terça-feira, 15 de março de 2011

Course Syllabus (to be updated...)

Introduction to Literature in English

Course Syllabus

Prof. Lavinia Silvares

Class days:

March – 11, 18, 25

April – 1, 8, 15, 29

May – 6, 13, 20, 27

June – 3, 10, 17

July – 1, 8 (?)

Total days: 16 (15 days of class + 1 day of assessment)


Prof. Lavinia Silvares



Teacher's room 21 (above the library staircase)

General plan:

Part I. Theory: Historical perspectives and the writing of literature

2 classes

Part II. Theory: The different genres of literary texts

2 classes

Part III. Reading: Literature 1 – Origins up to the 1700s

3 classes

Part IV. Reading: Literature 2 – Mid 18th century up to the 1850s

4 classes

Part V. Reading: Literature 3 – Mid 19th century up to contemporary literature in English

4 classes


1 class

Assessment method:

1 take-home individual assignment (40%)

1 in-class individual assignment (40%)

Weekly readings (20%)

General bibliography:

To be distributed in class and available at my folder

Additional information:

Study groups on Literature will be held every 15 days, on Fridays, from 6PM to 7PM

Student frequency requirement: 75%

Part I – Historical perspectives and the writing of literature

Class 1 (11/03). Introduction

  1. Notions of historical periods and literary movements: discussing the horizontal timeline as a system of representation.
  2. The historicity of "literature": the different genres and their functions; lyrical poetry; the epic; the satire; the essay; the novel; the short-story; drama etc.
  3. Perspectives on the construction of canon / pantheon / tradition
  4. The composition; the poet (poiétes); the reader: "O poeta é um fingidor. / Finge tão completamente / Que chega a fingir que é dor / A dor que deveras sente." (Fernando Pessoa, "Autopsicografia"). "the poet, like a painter or any other image-maker, is a mimetic artist" (Aristotle, Poetics, XXV)

Readings for next class:

Aristotle. Poetics, IX. London: Harvard University Press, 1995.

Koselleck, Reinhart. "Prefácio", in Futuro Passado: contribuição à semântica dos tempos históricos. Rio de Janeiro: Contraponto / PUC-Rio, 2006, p. 13-18.

Eliot, T. S. "Tradition and individual talent", in Selected Essays (1917-1932). New York: Harcourt, 1932, p. 3-11.

Assignment: write a paragraph (main ideas) for each text you read; be sure to bring it to class for discussion.

Class 2 (18/03). Reading, interpreting, discussing

  1. Discussion of texts read for homework
  2. Aristotle's Poetics: notions of "mimesis" (P., I), "poiein" (P., I), "poietés" (P., I), "drama" (P., III), "universal" (P., IX)

"A Poet is as much to say as a maker. And our English name well conforms with the Greek word: for of poiyin to make, they call a maker Poeta." (George Puttenham, The Arte of English Poesie, 1589, I: 1). "Poesie: an art not only of making, but also of imitation" (idem)

"Poetry is the expression of the imagination" (Shelley, A Defense of Poetry, 1821)

  1. "imitation" and "emulation": Cicero, Horace, Quintilian, Longinus
  2. The concepts of "author", "authorship", "authority"
  3. Rhetoric and Aesthetic
  4. Readings in class:
  1. Shakespeare: "Hold, hold, my heart; [...]" (in Hamlet, Act. I, Sc. v.), 1603
  2. Shelley: "To a Skylark" (in Prometheus Unbound), 1820

Readings for next class:

Burke, Peter. "Origins of Cultural History", in Varieties of Cultural History. UK: Cornell U. P., 1997, p. 1-22.

Chartier, Roger. "Mistério estético e materialidades da escrita", in Inscrever & apagar: cultura escrita e literatura. São Paulo: Ed. UNESP, 2007, p. 9-22.

Assignment: write a paragraph (main ideas) for each text you read; be sure to bring it to class for discussion.

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