ENG4451 – Virginia Woolf: Fiction and Essays

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

This course presents and discusses the most important novels of Virginia Woolf, a main representative of British and European modernism. Even though the course is text-oriented, it also pays attention to modernism's historical and cultural contexts. Central critical concerns include the texts' narrative and metaphorical structure, their thematic and ideological aspects, and not least the intricate ways in which, in Woolf's fiction, the latter is shaped through the former. The course also discusses a selection of Woolf's essays, paying particular attention to her ideas about gender and class, and to her significant contribution to feminist literary theory. References will also be made to Woolf's importance for female authors writing both during and after the modernist period.

Learning outcome

One essential aim of the course is to acquire good and relevant knowledge of the studied texts. A related aim is to develop the student's ability to analyse and discuss fictional texts as well as essays, using narrative and literary theory. A third aim is to learn how to read and interpret Woolf's texts in the light of the social, political and cultural context of which they are an integral part.


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


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

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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 2008


Autumn 2008

Teaching language