BA Spanish and Portuguese / Course details

Year of entry: 2022

Course unit details:
Brazilian Literature

Unit code SPLA20832
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 2
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by Spanish, Portuguese and Latin
Available as a free choice unit? Yes


Brazil is a large, multi-ethnic country, marked by deep social and geographical contrasts. This course will discuss different aspects of Brazilian culture and society through the analysis of representative works from Brazilian literature. By reading original texts in Portuguese, students will significantly improve their vocabulary and syntax while developing a sophisticated knowledge of Brazilian literature and culture.


Unit title Unit code Requirement type Description
SPLA52030 Pre-Requisite Compulsory
Portuguese Language 1 SPLA52010 Pre-Requisite Compulsory

This unit is available as free choice with knowledge of the target language.


On successful completion of this course unit, students will be able to:

Teaching and learning methods

The majority of lectures for this course unit will be delivered online.

Knowledge and understanding

  • Discuss key aspects of 19th and 20th century Brazilian literature.
  • Discuss important aspects of Brazilian culture and society and and how they are represented in literature.
  • Display literary analytical skills

Intellectual skills

  • Display cultural analytical skills (literary analysis, social and political analysis)

Practical skills

  • Significantly improve their ability to read Portuguese
  • Significantly improve vocabulary and syntax in Portuguese

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Demonstrate independent and critical thinking
  • Demonstrate an ability to present material and ideas individually and collectively in oral and written form.
  • An ability to participate in group discussions
  • An ability to participate in internet discussions


Assessment methods

Mid-term Essay 20%
Final Essay 60%
Group presentation 10%
Informed class participation 10%


Feedback methods

  • written feedback on presentations
  • written feedback on essays (midterm and final)
  • written feedback on class participation and participation on discussion group
  • additional one-to-one feedback (during the consultation hour or by making an appointment)


Recommended reading

  • Bethell, Leslie. “The Independence of Brazil”, Cambridge History of Latin America, vol 3,(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984) pp. 157-196    
  • Fausto, Boris. A Concise History of Brazil (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 1999).  SLC
  • Bosi, Alfredo. História Concisa da Literatura Brasileira. São Paulo: Cultrix, 1981
  • Caldwell, Helen. The Brazilian Othello of Machado de Assis : a study of 'Dom Casmurro.  Berkeley: University of California Press, 1960.
  • Candido, Antonio. Formação da Literatura Brasileira.
  •  Castro, Dácio Antonio. Roteiro de Leitura: Vidas Secas de Graciliano Ramos. São Paulo: Ática, 1997.
  • Gledson, John. The deceptive realism of Machado de Assis : a dissenting interpretation of "Dom Casmurro. Liverpool: F. Cairns, 1984.
  • Klobucka, Anna. “In Different Voices: Gender and Dialogue in Clarice Lispector’s Metafiction”. Women, Literature and Culture in the Portuguese-Speaking World. Ed. Cláudia Pazos Alonso. Lempeter, Wales: Edwin Mellen Press, 1996.
  • Levine, Robert. The History of Brazil. Palgrave.
  • Mathie, Barbara. “Feminism, Language, or Existentialism. The search for the self in the works of Clarice Lispector”. Subjectivity and Literature from the Romantics to the Present Day. Eds. Phillip Shaw and Peter Stockwell. London: Continuum, 1991.
  • Nunes, Benedito. Leitura de Clarice Lispector. São Paulo: Quíron, 1973.
  • Ramos, Maria Luisa. “Análise Estrutural de Primeiras Histórias”. Guimarães Rosa. Fortuna Crítica. Ed. Afrânio Coutinho. Rio: Civilização Brasileira, 1983,
  • Schwarz, Roberto. Duas Meninas. São Paulo: Companhia das Letras, 1997.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 11
Seminars 22
Independent study hours
Independent study 167

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Lucia Sa Unit coordinator

Additional notes



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