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spring 2020

ENG-3105 Border-Crossing Narratives - 10 ECTS

Sist endret: 09.01.2020

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 MA 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.

This course fulfils the Literature and Society requirement for the MA 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

This course will present theoretical and practical strategies for examining the function of the Border Narrative in contemporary fictional and poetic literature. We will also study aesthetic representations of the experience of migration by minority populations in a global perspective. The course will introduce the student to the theory and practice of border studies; presenting the poetics of border-crossing narratives, and critically interrogate recent attempts to make "the border" a floating signifier for a displaced self or identity. Analyzing primarily border-crossing narratives in literary texts, the course aims to test two theoretical assumptions: 1) that narrative and symbolic representation is a central element in border formation and experience; 2) that textual or medial borders within aesthetic works are related to the institutional borders represented in these works.

Objectives of the course


  • Students have an advanced working knowledge of contemporary narratives of border formation and border crossing, both from a national and global perspective.
  • Students recognize the significance of both the theoretical and physical role of borders in an appreciation of works of literature, contemporary politics and aesthetics, and in the patterns of global migration of peoples.
  • Students can analyze crossing narratives in which physical, medial, and symbolic borders are crossed in literary texts.


  • Students can articulate the broader ways in which border crossing texts applies to their own culture, global culture, and their own lives.
  • Students can compare and synthesize the theories presented.
  • Students can demonstrate their ability to relate to theoretical concepts both orally, through class participation, and in written form, in their responses and papers.
  • Students can 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 meets once a week for 13 weeks for two hours of lecture and discussion.

Quality assurance: 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. 


Coursework requirements: Two short papers during the semester. The first will be a response paper of 2-3 pages, and the second will be an analytical paper of 4-6 pages.

Final assessment: A term paper of approx. 12-15 pages (1.5 line spacing in 12-point font).

The exam will be assessed on an A-F grades scale. Grades are A-E for passed and F for failed. A re-sit exam is offered in the beginning of the following semester in cases of grade F/fail. A postponed exam is offered in the beginning of the following semester if the student is unable to take the final exam due to illness or other exceptional circumstances. The registration deadline for re-sit/postponed examination is January 15 for courses offered in the autumn semester and August 15 for courses offered in 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

Portfolio assessment hand in date 11.05.2020

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


Course overlap

HIF-3105 Border-Crossing Narratives 10 stp


Mathisen, Kari

studiekonsulent (årsstudium i engelsk, lektorutd. studieretning engelsk, BA i engelsk, MA English Literature)
Telefon: +4777623316 kari.mathisen@uit.no

Minna Niemi

Niemi, Minna Johanna

Førsteamanuensis engelsk litteratur
Telefon: +4777644176 minna.j.niemi@uit.no