Syllabus for Rethinking 19th Century American Literature

Nya perspektiv på 1800-talets amerikanska litteratur


  • 7.5 credits
  • Course code: 5EN520
  • Education cycle: Second cycle
  • Main field(s) of study and in-depth level: English A1N

    Explanation of codes

    The code indicates the education cycle and in-depth level of the course in relation to other courses within the same main field of study according to the requirements for general degrees:

    First cycle

    • G1N: has only upper-secondary level entry requirements
    • G1F: has less than 60 credits in first-cycle course/s as entry requirements
    • G1E: contains specially designed degree project for Higher Education Diploma
    • G2F: has at least 60 credits in first-cycle course/s as entry requirements
    • G2E: has at least 60 credits in first-cycle course/s as entry requirements, contains degree project for Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science
    • GXX: in-depth level of the course cannot be classified

    Second cycle

    • A1N: has only first-cycle course/s as entry requirements
    • A1F: has second-cycle course/s as entry requirements
    • A1E: contains degree project for Master of Arts/Master of Science (60 credits)
    • A2E: contains degree project for Master of Arts/Master of Science (120 credits)
    • AXX: in-depth level of the course cannot be classified

  • Grading system: Fail (U), Pass (G), Pass with distinction (VG)
  • Established: 2019-01-23
  • Established by: The Department Board
  • Applies from: Autumn 2019
  • Entry requirements:

    120 credits. English A1, B1 and C1, or 90 credits in a language subject or in literary studies.

  • Responsible department: Department of English

Decisions and guidelines

The course is included in the Master's Programme in English.

Learning outcomes

Upon completing the course students will be able to

  • demonstrate insight into the main currents in nineteenth-century American literature;
  • show familiarity with the scholarship about nineteenth-century American literature;
  • show an understanding of historical and political occurrences and ideas as they influenced the American literary tradition;
  • gather and process critical material;
  • show proficiency in the use of critical material in a written literary analysis;
  • show a good ability to participate, orally and in writing, in a discussion of literary works in fluent English.


This course offers forceful strategies for engaging with nineteenth-century American literature. Drawing on cutting-edge approaches and paradigms, it addresses the socio-political transformations of the nineteenth-century United States through the lens of representative literary texts. The course explore how this body of literature reflects on contending definitions of race, gender, empire, the emotions, and nationality.


Group sessions. Instruction, class discussions, and examinations are in English. All teaching materials are in English.


Assessment takes the form of a final exam in the form of an essay at the end of the course. The final essay may be replaced by, or supplemented with, alternative assessment elements, such as shorter essays assigned during the course, journals, or portfolios. Grades are fail, pass, or pass with distinction.

If there are special reasons for doing so, an examiner may make an exception from the method of assessment indicated and allow a student to be assessed by another method. An example of special reasons might be a certificate regarding special pedagogical support from the University's disability coordinator.

Students who fail a regular examination will be offered a make-up examination within a reasonable period of time after the regular examination.

Students who fail an examination twice have the right to apply to the head of the department for permission to change examiners.

Transitional provisions

Please contact the student counsellor for transitional regulations in connection with changes in the curriculum.

Other directives

If the curriculum or the course literature for a course module is changed, students have the right to be examined on the original curriculum and course literature on three occasions during the following three terms. After these three opportunities, the right normally expires. No other limitations apply regarding the number of examination opportunities.

Reading list

Reading list

A revised version of the reading list is available.

Applies from: Autumn 2019

Some titles may be available electronically through the University library.

Main Reading

  • Brown, Charles Brockden "Arthur Mervyn, or, Memoirs of the year 1793 : with related texts"


    Find in the library


  • Sansay, Leonora; Drexler, Michael J. Secret history, or, The horrors of St. Domingo : and, Laura

    Peterborough, Ont.: Broadview, c2007

    Find in the library


  • Cooper, Last of the mohicans - the illustrated novel

    Pegasus Books, 2018

    Find in the library


  • Leaves of grass and other writings : authoritative texts, other poetry and prose, criticism Whitman, Walt Moon, Michael; Bradley, Sculley; Blodgett, Harold William

    New York: Norton, 2001

    Find in the library


  • Stowe, Harriet Beecher Ammons, Elizabeth Uncle Tom's cabin : authoritative text, backgrounds and contexts, criticism

    Third edition: New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2018

    Find in the library


  • Twain, Mark; Berger, Sidney E. Pudd'nhead Wilson : and, Those extraordinary twins : authoritative texts, textual introduction, tables of variants, criticism

    2nd ed.: New York, N.Y.: W.W. Norton, c2005.

    Find in the library


  • Dreiser, Theodore; Pizer, Donald. Sister Carrie : an authoritative text, backgrounds, and sources criticism

    3rd ed.: New York: W.W. Norton, c2006

    Find in the library


Examination Texts

  • Wilson, Harriet E. Our nig : or, Sketches from the life of a free black, in a two-story white house, North, showing that slavery's shadows fall even there

    Champaign, Ill.: Project Gutenberg, [199-?]

    Find in the library

  • Child, Lydia Maria; Karcher, Carolyn L. Hobomok & Other Writings on Indians

    Rutgers University Press,

    Find in the library

Reading list revisions