Literature and Intersectionality

7.5 credits

Syllabus, Master's level, 5EN501

Education cycle
Second cycle
Main field(s) of study and in-depth level
English A1N
Grading system
Fail (U), Pass (G), Pass with distinction (VG)
Finalised by
The Department Board, 23 January 2019
Responsible department
Department of English

General provisions

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

Entry requirements

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

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.

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.

Transitional provisions

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