Dutch literature: introduction in literature

lgerm1134  2021-2022  Louvain-la-Neuve

Dutch literature: introduction in literature
5.00 credits
30.0 h + 15.0 h
De Strycker Carl (compensates Vanasten Stéphanie); Vanasten Stéphanie;
Level B1 of the Common Europea Framework of Reference for Languages
Main themes
Emphasis is placed on the critical reading and analysis of modern and contemporary literary texts. Various literary genres are studied : poetry, novels, short stories, theater.
Students are introduced to the main concepts, techniques and tools of literary criticism necessary in the study of scholarly texts.
The course introduces students to the core concepts of classical and postclassical narratology, the theory of literary genres and close textual readings of literary texts. Several aspects of literature, its effects (rhetorical, ethical, esthetic, etc.), its positioning (institutional, cultural, political) or its functions (place of memory, cognition, knowledge, etc.) are highlighted and illustrated by canonical texts.
An analysis of some chosen literary works will be presented based on current research methods
Learning outcomes

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

1 By the end of this course, students
- will have acquired the basic concepts and methods of literary research and analysis through critical reading of mainly modern and contemporary canonical texts ;
- will be able to identify and describe various scholarly methods of critical reading and study of literature ;
- will be able to analyze, interpret and comment on a poem, a short story, a novel and/or a play using a scholarly method ;
- will demonstrate their knowledge of basic literary vocabulary and terminology in Dutch studies.
This course aims to familiarize students with a wide variety of texts (genres, authors, periods, functions and effects) belonging to literature written in Dutch, and to help them take pleasure in reading those texts. Starting from a brief focus on the disciplinary field and the material conditions of book production, we will critically examine the criteria determining whether or not a text belongs to the category of "Dutch literature". The course then introduces the main theoretical, critical and methodological tools for approaching literary texts in their diversity: according to their genre (narrative, poetic, dramatic texts), their posterity (canonization, memory, circulation), their positioning (socio- cultural, political, institutional), their functions and effects (rhetorical, anthropological, ethical, aesthetic), the reading experience and the process of interpretation. Students are introduced to various methods of explanation of critical texts and paradigms whose main operating concepts are presented. Some canonical works or texts that are representative of the studied aspects are analyzed in detail.
The course also aims to deepen the students' autonomy in their reading and critical analysis of literary texts in Dutch, and introduces them to heuristic research in Dutch literary studies.
Teaching methods
Introduction to the main concepts of literary theory and criticism and to the tools of literary analysis (with reading assignments at home). Illustration and exploration of various issues through selected literary works. Students are expected to do their required readings before class. If necessary, open questions orient their reading and analysis.
Presentation of critical methods of analysis (with the help of excerpts from scholarly articles) and elaboration, in interaction with the teacher, of a personal and argued analysis where the group experiments with the text's virtualities, confronts points of view, evaluates the reading methods and questions their validity. Focus on the risk of plagiarism and the importance of intellectual integrity.
Students are expected to actively take part in the discussions. 3 compulsory written assignments will contribute to it.
The course includes 15 hours of workshops (seminar sessions) of exercices and text analysis in order to help students with the difficulties that may arise.
Evaluation methods
Continuous assessment : compulsory preparatory reading tasks, exercices integrated in the course book and workshops (to help students adapt to the academic context), self-learning tasks through Moodle. Active participation, including 3 compulsory assignments (critical synthesis and mind map, poem analysis, personal and critical comment of prose text): 20% (students will automatically get a failing mark for this part if assignments are not handed in).
Final evaluation: written exam on the course (60%) and oral exam consisting of a personal commentary on a text based on a scholarly article (20%).
The student’s mastery of written and spoken Dutch and the correct use of the disciplinary terminology are part of the assessment criteria.
For students who have to resit the exam, the assessment is divided as follows: written exam (70%) and oral exam (30%).
Other information
Teaching Materials:
handbooks of literary theory and textual analysis, anthology of chosen literary works and hand-outs; introductory guide to heuristics in Dutch literary studies (Moodle), film extracts, powerpoints on Moodle.
  • E. Van Boven & G. Dorleijn, Literair mechaniek. Bussum: Coutinho, 3de herziene druk, 2013.
  • E. van Alphen, L. Duyvendak, , M. Meijer en B. Peperkamp, Op poëtische wijze. Bussum: Coutinho, 1996.
  • J. Dera en C. De Strycker (red.), Gedichten van het nieuwe millennium. Gent: PoëzieCentrum, 2021.
Faculty or entity

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

Title of the programme
Learning outcomes
Bachelor in Modern Languages and Literatures : General

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

Minor in Dutch Studies