29898 - Portuguese and Brazilian Literature 1 (LM)

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

A very good knowledge of Portuguese is essential, since the lessons will be taught in this language. Furthermore, the student has deep knowledge about the history of Portuguese and Brazilian literatures and cultures, with a particular attention paid to the relation between literary texts and the historical, artistic and linguistic contexts. He knows, and is able to use, practical and effective methods for the analysis and interpretation of literary texts and other cultural objects.

Course contents

The course is entitled "O paradigm from saudade na contemporary culture portuguesa: os fantasmas de África" it is taught in Portuguese and it aims to analyze the ontological category of "saudade" on the contemporary cultural scene, a dense laboratory of narrative and identity - elaborations that bring into play the still alive and unburied colonial past of Portuguese Africa. Through a careful philological path on this "feeling-concept" that iconically -probably for excess- represents an anthropological, not just cultural collective specificity, the reflection focuses on particular on the reuses -also political- of saudade as a device to recover an oriented and revisionist imagination of the twentieth century past about the long duration African experience. The "Portuguese time", defined by Eduardo Lourenço, contributes today to a significant extent to the relationship between the present and the future, shaping and turning more and more complex the horizon of the future.


Alfredo Antunes (1983) Saudade e profetismo em Fernando Pessoa: elementos para uma antropologia filosofica. Braga: Faculdade de Filosofia.

Fernando Guimarães (1988) Poética do Saudosismo. Lisboa: Presença

Eduardo Lourenço (1999) Portugal como destino seguido de Mitologia da saudade. Lisboa: Gradiva

Fernando Rosas (2018) História A História. África. Lisboa: Tinta da China.

António Braz Teixeira (2006) A filosofia da saudade. Lisboa: Quidnovi.

Teaching methods

The method proposed in the course is mixed: it provides, in addition to the traditional lessons, collective workshop for the discussion of common texts, the construction of specific thematic routes to each individual student, the planning shared by all the class of a work project, a final presentation of each personal work with the participation of all the class. In this way, the preparation is assessed partly during the course, not only in a final test.

Assessment methods

The exam aims to assess the achievement of the main learning objectives of the course, namely: forming a deep critical knowledge about the history and theory of Portuguese, Brazilian and African Portuguese-speaking literatures and cultures, with particular attention to the relation between literary texts and the historical, cultural and aesthetic contexts; strengthening a wide knowledge and use of critical methodologies and practices for the analysis and interpretation of literary texts and the historical and cultural contexts. The exam will be articulated on different tests that contribute to determine the final evaluation and disseminated during the course. In fact, it is articulated in different modes: organization of joint seminars where an active participation in the discussion is a favorable element for the assessment of the skills in order to achieve progressively and integrally the course objectives; preparation of a final work with a deep analysis of a topic among those approached during the course and its following discussion in the occasion of a final oral test on the main topics of the course. The student will be put in the condition, either through the lessons and an appropriate path of readings, to achieve the objectives of the course. The evaluation will be proportionate to the performance of the student in the different moments of the course. In this sense, it will be considereted satisfactory an informed knowledge of the main topics addressed, intersected with critical methodologies used during the development of the course. If this essential level is not achieved, the student will be put anyway in the condition, through an integrative program of individual readings, to reach an acceptable level of comptences. The articulation of the knowledges on a more varied and lucidly composed textual, contextual and critical framework, dialoguing not only with the premises but also with the most crucial topics of the course, in particular those of conceptual order, will add value to the overall evaluation of the student. Finally, in this context, the integration of a critical and orginal contribution, capable to open new and alternative perspectives of analysis and interpretation of the mains issues of the course, is evaluated as an excellent result of the student's performance.

Teaching tools

For its conceptual nature the course defines a strict dialogue between literatures, arts and cultures. For this reason, beside literary texts, to which a specific workshop (reading and commenting) will be dedicated, other multemedia and internet contents will be introduced, in order to build an organic and clear framework of the topic. Different materials and texts used during the lessons are made available to students through a collaborative platform set up specifically for the class.

Links to further information


Office hours

See the website of Roberto Vecchi

See the website of Roberto Mulinacci