autumn 2019

ENG-3118 Satire's Art of Persuasion - 10 ECTS

Sist endret: 18.12.2019

The course is provided by

Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences and Education


Tromsø |

Application deadline

Applicants from Nordic countries: 1 June for the autumn semester and 1 December for the spring semester. 

Exchange students and Fulbright students: 15 April for the autumn semester and 1 October for the spring semester.

Type of course

This course is intended for students in the master's programme in English literature and students in the master's programme in education year 8-13 (lektorutdanninga, studieretning engelsk). This course may be taken as a single course by students who meet the admission requirements for the MA programme in English Literature.

Admission requirements

Bachelor's degree (180 ECTS), or equivalent qualification, in English literature, or a degree combining English literature and a closely-related discipline (minimum 80 ECTS in English). An average grade equivalent to C or better in the English coursework (80 ECTS) is required.

Application code: 9371 - Enkeltemner på masternivå (Nordic applicants).

Course content

Satire is one of the most resilient forms of discourse in Western cultures. Whereas satire¿s popularity is often attributed to its ability to entertain, it has a moral purpose too. Satire may be a weapon that speaks truth to power, and it scrutinizes dominant hierarchies of gender, race, and colonization. Satire may also represent cynical withdrawal from social engagement. The power of satirical discourse is often topical and dependent on cultural and ideological contexts. Therefore, during a particular semester, we may emphasize a set of themes (in politics, culture, music, the media, etc.), or a particular historical period. We consider the flexibility and impact of satirical discourse in a variety of forms and across media. We ask questions such as:  In what ways is the language of satire specific to a culture, issue, or historical moment? In what ways can satire be read transnationally, transculturally, and transmedially? How are the social, political, legal, ethical, and psychological implications of satirical expression negotiated at particular historical moments? How can we make sense of the responsibilities and rights of readers and writers? In what ways does satirical discourse contribute to debates around freedom of speech and artistic expression?

Objectives of the course

The students have the following learning outcomes:

The student has:
- An advanced working knowledge of concepts of satire as genre and method
- A good understanding of the political, historical, cultural, and literary contexts in which satirical discourse is produced.
- Clear insight into the aesthetic elements and rhetorical functions of satire.
- Ability to appreciate the role of the reader in interpreting meaning.

The student is able to / can:
- Articulate the ways in which satirical representation relates to historical and ideological contexts, using appropriate terminology.
- Consider the ways in which reading and writing can contribute our ability to engage in ongoing societal debates.
- Use relevant critical approaches to develop independent insights about particular texts.
- Explain their ideas in a succinct, coherent manner and support them with close readings of the texts.
- Analyze primary and secondary texts, make connections between them, and cite them properly.

Language of instruction

Language of instruction and examination: English.

Teaching methods

The course meets once a week for 13 weeks for two hours of lecture and discussion.

All courses will be evaluated once during the period of the study program. The board of the program decides which courses will be evaluated by students and teacher each year. 


The following coursework requirements must be completed and approved in order to take the final exam:

Each student is required:

- To give an oral presentation or a lead a discussion of a topic (10 minutes).

- To write a mid-term paper (1500-1800 words, submission after about nine weeks).

- To attend 80% of the class sessions (three double lecture hours may be missed). For students who miss more than 3 class meetings (or who wish to take the course as distance students), it will be possible to submit a 500-word response paper addressing the topic for each class meeting missed.

The exam will consist of:

A research-based term paper of approximately 12-15 pages. The paper must be significantly different from the mid-term paper. In other words, it cannot focus on the same texts.

All written work is based on the following standard: Times New Roman, 12, 1,5, 2,5 cm.

Performance in the course will be assessed with the grades A-F. Grades are A-E for passed and F for failed. A re-sit examination is offered in the event of an F-grade. The deadline to register (in the Studentweb) for a re-sit examination is January 15th for the autumn semester and August 15th for the spring semester. In the event of a re-sit examination, the student is allowed to submit a revised version of his/her term paper within a given deadline.

Date for examination

Home examination hand in date 16.12.2019

The date for the exam can be changed. The final date will be announced in the StudentWeb early in May and early in November.



Mathisen, Kari

studiekonsulent (årsstudium i engelsk, lektorutd. studieretning engelsk, BA i engelsk, MA English Literature, MA English Acquisition and Multilingualism, MA Theoretical Linguistics)
Telefon: +4777623316

Laura Virginia Castor ISK

Laura Castor

Professor engelsk litteraturvitenskap
Telefon: +4777646568