This course is discontinued

ENG4434 – 20th Century American Literature: Race, Gender, Performativity

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

This course critically examines the concepts of ‘race’, ‘gender’ and ‘performativity’ in 20th century literature and theory. We will study the ways in which various writers and scholars use these three concepts to interrogate the relationship between ‘identity’ and ‘representation’. The topics in this course are related to many contemporary social debates, allowing us to study the relationship between literature and identity politics.

Learning outcome

After completing this course you will have:

  • acquired analytical skills by focusing on a particular theme within 20th-century literature;
  • familiarized yourself with some of the most important contemporary theory in the humanities, learning how to read and interpret this theory as well as apply it to literary texts;
  • learned to understand the ways that literature and theory intervene in current debates about identity politics.


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.


Seminar, two hours per week for 10 weeks, 20 hours in total.

Regular attendance and active participation is required, e.g. in the form of one or more oral presentations.

Attendance is an obligatory class requirement (80%).


A term paper of 10 standard pages (topic to be decided between teacher and student).

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

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






Spring 2011


Spring 2011

Teaching language