This course is discontinued

ENG4423 – Reading Virginia Woolf

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

The purpose of this course is to study Woolf’s novels with the closest possible attention to textual detail, while cultivating an informed sensitivity to relevant literary and historical contexts. To a degree that is exceptional among prose artists, each work by Woolf is sui generis or defines its own kind, and the aim of this course is to inquire what it is that each work tries to represent mimetically, and how it may be said to elicit specific responses from its readers (and historically, how it is known to have elicited responses from specific readers). The course is research-oriented in that one of its main objectives is to support the writing of a 5000-word academic paper on which each student’s contribution will be finally evaluated. Seminars will aim to collectively articulate research questions about each text, and discuss the various viable ways of investigating these questions. A wide range of literary approaches or methodologies will be encouraged, since any approach or methodology must be assessed by its fitness for a given critical task.

Learning outcome

After completing this course, you:

  • can develop well-informed responses to Woolf’s novels in academic prose as well as in seminar discussion,
  • know how to ask productive research questions and construct coherent literary arguments about Woolf’s novels,
  • can analyze Woolf’s novels in a variety of historical and aesthetic contexts, not least as works of literary Modernism,
  • are familiar with major aspects of Woolf’s life and her novels’ reception,
  • have learned to engage critically with Woolf scholarship.


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

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.
  • Within a specified date, students must submit a first draft of the term paper. The date for submission will be announced at the beginning of term. Make sure you have familiarized yourself with the rules for citing sources (for more information, look further below).

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


The form of assessment is a term paper of 12–15 standard pages (a standard page consists of 2,300 characters). References and bibliography comes in addition.

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.

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

You must do all obligatory activities, including attendance, in this course again if you want to qualify to re-take the exam. Admission depends on capacity.

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






Autumn 2018


Autumn 2018

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