The Text: Approaches to Comparative Literature - CP510

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2017-18 2018-19
Canterbury Autumn and Spring
View Timetable
5 30 (15) DR X Li







This module is designed to give a theoretically-grounded understanding of Comparative Literature and its methods. Students will have an overview of the brief history, fundamental debates, theories and different areas of focus of the discipline of Comparative Literature, as well as learning about the important schools of literary theory that are relevant to Comparative Literature.


This module appears in:

Contact hours

This module will be taught by means of a one-hour lecture and a two-hour seminar for twenty weeks


This module is core for Stage 2 Single Honours Comparative Literature students

Method of assessment

100% coursework

Preliminary reading

Indicative list, current at time of publication. Reading lists will be published annually
Beckett, S. (1995) Lessness. New York: Grove Press
Borges, J.L. (1995) Death and the Compass. London: Calder
Culler, J. (1997) Literary Theory. Oxford: Oxford University Press
Gogol, N. (1998) The Nose. New York: Penguin
Hillis Miller, J. (2002) On Literature. London: Routledge
Hoffmann, E.T.A. (2004) The Sandman. London: Penguin
Kafka, F. (1972) Before the Law. New York: Penguin
Lodge, D. (ed.), (2000) Modern Criticism and Theory, Thirds Edition. New York: Routledge
Mallarmé, S. (1996) A Throw of the Dice. New York: New Directions

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

See the library reading list for this module (Medway)

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
8.1 demonstrate literary-critical competence at a higher level than at Stage 1 (The Tale) in assessing aspects of textual transmission, literary archetypes, narrative form, strategies of interpretation, symbolism and the like through a linked series of comparative enquiries;
8.2 identify literary themes, motifs, structures, and authorial strategies and situate these within wider critical perspectives and apply technical terms as appropriate;
8.3 show they have acquired a good knowledge and critical understanding of the various types of interpretative tools;
8.4 demonstrate a firm grasp of the essentials of comparative methodology and be able to develop independent critical arguments concerning a wide variety of literary material of varied linguistic and cultural origin;
8.5 define the fundamentals of a general comparative theory of literature and have specific knowledge of some important schools of criticism, while also becoming aware of the limitations of these approaches as well as their potentialities.

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