Dutch literature: Contemporary Dutch literature

lgerm2732  2022-2023  Louvain-la-Neuve

Dutch literature: Contemporary Dutch literature
5.00 credits
22.5 h
Have passed the bachelor courses in Dutch literature and have a good proficiency in Dutch (advanced level, B2 + of the Common European reference framework).
Main themes
The course aims to familiarize students with contemporary Dutch-speaking literature. We will study the profile and positioning of the subject selected, from the second half of the 20th century right up to the contemporary period. Attention will be paid to various genres (drama, novels, poetry, short stories, essays) and media (paper, digital , film, audio)  The themes are illustrated by the analysis of representative works.
Learning outcomes

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

1 At the end of the course, students:
-will have acquired a broad knowledge of Dutch literary culture.
- will be able to explain the main developments in the history of Dutch-speaking literature of the contemporary period
- will be able to analyze current literary texts taking into account various contexts,  demonstrating critical thinking related to the discussed topic.
- will be able to track, report and process significant information from current literary developments with some critical background
- will be able to produce a coherent and relevant discourse on a given problem, and articulate it accurately and clearly in both written and spoken form, and thus communicate their  knowledge to peers.
A preliminary historiographical synthesis will be presented to the students and discussed. As an introduction, we will question how contemporary Dutch Literature presents and constitutes itself. Which are its particularities, its pivots, its actors – the remarkable authors and oeuvres that assure its visibility, those that do not break through? And to which other culture(s) and norm(s) does such an entity relate? We will present some actual paradigms of contemporary Dutch-language literary production, which will be discussed by making use of recent critical approaches.
We will subsequently concentrate on an in-depth study (based on specific research questions) of authors and texts of various genres that are considered as prominent examples of contemporary Dutch-language literature.
Teaching methods
The course aims at a dynamic, motivating and interactive mode of learning.
Familiarization with historiographical turning points by way of personal reading at home of chosen extracts from literary histories, interactive exercises and collective synthesis during the seminars.
Main introductory statements. The presented critical paradigms and approaches define the methodological and conceptual framework within which the textual analyses can be pursued.
The chosen literary works are subsequently analysed in a profound manner. They are introduced by the teacher and prepared at home and in small groups by the students, in the light of a given research question. The students present the results of their analysis in interaction and collaboration with their colleagues and submit a written report to the teacher afterwards.
Active Learning Pedagogy. Collaborative learning through Moodle, where a platform permits to the participants to share ideas, to interact and to stimulate the development of critical reflection.
Evaluation methods
Formative assessment (50 %)
  • All texts and materials are read and prepared at home by all the students. Targeted tasks (see Moodle) complete the preparation of course sessions. Active participation in the discussions. Short personal overview of contemporary developments in Dutch-language literature. (20%);
  • Group work (30%) which consists of an oral presentation about a chosen literary text from the corpus. For each group: defining a precise research question that has been validated by the teacher in advance, critical reading of relevant scientific articles about the subject, profound analysis of the literary text under study, extracts to support the analysis. Personal, original commentary that is well-documented in accordance with the expected academic conventions. Presentation and discussion for the other students. The results of the debates are integrated into a synthetic document that will be submitted through Moodle.
Final evaluation (50%)
  • Written exam on the recent paradigms of contemporary Dutch-language literature, on the key concepts and the discussed critical approaches in relation to the study of chosen authors and works. (20%; in case of failure, two points are removed from the final overall score);
  • Personal research paper (in the form of a scholarly article) about one or several text(s) of contemporary Dutch-language literature, to be validated by the teacher). This final work may be based on a prior task of the formative assessment, enhanced by discussions, and will be maximized by taking into account the overall perspective of the course and a new personal contribution to existing research. Oral interrogation. (30%).
The language level of the student will be taken into account during the exam.
For students who have to resit the exam, the assessment is divided as follows: written exam (50%), oral exam about the personal research paper (50%).
Other information
Course material : literary texts, theoretical and/or critical readings (see bibliography) available on Moodle, online or in the University Library; hand-outs and PowerPoints, pedagogical tools via Moodle.
Bibliographie voir Moodle
Teaching materials
  • Hugo Brems, Altijd weer vogels die nesten beginnen. Amsterdam: Bert Bakker, 2005.
Faculty or entity

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

Title of the programme
Learning outcomes
Certificat universitaire en littérature

Master [60] in Modern Languages and Literatures : German, Dutch and English

Master [60] in Modern Languages and Literatures : General

Master [120] in Modern Languages and Literatures : German, Dutch and English

Master [120] in Modern Languages and Literatures : General