Comparative Literary Studies provides an introduction to the Western literary tradition from Antiquity to our present time. The development of the main genres:
- the epic
- lyrical poetry
is central to the course of study. We study the three main genres in a comparative perspective transcending eras, language barriers and geographical borders. This perspective on literary historicy is complemented with an introduction to the most important theories and methodologies of studies of literature. The time axis covers the literary development from Antiquity to present time.
Comparative Studies of Literature is a comparative subject area: No literary work stands alone, but always enters into dialogue with other works and must be understood in relation to these.
The comparative aspect is not limited to literature; we also emphasise the study of literary texts in relation to other art forms, such as pictorial art, film and music.
The course of study provides a basic introduction to Western literature and its function and value within different historical periods. We will explore a selection of main pieces of literary work from the different periods and the most important genres. The selected works will be studied in a literary historical perspective. Furthermore, the literary works are seen as part of contemporary aesthetical and cultural tendencies.
This course also provides an introduction to fundamental problems in modern literature theory and literary aesthetics, combined with an overview of central movements in literature theory.
Comparative Literary Studies provides students with essential and theoretical and analytical knowledge. Such competence is also relevant to other programmes of study within the Humanities (for example language studies, History, Religious studies, Philosophy, Film studies and Art History) and the Social Sciences (especially Psychology, Sociology and Social Anthropology). One or more of the disciplines mentioned above may with advantage be combined with Comparative Studies of Literature.