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Literature and nation


Admission requirements

Not applicable


How has Brazil as nation been imagined, defined, contested in literature and culture? How have different identities and subjectivities been articulated, represented, (re)claimed in literature and its dialogues with other arts? We will consider topics such as the aesthetic and cultural impact of the Modernist movement of the early 20th century, we will study some of Brazil’s most trailblazing writers, such as Graciliano Ramos, who re-inscribed some of Brazil’s forgotten landscapes into the national consciousness. We will also consider contemporary cultural productions, such as the increasingly visible Afro-Brazilian movement. The course will address the role of literature and culture in the establishment of a sense of national identity vis-à-vis Brazil’s colonial past, the relationship between sertão (hinterland) and city, region and nation, migration, race and gender.

Course objectives

To gain an understanding of the development of key themes and images in Brazilian literature and culture in the shaping and critiquing of the national identity in the 20th and 21st centuries.
To familiarize students with Brazilian cultural theories, literary criticism and theoretical frameworks which help illuminate the texts at hand.
Develop critical and analytical skills through close textual analysis. Develop presentation skills (written and oral) and research skills.



Mode of instruction

  • Lecture

  • Seminar

Course Load

  • Total course of 5 EC is 140 hours.

  • Hours spent on attending lectures: 2 hours per week x 13 weeks = 26 hrs

  • Time for studying the compulsory literature/view films/material online: 70 hours time for completing assignments or preparation classes: 10 hours

  • Time to write essays (incl.preparation/research): 34 hours

Assessment methodResit: essay submission.

Assessment and grading method (in percentages):.

2 essay compositions, one of which to be submitted at the end of the course (approx. 1000-1500 and 2000-2500 words respectively) (Major students: in Portuguese). First essay 35% of mark, 2nd essay 40%, plus class presentation weighted at 25% of final mark.

The final grade for the course is established by determining the weighted average

Resit: essay submission (2500 words).



Reading list

Reading list will be made available to students in due course.


Via uSis.


Dr.Sara Brandellero