20710217 - Letterature portoghese e brasiliana I

One of the main aims of this Course of Study is to provide students with advanced knowledge of two foreign literatures related to the two languages of their choice, paying special attention to intercultural and transcultural dynamics. The course also aims at refining their ability to interpret cultural phenomena, using the tools and methodologies of literary, cultural and historical analysis.
Portuguese and Brazilian Literatures I is among the characterizing activities of the "Foreign Literatures" area. It provides the student with initial knowledge and understanding of the Portuguese and Brazilian literary culture through the reading of exemplary texts analysed paying special attention to intercultural dynamics. It helps students discover the tools and methodologies of literary, cultural and historical analysis.
At the end of the module, students will be able to read and understand literary texts in the original language employing the analytical methods and tools they will have learned in class; furthermore, they will possess the necessary communicative skills to re-elaborate the acquired disciplinary contents.
teacher profile | teaching materials


The course aims to introduce students to the study of Portuguese literature, presenting at first authors, works and movements particularly significant for Portuguese cultural history: medieval poetry, literature of discoveries (sixteenth century), Romanticism, Modernism.
In a second step, It will be analyzed the work of the novelist José Saramago.

Core Documentation

Valeria Tocco, Breve storia della letteratura portoghese, Roma, Carocci, 2011;
V. Bertolucci, La letteratura portoghese medievale, in V. Bertolucci, C. Alvar, S. Asperti, Storia delle letterature medievali romanze. L’area iberica, Roma-Bari, Laterza, 1999, pp. 3-95;
G. Lanciani, Morfologie del viaggio. L’avventura marittima portoghese, Milano, Led, 2006
Antero de Quental, Cause della decadenza dei popoli peninsulari negli ultimi tre secoli, a cura di A. Ragusa, Perugia Edizioni dell’Urogallo, 2014.

A. Casadei, Il romanzo del secondo Novecento e i problemi del realismo, in Spazi e confini del romanzo. Narrative tra Novecento e Duemila, Bologna, Pendragon, 1999, pp. 231-245;
H. Costa, José Saramago e la tradizione del romanzo storico in Portogallo, in José Saramago. Il bagaglio dello scrittore, a cura di G. Lanciani, Roma, Bulzoni, 1996, pp. 7-21;
J. Saramago, História do Cerco de Lisboa, Porto, Porto Editora, 2019 (1989) [tr.it. Storia dell’assedio di Lisbona, Milano, Feltrinelli]
J. Saramago, Ensaio sobre a Cegueira, Lisboa, Porto Editora, 2019 (1995) [tr.it. Cecità, Milano, Feltrinelli]
J. Saramago, A estátua e a pedra, Lisboa, Fundação José Saramago, 2013.
J. Saramago, Dall’allegoria come genere all’allegoria come necessità, in Scrittori e critici a confronto. Andrea Camilleri, Manuel Vázquez Montalbán, José Saramago dialogano con G. Lanciani, S. Campailla, P. Boitani, A. Mazzarella, N. Borsellino, Atti del convegno “Scrittori e critici a confronto”, Roma, La Nuova Frontiera, 2004, pp. 22-30;

Reference Bibliography

G. Lanciani, Profilo di storia linguistica e letteraria del Portogallo, Roma, Bulzoni, 1999. G. Lanciani (a cura di), Il Settecento e l’Ottocento in Portogallo, Roma, Universitalia, 2014. C. Reis, José Saramago. Nascido para isto, Lisboa, Fundação José Saramago, 2020 R. Vecchi – Vincenzo Russo (a cura di), La letteratura portoghese. I testi e le idee, Milano, Mondadori, 2017

Type of delivery of the course

The course will take place in frontal teaching mode and seminars. In the event of an extension of the COVID-19 health emergency, all provisions governing the way in which teaching activities and student evaluation are carried out will be implemented. In particular, the following modalities will apply: distance learning via Microsoft Teams software.


Attendance at lessons is optional.

Type of evaluation

The student will be assessed in itinere on the basis of seminar activities (short reports, short oral presentations on agreed topics). The final check of the learning will be made through a final oral test of about 30 minutes. The interview will consist of three questions all related to the examination program and aimed at verifying the level of effective understanding of the contents of the course. The final grade will take into account the quality of the final report and the seminar activities. In the event of an extension of the COVID-19 health emergency, all provisions governing student evaluation methods will be implemented. In particular, the following arrangements will apply: remote oral examination using Microsoft Teams software.