This course is discontinued

NORAM1501 – Immigration and Ethnicity in American Life

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

The immigration of close to 100 million people from scores of foreign cultures to the United States between the 1820s to the present has had a revolutionary impact on all dimensions of American society. Looking at different historical periods and nationality groups from the four corners of the globe, this course surveys who came and why, how much they changed their cultural heritage as they adjusted to life in the U.S., and how they changed America in the process. Race, class, and gender, family values, religion and politics - all these sides of life and more were transformed as immigrants became ethnic Americans. The course explores the individual stories and historical processes involved in this grand human drama.

Learning outcome

Most of the goals of this introductory survey are implied in the description above. The class provides students with a better understanding of the causes and effects of international migration to the U.S. Students will also acquire a basic knowledge of how interpretations of the immigrant and ethnic experience, both popular and scholarly, have informed American law and judicial decisions regarding immigration, citizenship, racial identity and civil rights.


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

This is an introductory, first course.

Recommended previous knowledge

The course assumes a good proficiency in written and oral English.


The course is taught throughout the semester with two hours per week, 28 hours in all. There is a mid-term break (one week in autumn term, two weeks in spring term) during which the students are expected to prepare obligatory assignments (see below) and otherwise study on their own. The students are supposed to attend the class regularly.


Students must turn in an essay of 5 standard pages (11,500 bytes) by the stated deadline in the semester, and give an oral presentation. The essay and presentation must be approved by the tutor; if it is not, the student will be barred from attempting the 4-hour written exam. Once the course requirements have been fulfilled, they remain valid for the current and the two consecutive semesters when the course is given.

Previous exams:

Language of examination

The exam language is English. Students who take this course as part of another 80- or 40-group than English language, literature or American area studies may apply to take the exam in Norwegian. The application form can be found here - [broken], with the deadline September 1st for the autumn semester and February 1st for the spring semester.

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.

e results will be found on the StudentWeb within three weeks of the exam.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, 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.

Facts about this course







Students with obligatory assignment earlier approved will be able to take the exam in this course in the autumn of 2009. The exam date is 03.12.

Teaching language