This course is discontinued

ENG4415 – Horror Writing in English

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

This course introduces students to a variety of texts that aim to induce horror in the reader, from nineteenth-century Gothic literature to internet creepypastas.

Rather than taking a straightforward chronological approach to horror literature, we will explore central subgenres, topics and tropes across the history of the genre,  including the uncanny, the Gothic, body horror, haunted houses, Lovecraftian horror, dystopian fiction, and horror comics.

Throughout, we will consider how different theoretical perspectives can illuminate horror writing – and, not least, how the horror genre can be a way into some of the most central questions in literary studies.

Learning outcome

After completing this course, you:

  • are familiar with both central and more obscure works in the horror tradition.
  • can trace some of the central developments, concerns and themes in horror writing from the nineteenth century to the present day.
  • can identify and engage with theoretical questions relevant to horror literature, both in discussion and in your own written work.
  • are able to explore and analyse literary texts at a scholarly level.


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.

Admission to relevant MA programs.

The course has a capacity of 20 students. ILOS will not provide additional capacity if there are more applicants.

The examination in this course is not available for external candidates. Only students admitted to the course may sit for the examination.


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 given to the exam coordinator.

Students should submit a qualification essay between 1 500 and 2 000 words at an appointed time during the course. This essay must be approved by the seminar leader in order for the student to be qualified to take the final exam. Read more about guidelines for compulsory activities.

As a full-time student you are expected to spend at least 12 hours a week studying for this course.

Two of those hours are spent in seminars with your teacher. The other 10 hours should be spent reading, making notes on and reflecting on primary texts, exploring secondary texts and criticism, completing the assignments posted in reading packs on Fronter, and preparing to contribute your own viewpoints and ideas to class discussions. You may also want to spend some of this time working on your essay writing skills and discussing the course material with other students.

You are expected to come prepared to each seminar. This means that you have completed the assigned reading and any other assignments given in the reading pack.

ENG4415 is a seminar-based course, meaning that classes consist primarily of student-driven literary discussion. This means that while it’s fine to prefer listening to talking, you should be prepared to contribute to discussions throughout the term. The more of your week you spend exploring the set texts yourself (or in discussion with classmates), the more you will get out of seminars.


There will be a three-day take-home exam at the end of the semester.

You must submit your paper in Fronter. Read more about submission procedures.

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

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






Spring 2016


Spring 2016

Teaching language