Dutch literature I: from the Middle Ages to the 18th century

lgerm1334  2020-2021  Louvain-la-Neuve

Dutch literature I: from the Middle Ages to the 18th century
Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the information below is subject to change, in particular that concerning the teaching mode (presential, distance or in a comodal or hybrid format).
5 credits
30.0 h + 7.5 h

The prerequisite(s) for this Teaching Unit (Unité d’enseignement – UE) for the programmes/courses that offer this Teaching Unit are specified at the end of this sheet.
Main themes
- Reflection on the concept of "history of literature": analysis of its methodological and disciplinary foundations (especially Dutch literature);
- Presentation of the history of Dutch literature and contextualization bearing in mind the main cultural, philosophical and political European productions;
- Description of its periodization from the Middle Ages to the 19th century ;
- Synthesis of the major literary productions and confrontation with the analysis of individual movements.
Compulsory readings of literary texts illustrate the course.

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

1 At the end of the course, students should be able to :
- read and understand texts in Dutch, from the Middle Ages to the 19th century ;
- explain the main developments of Dutch literature from the Middle Ages to the 18th century and relate them to different contexts (linguistic, cultural, philosophical, aesthetic, ideological, social, political) as well as the European literary context;
- situate the major authors and literary texts on a timeline (periods, movements, generations) and show the distinctive features of the literary facts by means of the history of literary criticism (aesthetics, genres, themes, poetics, genetics, media, reception, institution, etc.) ;
- critically discuss the legitimacy and the validity of the periodization used and write (from a historical and cultural perspective) some brief personal comments (essay, dissertation) on a literary text.
This course is devoted to the study of Dutch literature from the Middle Ages to the end of the 18th century. It explores main figures and founding texts in Dutch literature, situates them in their several historical contexts (linguistic, political, philosophical, social, cultural) and interrogates their circulation and posterity in the contemporary period. Major authors, prominent figures, literary movements and genres are considered and discussed critically. 
Teaching methods

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the information in this section is particularly likely to change.

The course includes lectures with Powerpoint and multimedia materials which focus on commented readings of literary texts (or excerpts) in Dutch chosen in a wide range of themes, registers, genres and periods. These texts, representative for the studied period, are read and prepared at home by all students.
The tutorials, conducted by a teaching assistent, help the students to understand the literary texts on the programm and to carry out text personal argumentated analyses with the help of scholarly ressources. Active participation is required.
Specific exercises during the course, the tutorials or as self-learning via Moodle, allow the student to familiarize with the evaluation method. Special attention is paid to the use of information and heuristic tools for the study of Dutch literature.
Evaluation methods

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the information in this section is particularly likely to change.

Assessment of the learning process (20 %): active participation of the student in the activities organised in the course of the semester, including presence at the workshops and special activities, and the performance of specific individual or group tasks aimed at reading and analysing texts 
Final assessment :
  • the written exam (60%) will be based on the historical survey that is offered in the formal lectures, and on the text syllabus (anthology of required reading).There will be an assessment of the students’ in-depth reading of the texts or extracts.
  • the oral exam (20%) is based on a short paper written by each student. This paper will have a link with one of the anthology texts (of one's choice). Its aim is to enable the lecturer(s) to assess the student’s ability to do research on a topic using scholarly methods. A preparatory document will be submitted that includes a mentioning of the sources that will be used. The final version will consist of a brief comment on the chosen text. It will be based on a sustained argument, and include a critical reflection on the origins of the text, its historical context and its effect.

Correct use of the Dutch language, especially written, is essential. The quality of the language will be taken into account for the assessment, and an excessive number of errors may lead to the student failing this part of the exam.
In case of a resit, the assessment of the separate parts will be as follows: a written exam (70%) plus an oral exam (30%) based on the short paper. For the oral exam, the student is at liberty to decide, after consulting the lecturer(s), to improve the short paper whilst keeping the text or topic submitted in the previous exam session.
Other information
Teaching material : texts (anthology), hand-outs and Powerpoint slides, audio and video sources, documents on Moodle
Bibliographie de référence:
Geschiedenis van de Nederlandse literatuur : dl 1 (I & II), dl 2, dl 3 en 4 (I). Amsterdam : Bert Bakker, 2006-2013. (en ligne)
Une bibliographie détaillée pour la période est mise à disposition sur Moodle.
Teaching materials
  • portefeuille de lectures (anthologie), hand-outs et Powerpoints en séance, enregistrements sonores et vidéos, ressources pédagogiques sur Moodle
Faculty or entity

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

Title of the programme
Minor in Literary Studies

Bachelor in Modern Languages and Literatures: German, Dutch and English

Minor in Dutch Studies

Bachelor in Modern Languages and Literatures : General