This course is discontinued

NORAM4572 – American Women's History

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

This seminar course  examines the history of women and gender in the United States from the earliest history until the present.  The seminars will be organized around around a number of questions, which will be examined chronologically beginning with the colonial era and continuing into the present.  Hands-on analysis of primary source documents will be a central part of this course.  Students will examine these sources in light of a variety of scholarly interpretations.

Some of the questions will be:

  • How do women’s and men’s experiences vary by region?  By race?  Why?
  • How do ideas about femininity and masculinity change over time?
  • How do ideas about gender and religion intertwine?
  • How and why are ideas about gender linked with economic structures of work and capital?
  • How does the role of the family change over time?  Why?
  • What causes changes in attitudes and behaviors surrounding sex, sexuality, fertility and marriage?
  • How do changing ideas about the nation affect women, men, children and families?

Learning outcome

After completing this course you will have:

  • developed an understanding of how ideas about gender have changed throughout history;
  • gained a comparative knowledge of opportunities and gender strategies for women, men, and families over time;
  • learned to find and critically evaluate competing scholarly interpretations of evidence;
  • learned to assess and interpret primary sources;
  • developed leadership abilities in the classroom;
  • gained practical experience with research questions, evidence, and secondary sources necessary for writing a thesis.


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 master program in North American area studies, LAP or other relevant master programs.

Recommended previous knowledge

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

Overlapping courses


Seminar, two hours per week for 14 weeks, 28 hours in total.

Attendance is obligatory at least 11 out of 14 seminars. Additional absences must be justified by documentation given to the exam coordinator.

You must write an essay (5 standard pages, 11.500 bytes) at an appointed time. The essay must be approved by the tutor. Essays handed in after the set deadline will not be approved. If it is not approved, the student will be barred from taking the exam.


The final grade is set on the basis of a take home exam spanning over 3 days. You are required to write 6 pages minimum (2400 words)/ 10 pages (4000 words) maximum. This does not include references and bibliography.

The assignment will be published in Fronter, and you must submit your paper in Fronter. Read more about submission procedures.

Earlier given assignments:

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

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.


Feedback from our students is essential if we are to provide the best possible education. As a student at the University of Oslo you will be asked to participate in various types of evaluation of our courses. Every time a course is given, we ask students to participate in mid-term evaluations, and periodically we ask them to participate in periodic evaluation of the course.

Reports from periodic evaluations (in Norwegian)

Facts about this course







Teaching language