This Course, Literature in Context, is driven by the idea that our understanding of literary texts can be greatly enhanced by an appreciation of the context within which these texts were produced and read. Texts will be chosen with the express intention of exploring the historical, bibliographical, cultural, and philosophical period within which they are situated. While close reading is at the heart of any literary analysis, the emphasis in this course is moving from the text into the world
Course description for study year 2023-2024. Please note that changes may occur.
The course Literature in Context is driven by the idea that our understanding of literary texts can be greatly enhanced by an appreciation of the context within which these texts were produced and read. Texts will be chosen with the express intention of exploring the historical, bibliographical, cultural, and philosophical period within which they are situated. While close reading is at the heart of any literary analysis, the emphasis in this course is moving from the text into the world. Students will develop their critical literacy skills by actively investigating the relationship between both texts and authorship and the relevant historical periods. Emphasis will be put on thinking past the misconception that literature is a simple reflection of history. Instead, the course will examine the complex interplay between text and world, including the ways in which even ancient history can come into play to define the terms we use to understand multiple genres. Finally, while the course may treat different historical periods, it will seek to raise questions relevant to our current understanding of literature and its place in the contemporary world. The work done in the class will also help develop critical competencies in order to prepare students to write their MA theses.
The students will gain knowledge of
the complex and varied relationships between a text and its contexts
interpretative approaches including historical, biographical, cultural, and philosophical
reading and writing practices conducive to developing one's critical literacy
key theoretical concepts and critical debates in contemporary literary studies
significant literary-critical approaches and methodologies for disciplines across the arts and humanities
By the end of the course, students will be able to
situate texts in their contexts at an expert level
gain theoretical and historical fluency in the contextual periods covered
improve their ability to read texts critically and relate them to their theoretical and literary contexts
read, understand, and be able to summarize and present secondary material
make informed choices about literary-critical and analytical approaches that may be useful when planning a Master's thesis on a topic in literary studies
By the end of the course, the students will be able to
understand the complex relationship between literature and society from both a historical and theoretical perspective
explain complex ideas both orally and in writing
create new concepts through an examination of the dialectic between the scholarly field and the text
develop their ability to participate in academic and professional conversations
gain essential competences for professional life, including critical thinking, problem solving, creative innovation, and global cultural awareness
Required prerequisite knowledge
Required prerequisite knowledge equivalent for admission to the master in literacy program. A Bachelor's degree, which includes at least 80 ECTS credits in English language and/or literature is required. 30 credits of the 80 credits must be at advanced level.
Form of assessment
3500 words +/- 10%.
75% attendance, Short weekly writing
75 % attendance at seminars.
Short weekly writing assignments as assigned. Mandatory at the level of 75%. Deadlines set by the professors.
See the syllabus for deadlines. No late papers accepted unless by prior agreement with professors
Students who get one or more assignment assessed as not approved at their first attempt, are given one opportunity to hand in a revised assignment.
There must be an early dialogue between the course coordinator, the student representative and the students. The purpose is feedback from the students for changes and adjustments in the course for the current semester.In addition, a digital course evaluation must be carried out at least every three years. Its purpose is to gather the students experiences with the course.