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spring 2020

ENG-3119 Contemporary Literary Criticism - 10 ECTS

Sist endret: 07.07.2020

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 qualify for admission to 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

Since the turn of the twenty-first century, criticism has reputedly become "post-theoretical." Critics have described the limits of critique and theorists the bounds of theory. This course examines the directions that literary and cultural criticism written in English is taking right now. How do critics relate to the highly-influencial theoretical work of the last decades of the twentieth century - the importation of "high theory" from France in the 1960s and 70s or the identity criticism of the 1990s? How are critics trying to re-engage readers outside of the academy? When students of literature look back at early 21st-century criticism decades from now, what will they see as the most important developments?

Objectives of the course

The students have the following learning outcomes:


The student:

  • has an advanced working knowledge of contemporary literary theory and criticism
  • can recognize the relationships between contemporary theory and criticism and the history of critical practices
  • can appreciate the the role of the reader in interpreting meaning.


The student is able to / can:

  • articulate the broader ways in which concepts foregrounded in 21st century criticism are relevant to their own lives and global forms of aesthetic expression
  • compare and synthesize the theories presented
  • demonstrate their ability to relate to theoretical concepts both orally, through class participation, and in written form, in their responses and papers
  • locate, cite, and intelligently incorporate several sources into their final paper and shorter essays.

Language of instruction

Language of instruction and examination: English.

Teaching methods

The course will be taught over 13 weeks with 2 hour sessions, consisting mostly lectures and discussion.


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

  • Each student is required to introduce the class to a discussion topic (5-10 minutes) in a very short presentation once during the semester
  • One paper (approx. 5-6 pages)

The exam will consist of:

  • A term paper of 12-15 pages (Times new roman, 12 pt font, 1.5 spacing)

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 15th January for courses offered in the autumn semester and 15th August for courses offered in the spring semester.

Date for examination

Term paper hand in date 22.05.2020

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, årsstudium i tysk, lektorutd. studieretning tysk)
Telefon: +4777623316 kari.mathisen@uit.no

Laura Virginia Castor ISK

Laura Castor

Professor engelsk litteraturvitenskap
Telefon: +4777646568 laura.castor@uit.no