ENG4418 – The Gay Novel in English

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

Choose semester

Course content

This course will provide an introduction to the gay novel in English in the 20th and early 21st centuries. As a starting point, “gay” is understood to mean “gay male” and “novel” is understood to be any fictional, narrative text that has been published separately as a book. In this course, though, we do not presume to know what a “gay novel” is before we have explored what it has been and may yet become.

We will explore this being and becoming in a variety of ethnic and racial, historical and cultural, gendered and class-inflected, sexual and affective settings and situations. Our understanding of the themes, structures, and development of the novels will also be informed by narrative theory. The course may concentrate on one specific author or period or contain a selection of authors from one or several periods.

Learning outcome

After completing this course, you:

  • can outline the themes, structures, and development of the gay novel in English.
  • can analyze narrative technique in the novel and how it shapes the perception of reality, particularly the representation of gender and sexuality.
  • have an understanding of how homosexuality was perceived in one or more parts of the English-speaking world in recent history.
  • have advanced skills in scholarly writing in English.


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 minimum number of attendants for the course is 5, the maximum 15.


Seminar, two hours per week for 14 weeks, 28 hours in all.

Obligatory activity:

  • Attendance is obligatory 11 out of 14 seminars. Additional absences must be justified by documentation. Read more about rules concerning valid excuses and how to apply for approved absences or postponements here.
  • All obligatory assignments are only valid the semester you attend the course.


The form of assessment is a 3-day home examination.

Assessment guidelines

Submit assignments in Inspera

You submit your assignment in the digital examination system Inspera. Read about how to submit your assignment.

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.

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






Spring 2019

This course is taught irregularly


Spring 2019

Teaching language