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

lgerm1334  2021-2022  Louvain-la-Neuve

Dutch literature I: from the Middle Ages to the 18th century
5.00 credits
30.0 h + 7.5 h
Latre Guido (compensates Vanasten Stéphanie); Vanasten Stéphanie;

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.
Learning outcomes

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, and cultural) and investigates their circulation and posterity in our own day and age. Major authors, prominent figures, literary movements and genres are considered and discussed critically. 
Teaching methods
The course includes formal lectures with Powerpoint and multimedia materials which focus on interpretations of literary texts (or excerpts) in Dutch chosen to include a wide variety of themes, registers, genres and periods.
These texts form a representative sample for the time periods under consideration, and are read and prepared at home by all students. A group visit to the Plantin Moretus Museum in Antwerp is obligatory and is an integral part of this first part of the course.
The second part of the course consists of tutorials conducted by a teaching assistant. These tutorials help the students to understand the literary texts of the corpus and to develop a personal argument when they present a literary analysis based on scholarly resources. Active participation is required.
Exercises on specific topics introduced in the formal lectures, the tutorials, or in self-learning via Moodle allow the students to make themselves familiar with the evaluation method. Special attention is paid to their gathering of data, their use of heuristic tools, and their research methods for the study of Dutch literature.
Evaluation methods
Assessment of the learning process (20 %): active participation of the student in the obligatory workshops and learning sessions; performance of three specific individual or group tasks aimed at reading and analysing texts.
Final assessment :
  • the written exam (60%) will be based on the historical survey and textual analyses 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 a text chosen by each individual student from the required reading list. 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 proper 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 materials : texts (anthology), hand-outs and Powerpoint slides, audio and video sources, documents on Moodle, and information in connection with the group visit to the Plantin Moretus Museum in Antwerp.
Online resources
Moodle, websites for several texts and for the guided tour of the Plantin Moretus Museum
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
  • anthologie van verplichte teksten
  • handouts
  • Powerpoint presentaties (op Moodle)
  • ander didactisch materiaal op Moodle
  • luister- en kijkmateriaal
  • informatie over het Plantin Moretus museum
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 Literary Studies

Minor in Dutch Studies