General and Comparative Literature : Methods and Practices

lfial1330  2017-2018  Louvain-la-Neuve

General and Comparative Literature : Methods and Practices
3 credits
30.0 h
Dufays Sophie;
This course completes the introduction to European literature begun in course LFIAL 1130, which is a prerequisite.

The prerequisite(s) for this Teaching Unit (Unité d’enseignement – UE) for the programmes/courses that offer this Teaching Unit are specified at the end of this sheet.
Main themes
1. Present the variety of fields of study, methods, practices, theoretical issues and perspectives of general and comparative literature, both as a critical methodology employed in the study of literature and the ways the latter is practiced around the world.
2. Provide, through this systematic introduction to the discipline, research tools in general and comparative literature, as well as instruction for the preparation of written work relevant to the comparative demonstration (comparative comment of reading notes, etc.).
3. Studies of specific subjects according to comparative methodology and within the broader and theoretical perspective of general literature. The content of the courses offered to students will allow them to come to a clear understanding - through an immediate application consisting of an in-depth study of certain subjects - of the fundamental principles that define this discipline.

At the end of this learning unit, the student is able to :


Understand whether and how cultures and literatures of different periods and linguistic traditions, European and international, interact, according to different phenomena and modalities (readings, translations, travels, loans, adjustments, etc.) within a literary, unitary, constant and simultaneous comprehension of the world.
Explore different critical approaches to literary texts and various methods of analysis applied to literary and artistic facts, with the ultimate aim of implementing a theoretical approach to literature.
By the end of the course, students will have developed a broad and supranational vision of literature as it is produced and read in different countries around the world. They will be able to move, in a systematic and relevant way, within different coherent sets of literary and artistic productions, without temporal, geographic or linguistic limitations.
The comparative approach, based on the simultaneous and joint study of at least two languages and literatures, also constitutes an occasion for students to satisfactorily engage with the new and broadened linguistic and literary knowledge they will have acquired or will be in the process of acquiring within the training provided in their curriculum.


The contribution of this Teaching Unit to the development and command of the skills and learning outcomes of the programme(s) can be accessed at the end of this sheet, in the section entitled “Programmes/courses offering this Teaching Unit”.
The course will be divided into two parts.
(1) overview of the methodologies and the issues related to Comparative Literature, with a special focus on the relationships between literature and other arts, mostly cinema (cinematographic adaptations, novelizations, influences, inspirations, multiple reformulations)
(2) historical and intermedial path of melodrama from the French Revolution. This second part will consist of several comparisons between various artistic media (theater, novel, short story, silent and talking film), fictional genres, texts and films from various geographical and linguistic areas (France, USA, Mexico, Russia)
Teaching methods
- Lectures.
- Requiered readings (see « Bibliography »)
Evaluation methods
Written exam on the contents of the course and required readings/films.
Other information
Online resources
Lectures obligatoires:
- Pixerécourt, Coelina ou l'enfant du mystère (pdf en ligne :

- Honoré de Balzac, Adieu (n'importe quelle édition) ;

- Henry James, Le Tour d'écrou (The Turn of the Screw) (traduit par Monique Nemer par ex. dans la récente réédition du Livre de poche) ;

- Maxime Gorki, Les Bas-Fonds (par ex. traduit par Génia Cannac, éd. de L'Arche)

- extraits d'autres romans (e.a. de Dostoïevski) et d'une série de textes théoriques (e.a., l'introduction et la conclusion de L'Imagination mélodramatique de Peter Brooks) qui seront disponibles sur Moodle

Les titres des films à voir obligatoirement seront communiqués au début du cours.
Faculty or entity

Programmes / formations proposant cette unité d'enseignement (UE)

Title of the programme
Bachelor in Ancient and Modern Languages and Literatures

Bachelor in French and Romance Languages and Literatures : General

Bachelor in Ancient Languages and Literatures : Classics

Bachelor in Modern Languages and Literatures: German, Dutch and English

Bachelor in Modern Languages and Literatures : General

Minor in French Studies

Minor in Literary Studies