Questions of Literary History

lrom2720  2022-2023  Louvain-la-Neuve

Questions of Literary History
5.00 credits
22.5 h
Main themes
Literary history is a critical construction, ever shifting, which tells us just as much about the context in which it is produced as the periods to which it refers: discourse which brings together past and present.
The course invites students to become aware of this phenomenon by discovering the principles and elements involved in the construction of this discourse.
Each year, a specific subject is chosen (an aspect of literary life, the development of a genre or a theme), which provides the main topic for study.
Learning outcomes

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

1 By the end of the course, students should be able to:

-         set discourse on literature in a historical context and know how to recognise the principles they employ. To identify accounts of literary history as examples of built discourse.
-         establish a link between literature theory (view of the the phenomenon of literature in general) and critique (view of individual works).
-         set literary studies in the context of social sciences.
-         produce a critique of the critique : to treat accounts of literary history as structures for analysis ; to highlight the strategies employed by different forms of criticism.
How has literary history been developed in France over time, from its first elaborations in the 16th century to the present day? What exactly is it composed of? What values (moral, political, poetic, ideological, epistemological) and what conception of literature does it construct and convey? These are the main issues that will be addressed in this course, which will consider literary history as a discipline, as it has been renewed in recent years by academic research. We will look at the history of the history of literature on the one hand, and the criticism of the history of literature on the other, which together form literary history.
After a few introductory sessions in which the professor will present the main issues of literary history, the following sessions will be devoted to specific case studies: either historiographical categories such as baroque, classicism, libertinage, romanticism, etc., or important figures who have contributed to shaping these categories and literary history in general, such as Perrault, Voltaire, Sainte-Beuve, Lanson, etc.
Teaching methods
Lecture for the introductory sessions.
Students will then be invited to actively participate in the course by preparing at home specific points covered during the sessions.
Evaluation methods
Written exam during the exam session.
Online resources
Principalement: Alain Vaillant, L'histoire littéraire, Paris, Armand Colin, 2017 (2e édition)
Une bibliographie complémentaire commentée sera donnée au fur et à mesure du cours.
A complementary commented bibliography will be given as the course progresses.
Faculty or entity

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

Title of the programme
Learning outcomes
Certificat universitaire en littérature

Master [120] in Anthropology

Master [120] in French and Romance Languages and Literatures : French as a Foreign Language

Master [120] in Communication

Master [120] in Translation

Master [60] in Ancient and Modern Languages and Literatures

Master [120] in Sociology

Master [120] in History

Master [120] in Ancient and Modern Languages and Literatures

Advanced Master in Gender Studies

Master [120] in Psychology

Master [120] in Ethics

Master [60] in French and Romance Languages and Literatures : General

Master [120] in Philosophy

Master [120] in French and Romance Languages and Literatures : General

Master [120] in Journalism