The History of British and American Literature and Ideas

15 Credits
First Cycle Level 1
School of Language, Literatures and Learning
Subject field
English (ENA)
Group of Subjects
Disciplinary Domain
Humanities, 100%
This course can be included in the following main field(s) of study
Progression indicator within (each) main field of study
Approved, 14 January 2016.
This syllabus is valid from 14 January 2016.

Learning Outcomes

On completing the course the student will be able to:

  • demonstrate knowledge of the historical development of British and American literature from the perspective of the history of ideas
  • account for main features in the Anglo-Saxon world of literarature and history of ideas, from the Renaissance to Postmodernism, by associating representative literary works with corresponding trends in the history of ideas
  • explain and argue for similarities and differences in the historical development of British and American history of ideas and literary history in speech and writing
  • show proficiency in critically reflecting, analysing and interpreting literary texts from a historical and contextual perspective, with a certain degree of independence, both orally and in writing
  • orally and in writing to communicate their own and others’ interpretations of trends in the history of ideas and in literary texts, showing inter-cultural understanding and ethical awareness
  • write an academic essay.

Course Content

The course consists of the study of British and American literature and their history of ideas from the Renaissance to Postmodernism.The historical development is studied by examining the history of ideas in conjunction with a close reading of a selection of representative works of literature. In this way, greater importance is given to the student’s own understanding of the significance and function of the literary texts rather than knowledge of historical events. Special attention is given to the contemporary viewpoint and, to a certain extent, the reassessment of historical Anglo-Saxon history of ideas and literature by highlighting aspects such as colonialism, imperialism, power, gender, race and class. The course includes two modules:
Module 1 covers the British and American literature and their history of Ideas from Renaissance to Postmodernism.
Module 2 consists of the writing of an academic literary essay with essay supervision and a final defence seminar.


Module 1 is examined by continual assessment of seminar participation, written assignments and by a written exam.
Module 2 is examined by writing a 3500 word academic essay; the student is required to present and defend their essay, and to give constructive feedback to their peers at a defence seminar.

Forms of Study

Teaching consists of lectures and obligatory seminars, where active participation is required in the form of oral presentations and written assignments. All teaching is in English.


The Swedish grades U - VG

Grade reporting:
Module 1: Literature history from renaissance to postmodernism - 10 cr
Module 2: Essay - 5 cr


  • Literature in English 7.5 credits first cycle Level 1 or equivalent knowledge

Other Information

Replaces EN1113.