NORAM4520 – Research Seminar in American Social History

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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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.

Learning outcome

After completing this course, you will have:

  • Practical experience using 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);
  • 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.

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 EAS-NORAM master program, LaP/LeP or other relevant master programs.


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

Attendance is obligatory 8 out of 10 seminars. Additional absences must be justified by documentation to the exam coordinator. You must also give an oral presentation in class that must be approved by the teacher.

Topic Fall 2014; Black Hollywood and Sidney Poitier


The exam consists of a portfolio. The paper should be approximately 10 pages long.

You must submit your final paper in Fronter. Read more about submission procedures

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.

The marks will be available on the StudentWeb within three weeks of the exam date.

Explanations and appeals

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.

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.

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






Spring 2016


Spring 2016

Teaching language