ENG4456 – Edith Wharton: Text and Context

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

This graduate seminar will offer a survey of a representative selection of the fiction of Edith Wharton (1862-1937). The main analytical focus of the course will be on Wharton’s representation of gender and sexuality in a middle- and upper-class setting—European and American—from the 1870s until the 1930s.

Though the seminar will have a largely historical emphasis, another starting point for our analysis will be the narrative structure of each individual text.

Learning outcome

After completing this course, you:

  • have a detailed understanding of the fiction of the major American author Edith Wharton
  • have an understanding of the historical period Wharton is depicting
  • can analyze narrative structures in fiction and how they shape the perception of reality, particularly the representation of gender and sexuality
  • have advanced skills in scholarly writing


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.

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


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.
  • Active participation is required, e.g. in the form of one or more oral presentations.

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

At various points during the semester there are reading weeks without teaching to be used for individual study and work on assignments.

Students are expected to participate actively in the seminar discussions, which are the basis for teaching. Students prepare by studying the primary texts and completing assignments they are given in class or that are posted in Canvas. All handouts in connection with the course will be available in Canvas.

Access to teaching

A student who has completed compulsory instruction and coursework and has had these approved, is not entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework. A student who has been admitted to a course, but who has not completed compulsory instruction and coursework or had these approved, is entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework, depending on available capacity.


The form of assessment is a term paper of 10 standard pages (a standard page consists of 2,300 characters). References and bibliography comes in addition. You will determine the topic together with the lecturer.

You will be offered individual term paper supervision.

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.

Reports from periodic evaluations (in Norwegian)

Facts about this course






Spring 2020


Spring 2020

Teaching language