ENG4416 – Time and Money in the American Novel

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

Time and money are two of the main forces that shape human ends. Our conception of time has a profound impact on how we understand ourselves, and on how we draw the boundary between the possible and the unreasonable. In a similar fashion, our collective understanding of money exerts a sharp influence on how we order our personal and communal lives. 

This course will examine these two forces through the lens of literature. It will use the reading and analysis of a select group of American novels as a way of interrogating the links between time, money, and literature.

In this course, we will examine the ways in which novels work to naturalize or challenge social conceptions of time and money. More importantly, we will consider all the ways in which the reading of novels helps us reflect on the nature of time and money, and we will think about the way these reflections are connected to issues of race, sexuality, subjectivity, and community.

Learning outcome

After completing this course, you:

  • will have an understanding of the 20th century American novel, particularly in its modernist and postmodern forms,
  • will have a working knowledge of textual analysis and its importance,
  • will understand the close relationship between literary form and social form,
  • will be familiar with post-structuralist and Marxist approaches to literary criticism.


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.

The course has a capacity of 15 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 ten weeks, 20 hours in all.

Obligatory activities:

  • You must submit a paper of 5 pages which must be approved by the teacher in order to qualify for the exam. Read more about rules concerning valid excuses and how to apply for approved postponements here.
  • Please note: Students are expected to attend all teaching. The quality of the teaching depends on active participation in all seminars. If you are not able to attend, you must give notice to the seminar teacher no later than the same day as the absence.

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


The final grade is set on the basis of a written term paper (5-7 standard pages à 2,300 characters, 60% of the grade) and a short home exam (2 hours, 40% of the grade).

A pass mark is required on both parts. You have to take both examination parts in the same semester. 

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

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






Autumn 2021

For the autumn semester 2021, this course will have manual admission.

This course is offered irregularly


Autumn 2021

Teaching language