Language: NOR | ENG

2ENL51-9 Monsters and Monstrosity


Upon successful completion of the course, the student will have achieved the following learning outcomes: 


The student

  • has broad and comprehensive knowledge about various expressions of and attitudes to difference in literature and other relevant artistic expressions from the 19th century to today
  • has an understanding of how ideas and attitudes to difference have changed historically
  • has knowledge about the major theories pertaining to various ideas of difference
  • has knowledge about how generic and formal traits in literature and other artistic forms are linked to expressions of difference


The student

  • can analyse literary texts and other relevant artistic expressions
  • can identify basic literary devices, styles, and periods
  • can apply theoretical perspectives in analysing literature and other relevant artistic expression
  • can demonstrate an understanding of the major ethical issues involved in the topic

General competence

The student

  • has insight into relevant academic and professional ethical issues
  • can plan and carry out relevant assignments and projects over time, alone or as part of a group, and in accordance with ethical requirements and principles
  • can communicate important academic subject matters such as theories, problems and solutions, both in writing and orally
  • can exchange opinions and experiences with others with a background in the field, thereby contributing to the development of good practice



  • In a society committed to eradicating structural inequalities and discrimination – institutionalised or other, ‘difference’ is often thought of in the negative sense of differing from a norm, and, as such, a problem to be dealt with.
  • In this course, we will engage critically with various ideas ofdifference through various theories on monsters and the monstrous, 19th century narratives of madness, gothic narratives, and tales of the abnormal.
  • Engage critically with the idea of monstrosity in a selection of relevant theory, films, poetry, plays, short stories, and novels from the 19th century to today.
  • Read the monster in relation to the culture that engendered it. Consequently, ‘monsters and monstrosity’ will be understood as widely as possible: as metaphors for cultural ‘fears, anxieties and desires’, personal or cultural crises, evil in a secular society – something that ‘warns’ as well as ‘reveals’ (Jeffrey Jerome Cohen, 1996, Monster Theory, p. 4).

Arbeids- og undervisningsformer

Ways of Working

Teaching takes the form of interactive lectures and seminars, student presentations and discussions. A digital learning platform is used for course information and guidance. Regular and active participation in seminars is required.

Obligatoriske krav som må være godkjent før eksamen kan avlegges

Obligatory requirements that must be approved in order to take the examination

  • An attendance record of at least 80 % according to the semester plan. Students are responsible for registration of attendance
  • 2 assignments (oral and / or written) within specified deadlines for the course. The assignments must be approved by the teacher no later than 2 weeks before the exam



Three day individual take-home exam graded on a scale from A to F. A is the highest pass grade and E is the lowest pass grade. Both content and English language skills must satisfy minimum requirements in order for a candidate to obtain a pass grade.