessment is a term paper of 10 standard pages (a standard page consists of 2,300 characters).

You will be offered individual term paper supervision.

You are supposed to work on the assignment throughout the whole semester.

Previously given exam assignments and 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.

Examination support material

No examination support material is allowed.

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.

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






Autumn 2019


Autumn 2019

Teaching language