Seminar : comparative literature

lrom2755  2018-2019  Louvain-la-Neuve

Seminar : comparative literature
5 credits
15.0 h
Dehoux Amaury;
Main themes
A new question of comparative literature will be analyzed each year. The topic will be selected from one of the subfields of the discipline (comparative poetry, literary and cultural relations, literary theory). The question may potentially be derived from topics students are investigating for their thesis (in the case that enough students' interests overlap in terms of thematic, linguistic, theoretical and/or methodological dimensions).

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


- Introduce students to the methodologies and principles of the discipline through the analysis of a particular question of comparative literature.
- Provide students with an understanding of the essential structures and challenges of comparative literature and prepare them to undertake their own advanced research in the field of comparative literary studies.
- Encourage students to research questions related to national literature, as well as to expand their knowledge of foreign literature (Europe, Africa, America, Asia).
- Help student defining a research topic (by choosing a body of literature and a consistent methodological framework) and to analyze it using a critical approach and a comparative perspective.


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”.
In 2018-2019, the seminar of comparative literature will focus on the travel to the underworld. This topic has been widely used in literature. It has even produced one of the most canonical works of World Literature - Dante's Divine Comedy. It remains highly relevant in today's fictions. In fact, the travel to the underworld allows contemporary writers and readers to represent political issues such as borders issues - Yuri Herrera's Signs preceding the End of the World - and ontologies alien to Western modernity - Gary Victor's La Piste des sortilèges.
The seminar will thus analyze some poetical, political and cultural issues related to the travel to the underworld in literature.
Teaching methods
The seminar is based on the interactions between students. The teacher will briefly introduce students to the topic of the seminar. Then, students will have to discuss their literary and theoretical readings based on guidelines previously communicated. Furthermore, they will have to produce a mid-term paper that they will discussed with the teacher and used for their final paper.

Evaluation methods
The assessment of this seminar consists of three parts:   
1) An ongoing evaluation of the student active participation to the seminar (20%);
2) A mid-term paper (20%);
3) A final paper related to the topic of the seminar (60%).
The final paper will:
a) be handed by the first day of the relevant exams session (June or August);
b) be printed and posted in the teacher's box, but also electronically posted in PDF format on the Moodle website;
c) be a 8-to-10 written paper (Times New Roman 12 pt., 1.5 spacing and 2cm margins);
d) focus on at least 2 literary works from the readings and analyze a topic determined by the student based on the issues related to the travel to the underworld. Students may analyze innovative fictional works as long as they relevant when considering the topic of the seminar.
The final evaluation will take into account the attention given to the expression in French.
In case of failure in June, the assessment will consist of the same 3 parts in September, and the student will only have to hand a new version of his/-er final paper, while keeping the same grades for both his/-er ongoing evaluation and mid-term paper.
Other information
Some theoretical texts will be available only in English.
The students may read the novels in their original language, according to their linguistic skills.
Online resources
Moodle Website for the course
1) Œuvres au programme
Dante, La Divine Comédie, traduction et présentation par Jacqueline Risset, Paris, Flammarion, 2010 (GF).
Herrera Yuri, Signes qui précéderont la fin du monde, traduit de l’espagnol (Mexique) par Laura Alcoba, Paris, Gallimard, 2014 (Du monde entier).
Victor Gary, La Piste des sortilèges, La Roque d’Anthéron, Vents d’ailleurs, 2013.
2) Textes théoriques
Un portefeuille de textes théoriques sera disponible sur Moodle.
Faculty or entity

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

Title of the programme
Master [120] in Ancient and Modern Languages and Literatures

Master [120] in French and Romance Languages and Literatures : General

Master [120] in Anthropology

Master [120] in French and Romance Languages and Literatures : French as a Foreign Language

Master [120] in Modern Languages and Literatures : General