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Core curriculum: Introduction to Literary Theory


Admission requirements

Not applicable


This course is part of the Core Curriculum programme of the Faculty of Humanities. It offers an introduction into scholarly approaches to, and the history and analysis of European literature. The medium used by literature, i.e. language, is considered time and again in relation to other media (like theatre, painting, radio, film). After the introduction important genres and concepts from contemporary literary theory are deing dealt with in connection to historical periods in European history and in relation to key political issues. Some examples: fiction and world, identity, authority, open and closed production of meaning, intertextuality, form and affect, interes, nation-state and the sublime, media, the virtual, representation, hybridity, the Anthropocene. In this eay students become familiar with internationally recognized forms of periodization, but also with the intrinsic relations between aesthetics and politics, or literature and the political, and with the possible relations between media. They get basic traning in the analysis of texts. And they get an overview of important apporaches to literature.

Course objectives

After having followed this course:

  • Students will have acquired knowledge of internationally accepted forms of periodization;

  • Are they able to recognize different scholarly approaches to literature and are they able to position themselves in relation to them;

  • Are they knowledgable about forms of analysis, and are they able to work with them;

  • Students have basic knowledge end skills that allow them to start to work in an interdisciplinary field (literature in relation to philosophy, theology, political theory, history, art history) or an intermedial field (literature in relaton to photography, film, radio, theatre, music etc.)


The timetable is available on the core curriculum website

Mode of instruction


Assessment method

Students will be:

  • Working with the material at home and in class where we are testing on a weekly basis whether the knowledge and skills needed are in place, so no separate testing is needed

  • Doing a take home exam at the end of the course

Only the take home exam can be part of a resit.

Reading list

Not applicable


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable


Dr. L. van Kessel


Not applicable