Language: NOR | ENG

2ENL51-14 Utopia/Dystopia


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 toward utopia and dystopia in literature and other relevant artistic expressions between the 16th century to today
  • has an understanding of how ideas and attitudes related to texts engendered by or responding to political upheaval have been impacted by their historical and cultural contexts
  • has knowledge about the major critical theories pertaining to various aspects of utopia/dystopia
  • has knowledge about how generic and formal traits in literature and other artistic forms are linked to utopic/dystopic textual expression


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 periods marked by strong political dissent, democratic societies produce works of art imagining better ways – or worse ones – for (re-)organizing power.
  • In this course, we will engage critically with various ideas of utopia and dystopia through diverse theories on idealism, disaster narratives, speculative fiction and the like.
  • Engage critically with the idea of utopia/dystopia in a selection of relevant theory, films, poetry, short stories, and novels from the 16th century to today.
  • Read utopia/dystopia in relation to the cultures that engendered them. These terms will be understood as widely as possible for increased understanding of the uses of utopia/dystopia today.

Arbeids- og undervisningsformer

Ways of working:

Teaching takes the form of interactive lectures and seminars, student presentations and discussions. The learning platform Canvas 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 obligatory 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



Individual three-day 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.