This course is discontinued

NORAM4571 – Race and Racism in the United States

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

This course gives an understanding of the history of race and racism in the United States, both as a set of ideas and an institutional system. We will focus on how definitions of race have changed over time, as well as contemporary discussions of race as ethnic identity, and the political results of each.

Learning outcome

After completing this course you will have:

  • learned how to analyze race as an historical construct, bounded by both time and place and to analyze the lives of individuals and groups, using biography and memoir.
  • developed the ability to think historically about how personal and cultural biases intersect with scholarship.
  • learned how to build an argument, which critically analyzes the research of others and yourself, and present your work using appropriate scholarly ethics and apparatus.
  • improved your abilities in reading and writing academic English.


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.


Recommended previous knowledge

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


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

There will be a set of qualifying assignments, which must be approved in order to take the exam. They consist of in-class writing assignment – paraphrasing vs. plagiarism. Also, as a group, the MA students will present a lesson on the Birmingham Civil Rights movement to the BA students. Each individual will turn in a power point slide presentation of her/his portion of the lesson.

80% attendance is required.


Portfolio including:

  • Essay: Independent topic using primary and secondary sources. Topic must be approved. By the second week of class, you should propose a topic and arrange a meeting.
  • Essay on question to be assigned. (Note the question can cover any or all of the readings and will be handed out late in the semester – 2nd to last week of class. Therefore it is important to read and participate in class throughout the semester.)
  • Book review of Moran, Interracial Intimacy.

Hand-ins are done on Fronter:

Previous exams:

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 results will be found on the StudentWeb within three weeks after 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







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