Universitat Internacional de Catalunya

Comparative Literature

Comparative Literature
First semester
Main language of instruction: Catalan

Other languages of instruction: English, Spanish,

Teaching staff

Tuesdays from 3.00 p.m. to 4.00 p.m.


Direct knowledge, that is, reading great works of universal literature, is neither an adornment nor a luxury; it is a necessity. The works of the classics contain the secrets –in an aesthetic and narrative key– of our own identity, of history and the human condition. For this reason, in the Faculty of Humanities literature is not a complement, but an essential element for the training of humanists.

Pre-course requirements

Erasmus students must take into account that the subject will be taught in Catalan.


The main objective of this course is to train good readers of literature. With this purpose, its aim is for students to acquire an interpretive and analytical, theoretical and practical competence, within the proper coordinates of Comparative Literature. They must develop the ability to analyse and interpret works from different literary traditions, know how to perceive the continuity and reworking of literary elements (themes, motives, genres, etc.) and understand historical and cultural factors. In addition, they must improve their ability to make and present arguments, both orally and in writing, about literary works.


  • E14 - To develop the ability for critical analysis with regard to literary and artistic expression.
  • E18 - To acquire the perception and knowledge of the physical space in which human activity develops.
  • E23 - Ability to use computer resources and techniques to produce essays on cultural topics.
  • E26 - Ability to read and write texts in one's own language and other languages, as well as transcribe, summarise and categorise pertinent information.
  • E27 - Ability to work in multicultural contexts.
  • E34 - Ability to create educational resources in the Cultural sphere.
  • G03 - To search for and/or administer economic resources within the framework of an institution or company, or a cultural programmes, project or service.
  • G04 - To know how to communicate, encourage and mediate between the various agents involved in a cultural project, programme or service.
  • G06 - To demonstrate an ability to be open and flexible with regards to cultural and socil diversity.
  • G11 - Ability to work in an international context.

Learning outcomes

  • The student will read and analyse the literary works of the programme; understand in detail the literary texts, taking into account the historical and cultural context and literary models in force in a given period.
  • The student will learn to compare literary works as a tool for analogy and contrast as well as a critical and assessment method.
  • The student will acquire a method, both rigorous and flexible, to analyse the works; identify and assess the characteristics of the narrator and the literary genre, the characterisation of the characters (description, development, resources used to build them, etc.), the plot (recognising the structure, resources for development and outcome, etc.) , the setting (recognising references to time and place, capturing their relationship with the plot and the evolution of the characters, etc.), the theme, literary motives, etc.
  • The student will have a rational dialogue and an explanatory discourse (orderly, coherent, rich in content), the result of combining the assimilated information and personal reflection on literary works.
  • The student will have a global vision of the western literary tradition that allows them to perceive its continuity and overcome the deficits of a study based solely on works of a single nation or language.


  • Bloc 1. Job com a motiu literari: el sofriment de l'innocent

    • El llibre de Job (s. V-IV aC)
    • Rei Lear (tragèdia, 1606), de Shakespeare
    • Zadig o el destí (novel·la breu, 1747), de Voltaire
    • “El libro de Job” (assaig, 1908), de Chesterton
    • Job. Novela de un hombre sencillo (novel·la, 1930), de Joseph Roth
    • Fragmentos del libro de Job (poesia, 1998), de Carlos Pujol

    Bloc 2. Telèmac: el motiu literari de la recerca del pare

    • L’Odissea (s. VIII-VII aC), d’Homer. Cants I-IV i XV-XVII
    • Las aventuras de Telémaco (1699), Fénelon
    • L’adolescent (novel·la, 1875), de Dostoievski. Capítols 1-2 i 5-7 de la primera part i cap. 7-8 i 12-13 de la tercera part.
    • Kim (novel·la d'aventures, 1910), de Klipling

    A més de les lectures del programa, a classe es comentaran fragments breus d’altres obres com Lais de Milón (1160), Maria de Francia, Los hijos del Capitán Grant (1868) de Jules Verne i Ulisses (1922) de Joyce.

Teaching and learning activities

In person

The learning process begins with reading the selected works and aims to accompany the student in the analysis and deepening of the reflection on what they have read, so that they can make argued interpretations about these works.

As a working method, it is a matter of applying the comparison as a procedure for analysing the works of different authors, epochs and linguistic traditions, in such a way that the continuity and incessant transformation of themes, motives and literary genres can be perceived at the same time throughout the history of culture.

In the classroom, professors’ lectures are combined with guided dialogue between readers (students) to solve questions, hypothesise and argue conclusions, as well as discussion groups and individual or group presentations by students.


  • Seminars and workshops (text analysis, debates, sessions with specialists, oral project presentations, etc.)
  • Theory-lecture class



  •  40
  •  20



  • E06
  • E34
  • G06
  • G10
  • E14
  • E23
  • E26
  • E27
  • G03
  • G04
  • G11

Evaluation systems and criteria

In person

  • Written exercises and oral presentations on readings (40%)
  • Analysis of the readings (40%)
  • Final test (20%)

The reading analysis projects and the final exam will have to be passed separately (with at least a 5) to average with the rest of the grades. In the event that students fail a project or exam in the first call, they will have a fail but will keep the rest of their grades until the second call. On the other hand, if you do not present any of the projects or do not sit the final exam, your grade will be not presented but you will keep the rest of the grades until the second call. After this call, students will have to re-sit the entire course.