This course is discontinued

ENG4432 – Postmodernism in American fiction

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

This course attempts to explore the many ramifications of the complex concept of literary postmodernism, the way it is expressed by some of the most influential American authors during the period 1965 to 2001. Against the background of the five novels on the reading list, we will discuss central terms like “the death of Truth,” “the loss of Self,” “language as a construction of reality,” meta-fiction, and intertextuality. An attempt will also be made to show how some of the most important postmodern concepts are traceable in other areas of culture than literature during this period. The course will also deal with significant developments in the literary criticism of the period (e.g., post-structuralism and deconstructionism), but such theories will be explored as a part of the textual analyses rather than as ends in themselves.

Learning outcome

The course will try to give the students a reasonably sophisticated understanding of postmodernism as a literary term and cultural phenomenon in the United States during the period 1965-2001. It will also emphasize the many significant differences between the syllabus authors within the postmodernist framework. Additionally, the course aims to develop the students’ critical and analytical abilities in their meeting with central novels from our own time.


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.


Formal prerequisite knowledge

Admission to the master program in literature, LAP or other suitable master programs.

Overlapping courses

10 credits overlap with ENG4318 – Postmodernism in American Fiction (discontinued)


Seminar, two hours per week for ten weeks. Regular attendance and active participation is required, e.g. in the form of one or more oral presentations.


A portfolio consisting of a seven-page essay and a two-hour written classroom exam.

All written papers must be accompanied by a declaration concerning cheating Obligatorisk erklæring vedr. fusk

Examination support material

English dictionary.

Language of examination


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.

Marks will be published on Studentweb no later than three weeks after the submission date/exam.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

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 2007


Autumn 2007

Teaching language