This course is discontinued

NORAM1505 – American Social History

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

Choose semester

Course content

The course is an overview of American social history from Amerindian settlement to the present. It provides an essential foundation for further work in American Studies. While the focus is primarily on social history – how people of all races and classes lived and experienced both ordinary life and the major political events of the time – the student will also be introduced to important political, economic, and technological events and changes, as well. There will be some comparison of American and European development, though naturally the greatest weight will fall on explaining contemporary America in relation to its own historical development. Students will be introduced to the use of primary sources in studying history. Some of these sources will come from American popular culture.

Learning outcome

  • To lay the best possible historical foundation for understanding the USA at present, from a social history perspective.
  • Critical thinking.
  • 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.


Formal prerequisite knowledge

No obligatory prerequisites beyond the minimum requirements for entrance to higher education in Norway.


The teaching consists of 2 hours of lectures/seminars for 14 weeks.
Certain requirements have to be fulfilled during the course. Each student must submit a paper and give an oral (group) presentation that have to be approved by the teacher in order for the student to sit the exam. Students must attend both the lectures and the seminars regularly to be able to take this 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.


Final marks are awarded on the basis of a 4-hour written exam, which is graded from A to E (passing) and F (fail).

Previous exams:

Examination support material

English-English dictionary (we assume a dictionary is 1 volume, and multi-volume sets are encyclopedia).

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, 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.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.

Facts about this course







Autumn 2009

Students with obligatory assignments earlier approved will be able to take the exam in this course the autumn semester of 2009. The exam date is 15/12.

Teaching language