ENG4542 – Research Seminar in American Social History

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

Choose semester

Course content

American Social history is essentially the history or ordinary people and ordinary lives. It includes many subfields, such as gender, race, religion, education, ethnicity, family, sexuality, popular culture and others. Studying the intersections between subfields can enlighten us as to what it means to be American with competing identities, and how ordinary people create, negotiate, and battle over such cultural boundaries. It is a vibrantly interdisciplinary field which uses a wide variety of research methods and techniques.

This course will investigate a particular research question within American Social history. We will read competing interpretations of that problem and engage in practical research using some of the techniques available to social historians.

Specific details for each semester will be posted online under detailed course information.

Topic autumn 2020: Politics and Gender/Gender Politics

Learning outcome

After completing this course, you:

  • can use one or more research methods typical of social history (for example: use of archival documents, oral interviews, surveys, film analysis, or, if there is interest, quantitative analysis).
  • have In-depth knowledge of a particular problem within American Social History.


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.

Students enrolled in other Master's Degree Programmes can, on application, be admitted to the course if this is cleared by their own study programme.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.

The minimum number of students admitted to the course is 3, the maximum 15. The department will not offer an extra seminar if there are more applicants.

Overlapping courses

10 credits overlap with NORAM4520 – Research Seminar in American Social History (continued)


Seminar, 2 hours per week for 10 weeks, 20 hours in all.

Obligatory activity:

  • Preparatory assignments (1-4 pages each) must be done for several of the weekly class meetings. Students will choose 4 of these assignments to be assessed as pass/fail qualifiers. These qualifiers can be done individually or in small groups.
  • Additionally, students will turn in a draft of their term paper and preparatory work for the term paper for critique by a stated deadline. Each student will be responsible for critiquing two other students' drafts.
  • For autumn 2020, attendance is not required, but highly recommended.

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

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 exam form is a term paper of 15 pages +/- 10% (a standard page consists of 2,300 characters).

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

For those who want to retake their exam: Since this is a portfolio exam, you must follow the classes and write a new paper as well in order to qualify. 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






Autumn 2020

For the autumn semester 2020, this course will have manual admission.

Contact the study administration for more information.


Autumn 2020

Teaching language