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North American Literature I

Code: MEAAM015     Acronym: LNA1

Classification Keyword
OFICIAL American Literature

Instance: 2021/2022 - 1S

Active? Yes
Responsible unit: Department of Anglo-American Studies
Course/CS Responsible: Masters in Anglo-American Studies

Cycles of Study/Courses

Acronym No. of Students Study Plan Curricular Years Credits UCN Credits ECTS Contact hours Total Time
MEAA 13 MEAA - Study Plan 1 - 6 55 162

Teaching Staff - Responsibilities

Teacher Responsibility
Maria Teresa Lobo Castilho

Teaching - Hours

Theoretical classes: 2,00
Type Teacher Classes Hour
Theoretical classes Totals 1 2,00
Maria Teresa Lobo Castilho 2,00

Teaching language



Being part of a higher level of studies, the aim of this programme is to make students develop skills on the understanding of the naissance and existence of an American literature. On the other hand the programme will also disscuss some of the social, cultural and literary moments of the 19th and 20th centuries in America. Students should acquire specific skills, theoretical information and concepts to develop a critical understanding and knowledge in order to problematize visions of the self and of America in the selected fictional texts.  By the end of the semester, students should have developed a theoretical and critical capacity to approach specific notions and contexts present in the course.

Learning outcomes and competences

Students should acquire specific skills, theoretical information and concepts to develop a critical understanding and knowledge of the naissance and existence of an American literary canon. Students should also develop the capacity of problematization within contexts brought by the course.

Working method



The course starts with references to the Emersonian thought and with the study of THE SCARLET LETTER by Nathaniel Hawthorne, stressing  visions of denying and election concerning an optimist understanding, both on the condition of the human soul and on America itself. The students will also study and discuss Edgar Allan Poe as a recognizable voice in the context of the literary American "naissance" and on the birth of the Southern myth and Southern Gothicism. The second moment of this programme will examine two important literary moments of the 20th century in America: the "Second Flowering" and "The Southern Literary Renaissance".

Mandatory literature

R.W. Emerson; Self-Reliance
Nathaniel Hawthorne; The Scarlet Letter
Edgar Allan Poe; "The Fall of the House of Usher"
Ernest Hemingway; The Sun Also Rises
Eudora Welty; The Robber Bridegroom

Teaching methods and learning activities

The first five sessions will integrate active teaching contributions conducted by the seminar leader, aiming both to develop an important theoretical field to make the students understand not only the “naissance” and the existence of an American literary canon but also the dominant theoretical perspectives on the 19th century American Literature, the "Period between Wars", and on the so called Southern Literature . Students will be required to contribute actively and regularly to the seminar in the next sessions. They are expected to make presentations on distributed and supervised themes, which will be also discussed by all students under the teacher's guidance. Students will be evaluated through their active participations and through their presentations.

Evaluation Type

Distributed evaluation without final exam

Assessment Components

Designation Weight (%)
Participação presencial 50,00
Prova oral 50,00
Total: 100,00

Amount of time allocated to each course unit

Designation Time (hours)
Estudo autónomo 120,00
Frequência das aulas 30,00
Trabalho de investigação 12,00
Total: 162,00

Eligibility for exams

Students are expected to attend at least 2/3 of the seminar sessions

Calculation formula of final grade

Weighted average of the results : a) Active participation in seminar sessions 50% b) Oral work 50%

Examinations or Special Assignments

Not applicable

Special assessment (TE, DA, ...)

Not applicable

Classification improvement

Not applicable


Language of instruction: English

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