Syllabus for Archives of Empire

Imperiets litteratur


  • 7.5 credits
  • Course code: 5EN503
  • 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: 2020-03-11
  • Established by: The Department Board
  • Applies from: Spring 2020
  • 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 an ability to present in-depth analyses of key works of colonial writing in light of theoretical debates over the relationship between empire and literatures in English
  • show familiarity with the relationship between literary works and colonial-national identity
  • show an understanding of the compexity of textual and ideological factors involved in the production and reception of empire writing
  • 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 focuses on the historical and theoretical relationship between empire and literary production. Students examine selected landmark literary works and movements as representations of colonial relations of race, gender, and class; as interventions in ethical and political debates over the ethics and future of imperialism; and as milestones of emergent colonial-national traditions. The complexity of writing on empire (propaganda, memoir, satire, fantasy) is explored in relation to ongoing theoretical debates over the fundamental relationship between culture and imperialism.


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

Applies from: Spring 2023

Some titles may be available electronically through the University library.

Unless otherwise indicated, please use the editions listed.

  • Dominique, Lyndon Janson The woman of colour : a tale

    Peterborough, Ont.: Broadview Press, c2008

    Find in the library


  • Behn, Aphra Lipking, Joanna Oroonoko

    New York: Norton, cop. 1997

    Find in the library


  • Defoe, Daniel; Kelly, James William Keymer, Thomas Robinson Crusoe

    New edition.: Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008

    Find in the library


  • Forster, E. M. Armstrong, Paul B. A passage to India : authoritative text, backgrounds and contexts, criticism

    First edition.: New York, N.Y.: W. W. Norton & Company, [2021]

    The Penguin edition ISBN : 9780141441160 may also be used.

    Find in the library


  • Ondaatje, Michael In the skin of a lion

    [New ed.]: London: Picador, 1988

    Find in the library


  • Prince, Mary.; Salih, Sara. The history of Mary Prince : a West Indian slave

    London: Penguin Books, 2000.

    Find in the library


  • Sharpe, Christina Elizabeth In the wake : on Blackness and being

    Durham: Duke University Press, 2016

    Find in the library


Selected material relating to the trial of Warren Hastings and the East India Company 1788-1795. Texts provided.

Selected poems representing indigenous peoples by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, E. Pauline Johnson, Douglas Campbell Scott, 1850-1920. Texts provided.

Reading list revisions