Introduction to the Theory of Literature


Admission requirements

Basic eligibility for university studies and the higher education course English I, 30 credits


Syllabus for students spring 2019, spring 2018

Course Code:
EN241B revision 1.2
Level of specialisation
Main fields of study:
Date of ratification:
15 November 2017
Decision-making body:
Faculty of Culture and Society
Enforcement date:
15 January 2018
Replaces Syllabus ratified:
16 November 2016

Entry requirements

Basic eligibility for university studies and the higher education course English I, 30 credits

Specialisation and progression relative to the degree regulations

The course can normally be included as a part of a general degree at undergraduate level.


In the course the students learn how different theories of literature have emerged as responses to particular issues in literature, in other theories of literature, and outside literature. The students learn to frame literary issues using concepts in literary theory.


During the course the students develop an understanding of different theories of literature, and gives students tools to frame literary issues in theoretically informed ways.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding
After completing this course, the student

1) understands some of the most important distinctions in the theory of literature;

Competence and skills
After completing this course, the student

2) can practice techniques of analysis through concepts and reflect on their own ability to produce interpretations, and;

Judgement and approach
After completing this course, the student

3) can seek and evaluate further information within the field of literary theory.

Learning activities

The language of instruction is English.

Learning activities are lectures, seminars, written assignments, self-studies of course literature and independent work on a particular topic.


The course is examined through one oral exam (2,5 credits) and one written assignment (5 credits). Learning outcomes 1 and 3 are examined in the oral exam, and outcomes 1, 2 and 3 in the written assignment.

Grading system

Excellent (A), Very Good (B), Good (C), Satisfactory (D), Pass (E) or Fail (U).

Course literature and other teaching materials

The Norton Anthology of Theory & Criticism, 2nd edition, ed. Vincent B. Leitch et al. (W.W. Norton & Co. 2010)
William Shakespeare, Othello, ed. Edward Pechter (Norton Critical Editions 2017)
Virginia Woolf, Mrs Dalloway, ed. Merry M. Pawlowski (Oxford World’s Classics 2000)
Further materials to be made available via Its Learning.

Course evaluation

The course is concluded with an individual course evaluation focusing on the goals of the course. The evaluations are summarized and made available to the students at the completion of the course.

Interim rules

When a course is no longer given, or when the content has been changed to a large degree, the student will be offered two opportunities, during a one year period, to be examined according to the course plan which was valid at the time of registration.

Other Information

The language of instruction is English.


The education is provided by the Faculty of Culture and Society at the department School of Arts and Communication.

Further information

Studentservice, K3 - Malmö universitet,


21 January 2019 - 31 March 2019 Day-time 50% Malmö This course is offered as part of a program