European Literatures I
Cod: 31096
Department: DH
Scientific area: Literature
Total working hours: 156
Total contact time: 15

Starting with a selection of foundational texts within the European literary tradition with a focus on the Enlightenment and early European Romanticism, this course unit seeks to question the very notion of European literature(s), exploring the main movements and literary sensibilities within this period in light of several recurring formative themes within the European imagination: linguistic awareness, love, the world as theatre, and voyage, whether errant or utopian.

  1. European Literatures
  2. Literary Trends
  3. Literary Myths
  4. Ideology and Literature

By the end of the course unit, the student will have demonstrated the following abilities:
- to develop a critical reflection on the idea of European literature (and related topics) in light of a particular literary or theoretical text;
- to situate within their respective historical, cultural, and poetic contexts, significant authors and works of European literature;
- to identify and analyze, in synchronic and diachronic terms( the latter understood as expressing continuities and transformations), themes, motifs, and myths cultivated within the European literatures.


1. The Identity/-ies of European Literature
1.1. Is there a European literature?
1.2. Literature, nation and myth
1.3. Periodological delimitation and developmental stages
2. From Medieval to (Pre)Romantic Literary Concepts 
2.1. From Latin to romance: the birth of European literatures
2.2. From the picaresque novel to Don Quixote: the knight errant and the redefinition of the subject
2.3. The world as theatre: from Shakespeare to Calderón de La Barca
2.4. Travel, utopia and modernity (Campanella, Thomas More, Voltaire and Swift)
2.5. Romanticisms
3. Paradigmatic European Works: Themes and Reception
3.1. Micromégas
3.2. Ossian – a European phenomenon
3.3. Faust (Parte I)

BACKÈS, Jean-Louis, A literatura europeia. Tradução de L. C. Feio, Lisboa, Instituto Piaget, 1999, 467 páginas.

Compulsory Reading
VOLTAIRE, François-Marie Arouet, Micromégas: (Edição em Português:
The Poetical Works of Ossian: (Em Português: Poesias de Ossian: Antologia das traduções em português, (org. Gerald Bär), Lisboa: Universidade Católica Editora, 2010.
GOETHE, Johann Wolfgang von, Faust (Der Tragödie Erster Teil): 
(Em Português: Johann W. Goethe, Fausto, Lisboa: Relógio D’Agua, 1999 (part I).

Complementary readings:
CALDICOTT, Edric; FUCHS, Anne (ed.), Cultural Memory: Essays in European Literature and History. Oxford, Berna, Berlim: Peter Lang, 2003.
GASKILL, Howard, (ed.), The Reception of Ossian in Europe, London, (The Athlone Critical Traditions Series: The Reception of British Authors in Europe), New York, NY: Thoemmes Continuum 2004.
LOURENÇO, Eduardo, Nós e a Europa ou as duas razões. Lisboa: I.N.C.M., 1994.
___________________, A Europa desencantada. Para uma mitologia europeia. Lisboa: Gradiva, 2001.
MAGNUS, Laurie, History of European Literature. Kennicat Press, 1970.
MEIZOZ, Jérôme (ed.), La Circulation internationale des littératures. Lausanne: Faculté des Lettres de Lausanne, 2006.
MORIN, Edgar, Culture et barbarie européennes. Paris: Bayard, 2005.
RUSS, Jacqueline, A aventura do pensamento europeu. Uma história das ideias ocidentais. Lisboa: Terramar, col. «Europa», 1997.
TIEGHEM, Paul van, Histoire Littéraire de l’Europe et de l’Amérique de la Renaissance a nos jours. Paris: Linrairie Armand Colin, 1941.


Continuous assessment is privileged: 2 digital written documents (e-folios) during the semester (40%) and a final digital test, Global e-folio (e-folio G) at the end of the semester (60%). In due time, students can alternatively choose to perform one final exam (100%).