This course is discontinued

NORAM4577 – An Enlightening Lens: American History through the Prism of the Immigrant Experience

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

Immigrants and their children have been deeply involved in most of the central debates in American history. Their experience provides an enlightening lens for gaining perspective on the national experience for a number of reasons. Among these are the bi- or poly-cultural perspectives they have brought to public debate. With reference to a variety of historical and contemporary documents, the class will explore their stands on a selection of the following issues: the relations with Native Americans, the design of westward movement, public education, slavery and the civil war, political and social reform movements, and responses to periods of racist and anti-foreign repression—as well as to national moods/trends celebrating diversity and tolerance.

Learning outcome

Deepening students’ analytic grasp of the major debates taken up in the course, their historical context and relation to the scholarly literature on immigration and ethnicity in the U.S. is the primary goal of the course.


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

Admittance to the North America Area studies Master program, LAP or other relevant Master programs.


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 the autumn term, two weeks in the 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.


The obligatory class assignments must be completed in order to take the final exam, which consists of a three-day take home exam on a given topic. 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


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 published on the Studentweb within 3 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






Spring 2009


Spring 2009

Teaching language