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English, Creating the Contemporary Literary Canon, 7.5 Credits

Swedish name: Engelska, Att skapa litterära mästerverk

This syllabus is valid: 2023-01-02 and until further notice

Course code: 1EN081

Credit points: 7.5

Education level: Second cycle

Main Field of Study and progress level: English: Second cycle, has only first-cycle course/s as entry requirements

Grading scale: Three-grade scale

Responsible department: Department of Language Studies

Revised by: Head of Department of Language Studies, 2022-09-14


How are literary masterpieces created? What roles do literary critics and readers play? How do the Nobel Prize and other literary awards impact the literary canon? The course has a global perspective and consists of the study of English-language award-winning works. In addition to text and genre-oriented issues, the course is focused on, for example, the significance of literary awards for modern canonization processes and the relationship between literature critics and the reading public.

The course consists of two modules:

Module 1: Literary criticism and cultural theory, 2 credits
Module 2: English literature and literary awards, 5.5 credits

Expected learning outcomes

To be awarded a Pass grade, the student should be able to:
Knowledge and understanding

  • briefly describe literary canonization processes
  • account for the cultural significance of literary awards
  • account for, exemplify and discuss the relationship between social trends and their cultural manifestations
  • account for and discuss modern literary criticism and cultural theory

Competence and skills

  • independently analyze literary source materials
  • relate to relevant research to forward an academic argument
  • present and discuss award-winning works in an academic manner

Judgement and approach

  • critically examine primary sources  
  • critically examine academic argumentation
  • critically evaluate the role of literary criticism in canonization processes.

Required Knowledge

Univ: At least 90 ECTS in the academic subject English, including 15 ECTS with academic progression (corresponding to level 61-90 hp in the Swedish academic system), and of the latter at least 7.5 ECTS must be in English literature, or equivalent knowledge.

Form of instruction

The course is entirely net-based. Access to a computer is necessary to complete the assignments that are part of the course. Instruction consists of independent studies and group discussions via a learning platform. The student is expected to actively participate in discussions and complete written assignments. This is to be done within specified time frames. The medium of instruction is English and a knowledge of Swedish is not required.

Examination modes

All examination is conducted in English.

Module 1: Literary criticism and cultural theory, 2 credits
Examination consists of assessment of the student's active participation in group discussions on the learning platform.

Module 2: English literature and literary awards, 5.5 credits
Examination consists of assessment of the student's active participation in group discussions and of their individual written assignments.  

The examiner can decide on deviations from the modes of examination in the syllabus for a student who has been determined eligible for pedagogical support due to a disability. Individual adjustments to the mode of examination will be made on the basis of the student's needs. The mode of examination will be adjusted in relation to the expected learning outcomes. Student in need of Individual adjustments to the mode of examination, should request this at the department no later than 10 days before the examination. The examiner makes a decision based on the request, and the decision is communicated to the student.

The grades Pass with distinction (Väl godkänd (VG)), Pass (Godkänd (G)) and Fail (Underkänd (U)) are used in the assessment of written assignments, and the grades Pass (Godkänd) and Fail (Underkänd) are used in the assessment of group discussions.  

Grades awarded in the examination of Module 1 are Pass (Godkänd) or Fail (Underkänd). Grades awarded in the examination of Module 2 are Pass with distinction (Väl godkänd), Pass (Godkänd) or Fail (Underkänd). Where the examination of a module consists of several parts, the student must have passed all parts to receive a Pass grade. In order to be awarded the grade Pass with Distinction on the entire course, a student must have achieved that grade on Module 2.  
A student who has been awarded a Pass grade cannot be re-examined.
A student who has not received a Pass grade on an exam has the right to re-take the exam (a re-sit) on a course on which they have ever been registered. The first re-sit shall be offered no later than two months after the regular exam, but no earlier than ten working days after the result of that exam has been announced. For tests held in May or June, the first re-sit may be offered within three months of the regular exam. The date for the re-sit shall be announced no later than in conjunction with the regular exam. At least one more re-sit shall be offered within a year of the regular exam.  
In cases where an exam cannot be repeated according to the rules in effect regarding re-sits, it will be replaced with another task. The scope and content of such a task should be reasonably proportionate to the missed exam.
An examiner may decide that a student who has not quite met the examination requirements, but is close to a Pass grade, be given the opportunity to take a supplementary examination to achieve the Pass grade. Such an examination shall be individually tailored to the goal(s) that the student has not met, and shall be arranged within two weeks after the result of the examination has been announced, but before the next examination session. A supplementary examination can only raise a Fail grade to a Pass grade; award of a grade higher than Pass is not allowed. If the student so wishes, they have the right to take a re-sit instead of a supplementary examination, which gives them the opportunity to achieve a Pass with Distinction

Other regulations

The final date for the submission/completion of assignments falls on the last day of the semester, unless otherwise stated by the teacher. All assignments need to be completed or submitted within the time frame set by the teacher in order to be considered for examination, otherwise they must be completed over again.

In the event of a decision that the course will no longer be offered, or if the syllabus has been revised, students are guaranteed at least three exams (including the regular one) based on the previous syllabus during a time of no more than two years after the previous syllabus ceased to apply or the decision was made that the course no longer be offered.


Valid from: 2024 week 42

Coetzee J.M.
What is a classic?
Included in:
Current writing
Durban : University of Natal : 1989- : 5(2) : pages 7-24 :

English James F.
The Economy of Prestige
2005 :

Foucault Michel
"What is an author?"
Hämtas från http://www.english.upenn.edu/~cavitch/pdf-library/Foucault_Author.pdf : 1998 :

Adichie Chimamanda Ngozi
Half of a yellow sun
London : Harper Perennial : 2007 : 433, 16 s. :
ISBN: 978-0-00-720028-3
Search the University Library catalogue

Enright Anne
The gathering
1. pbk. ed. : New York : Black Cat : cop. 2007 : 260 p. :
ISBN: 978-0-8021-7039-2 (pbk.)
Search the University Library catalogue

Jones Lloyd
Mister Pip
London : Murray : 2008 : 219 s. :
ISBN: 0-7195-6994-X (pbk.) : £7.99
Search the University Library catalogue

Lessing Doris
The fifth child
New York : Vintage books : 1989 : 133 s. :
ISBN: 0-679-72182-7
Search the University Library catalogue