Undergraduate course

American Literature and Culture

  • ECTS credits15
  • Teaching semesterAutumn
  • Course codeENG122
  • Number of semesters1
  • LanguageEnglish
  • Resources

ECTS Credits


Level of Study


Teaching semester


Place of Instruction


Objectives and Content

The course aims at providing increased knowledge about the diversity of American culture from a historical perspective, and an understanding of the foundational premises for the development of literature and society. The course also develops the students' ability to express themselves in written and oral Academic English.

Students are expected to develop their ability to independently and critically evaluate the texts on their reading list. The course provides an introduction to textual analysis in the main literary genres of prose, poetry, and drama, and develops the ability to identify formal and thematic features. Through analyses of a range of literary works students gain an understanding of the most important periods and main developments in American literature and culture. The assigned works are interpreted in relation to key socio-cultural and political contexts.

Learning Outcomes

Having completed ENG122

The student

- has a basic understanding of American literature and culture in a historical context

- has developed the abilty to independent, critical reading of primary texts, based in theoretical methods for analysis of fictional and non-fictional texts

- has an understanding of the relationship between primary texts and the broader historical, social and political frameworks that they are in dialogue with.

- has an understanding of the characteristics of the different literary genres included in the course, such as the novel, short story, drama, poetry, as well as non-fiction texts.


The student

- can demonstrate the above knowledge in well organized and clearly expressed written exam essays in appropriate, academic English,

General competence:

The student

- can respond independently and creatively to various literary works in appropriate academic oral and written English.

Required Previous Knowledge

None; see Recommended previous knowledge/training

Recommended Previous Knowledge

It is strongly advised that the students, in addition to fulfilling the Higher Education Entrance Qualification, also have good results from specialized courses in English from Upper Secondary School.

For students with a background other than the Norwegian school system, a level of competence in English corresponding to C1 in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages is recommended.

Credit Reduction due to Course Overlap

Credits cannot be awarded for both ENG122 and ENG122L.

Access to the Course

The course is open to all students admitted to the University of Bergen.

For exchange students:

Applicants have to document English language proficiency to access the course. Students should hold a level of C1 in the Common European Framework of Reference for Language (CEFR). For valid tests, please see uib.no/exchange.

Teaching Methods and Extent of Organized Teaching

Lectures and seminars: up to 72 hours.

Students are expected to consistently and actively participate in the scheduled teaching. This expectation is also the basis for the preparation towards the exam.

In the case that fewer than five students register for a course, the organized teaching may be adapted to fit the number of students. If this occurs, students will be informed at the start of the semester, and before the registration deadline 1. February/1. September.

Compulsory Assignments and Attendance

There are no obligatory assignments, but students have the opportunity to submit a term paper of around 1500 words, and receive supervision on it. Term papers will be supervised in the general context of the seminars. Term paper topics are chosen on the basis of a selection of predefined topics.

Forms of Assessment

The exam is a five-hour school exam, where students are examined from the entire curriculum.

The exam may be digital.

Examination Support Material

Students are allowed to use a monolingual (English-English) dictionary during school examination. The Department will provide additional information concerning permitted dictionaries.

Grading Scale

The grading scale is A-F, where F is a fail.

Assessment Semester

An exam in ENG122 is offered each semester ¿ the regular exam at the end of the fall semester and the re-take exam in the middle of the spring semester.

Reading List

The curriculum includes literary and historical periods, historical events, and representative fictional and non- fictional texts starting with the seventeenth century.

The reading list will be available by 1 June for the Autumn semester.

Course Evaluation

The teaching is evaluated according to the quality assurance system of the University of Bergen.

Programme Committee

The Programme Board is responsible for the academic content and structure of the study programme, and for the quality of all the subjects therein.

Course Administrator

The Department of Foreign Languages at the Faculty of Humanities has the administrative responsibility for the course and the study programme.


Exam information

  • For written exams, please note that the start time may change from 09:00 to 15:00 or vice versa until 14 days prior to the exam. The exam location will be published 14 days prior to the exam.

  • Type of assessment: Written examination

    05.03.2018, 09:00
    5 hours
    Withdrawal deadline
    Examination system
    Digital exam