Syllabus for American 20th-Century Literature

Amerikansk litteratur under 1900-talet


  • 7.5 credits
  • Course code: 5EN724
  • Education cycle: First cycle
  • Main field(s) of study and in-depth level: English G1N
  • Grading system: Fail (U), Pass (G), Pass with distinction (VG)
  • Established: 2010-12-08
  • Established by: The Board of the Department of English
  • Revised: 2015-06-04
  • Revised by: The Department Board
  • Applies from: week 01, 2016
  • Entry requirements: General entry requirements and English 6 or English B
  • Responsible department: Department of English

Learning outcomes

Upon completing the course students will be able to

  • give an account in English of intellectual and cultural history behind a number of representative works from the 20th century
  • give an account in English of social and cultural conditions in the US during the 20th century
  • argue in English for their interpretation of a text with the support of the text
  • present an independent analysis in English, in essay form, of literary texts in English.


The course comprises readings and discussions designed to elucidate, on the one hand, representative texts from the 20th century and, on the other hand, the cultural and intellectual background to these texts.


Group instruction, self-study. Teaching, class discussions, and examination are in English.


Examination is both oral and in writing. Grades used are either Fail, Pass, or Pass with Distinction.

Students who do not achieve a passing grade on the regular examination will have another opportunity to take the examination within a reasonable period of time after the regular examination.

Students who fail a certain examination twice have the right upon request, to have another examiner appointed.

Transitional provisions

For transitional regulations in the case of changes in the syllabus, please contact the student adviser.

Other directives

If the syllabus or course reading for a component has been changed, students have a right to be examined under the original syllabus and course reading on three occasions during the following three semesters. Normally this right then expires. Otherwise there are no limitations on the number of examination opportunities.

The course may not be included in a degree if equivalent parts have been read within another course included in the degree.

Reading list

Reading list

Applies from: week 01, 2016

Some titles may be available electronically through the University library.

  • Williams, Tennessee; Browne, E. Martin A streetcar named desire

    [New ed.]: London: Penguin, 2009

    Find in the library


  • Lee, Harper To kill a mockingbird

    London: Vintage, 2004

    Find in the library


  • Morrison, Toni Beloved

    London: Vintage Books, 2005

    Find in the library


  • Villanueva, Tino Scene from the movie Giant

    1. ed.: Willimantic, CT: Curbstone Press, 1993

    Find in the library


  • Foer, Jonathan Safran Everything is illuminated : a novel

    London: Penguin, 2003

    Find in the library


  • Hamid, Mohsin The reluctant fundamentalist

    [New ed.]: London: Penguin, 2008

    Find in the library


Ginsburg, Allen. "Howl", "A Supermarket in California", "America" (handout)

Cisneros, Sandra. "Never Marry a Mexican" (handout)