Introduction to Literary Studies - 2nd semester


Students should develop skills of reading and understanding theoretical and literary texts, becoming acquainted with different concepts and modalities of interpretation. Furthermore, they will enhance knowledge of fundamental texts of the Western tradition, confronting ancient and modern works. This confrontation allows for the acquisition of instruments of literary analysis which exceede the limits of space, time, language or genre

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Pedro Sepúlveda


Weekly - 4

Total - Available soon

Teaching language





Aristóteles. Poética. Trad. Ana Maria Valente. Pref. Maria Helena da Rocha Pereira. 4.ª Edição. Lisboa: Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, 2011.
Eagleton, Terry. Introduction: What is literature?. In Literary theory: an introduction. Second Edition. Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press, 1996. 1-14.
Kafka, Franz. Os Filhos – três histórias. Trad. Álvaro Gonçalves. Lisboa: Assírio & Alvim, 2007.
Platão. A República. Int., trad. e notas Maria Helena da Rocha Pereira. 6.ª edição. Lisboa: Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, 1990. 86-136, 451-477.
Sokel, Walter H. Beyond Self-Assertion: A Life of Reading Kafka. In A Companion to the Works of Franz Kafka. Edited by James Rolleston. Rochester & Suffolk: Camden House, 2002. 33-59.

Teaching method

Teaching methodology combines lecture and discussion of the reading assignments for each class.

Evaluation method

The preparation of the reading assignments and the participation in the discussion is a relevant element of the evaluation, including a short written exercise in class (20%). Two written tests will be done in class, one midterm and one final test (each one 40% of the final grade).

Subject matter

The discussion of theoretical concepts and modalities of interpretation of the literary text will be articulated with readings of excerpts from two founding works of the Western notion of Literature, Plato´s Republic and Aristotle´s Poetics. These works will be confronted with modern theoretical perspectives and literary texts, through examples analysed in class. Different modalities of reading will be discussed regarding the interpretation of modern poetry and of Kafka´s stories The Judgment and The Transformation (The Metamorphosis).


Programs where the course is taught: