Syllabus for Literature and Intersectionality

Litteratur och intersektionalitet


  • 7.5 credits
  • Course code: 5EN501
  • 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 a range of literary texts in English engaging with issues such as racializing, minority positions, gender difference;
  • show familiarity with contemporary critical debates on intersectionality, forms of discrimination and forms of empowerment;
  • show an understanding of approaches to the study of literature that reflect on self-definition and heteronomy;
  • 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.


Theories of intersectionality focus on the multiple and complex ways in which different versions of identification (e.g. gender, sexuality, class, race) as well as different social mechanisms of discrimination and exclusion, intersect. Intersectionality highlights the simultaneous influence of gender, sexuality, class, and race on social positioning. Such critique of social inequality first emerged in the context of Black feminism of the late 1970s and 80s. This course will provide you with an historical trajectory of such theories and interrogate the ways in which literature has engaged with them. We will also think about how we read literary texts through an intersectional politics, and the value of doing so.


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 complemented with, alternative assessment elements, such as shorter essays assigned during the course, journals, or portfolios. Grades are fail, pass, or pass with distinction.

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 or examination forms. 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.

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: Spring 2020

Some titles may be available electronically through the University library.

  • Woolf, Virginia Three guineas

    London: Hogarth Press, 1938

    Find in the library


  • Baldwin, James; Jones, Edward P. Notes of a native son

    New introduction edition.: Boston: Beacon Press, ©2012.

    Find in the library


  • Butler, Judith Gender trouble : feminism and the subversion of identity

    New York: Routledge, 2006

    Find in the library


  • Beauvoir, Simone de The second sex

    1st American ed.: New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2010.

    Volume II is read.

    Find in the library


  • Nelson, Maggie The argonauts

    Minneapolis, MN: Graywolf Press, 2015

    Find in the library


  • Moraga, Cherríe Loving in the war years : Lo que nunca pasó por sus labios

    Rev. ed: Boston, Mass.: South End, 2000

    Find in the library


  • Anzaldúa, Gloria Borderlands : the new mestiza = La frontera

    3. ed.: San Francisco: Aunt Lute Books, 2007

    Find in the library


  • Sinha, Indra Animal's people

    London: Simon & Schuster, 2007

    Find in the library


Selected scholarship by Alison Kafer, Dona Haraway, along with poetry and short stories by Jennifer Egan (excerpts on Student Portal).

Reading list revisions