Literature in Context: History and Theory

Language of instruction



Students are required to have passed an introductory module in literature at Bachelor-level. The level of English language skills required for this course should correspond to the level achieved on successful completion of the Language Skills and Culture introductory module.


This two-semester module consists of a weekly lecture in the first semester and a self-study component in the second semester. In order to provide students with a historical survey, the module traces the forms and evolution of poetry, fiction, drama and non-fictional prose from the Renaissance to the present. The lecture introduces the individual periods in literary history and analyses selected literary examples in their respective historical, cultural and artistic contexts. Enlarging upon the material discussed in the lecture in the first semester, students spend the second semester reading a selection of texts they chose from the reading list (available in the Downloads section) in addition to a number of set texts from the lecture and an introduction to literary theory. The module concludes with a final oral exam at the end of the second semester.

Learning outcomes

Students are able to: (a) reproduce the key features of all the literary periods from the Renaissance to the present; (b) list and describe a range of texts written in different genres; (c) contextualize these texts by relating them to their specific historical, cultural and artistic contexts; (d) identify specific features of a particular literary period in textual examples; (e) outline the most important schools in literary theory and apply theoretical concepts in their discussion of literary texts.


Lecture and self-studies