Political Issues in Literature

Academic year
Subject Area
Área Científica do Menor
Language of Instruction
Mode of Delivery
ECTS Credits
1st Cycle Studies

Recommended Prerequisites

Basic knowledge of international relations and world events. Good command of English language.

Teaching Methods

The classes will be tough in a hybrid regime, in one hand the conceptual content will be exposed by the professor, followed in the other hand by the framing of the literary works in the bibliography linking them to those concepts.

Learning Outcomes

This seminar will analyse literary texts with key political themes to the understanding of concepts in the fields of IR and Political Science. The main objectives are (a) framing historically political concepts; (b) identifying within the texts important elements of the current IR political context; (c) contributing to an enriched comprehension of political phenomena through literature; (d) allowing through fiction the experimentation of political concepts; (e) identifying ideological debates existing in the literary world. The following concepts will be analysed through literary elements: (I) Anarchy, State of Nature and Social Contract; (II) Anarchism, Socialism, Liberalism and Nihilism; (III) Totalitarianisms; (IV) Authoritarianism and violence(s); (V) State Bureaucracy; (VI) Identities; (VII) Decolonization processes and post-colonialism; (VIII) Imperialism; (IX) Hegemony and Emancipation; (X) Contemporary Modern State and Biopolitics. 

Work Placement(s)



1. Anarchy, State of Nature and Social Contract.

2. Anarchism, Socialism, Liberalism and Nihilism.

3. Totalitarianism.

4. Authoritarianism and violence(s).

5. Bureaucracy: faceless power.

6. Identities: “the self” and the “other”.

7. Colonial wars and national independence movements.

8. North-American Imperialism.

9. Post-colonialism.

10. Hegemony and Emancipation.

11. Contemporary Modern State and Biopolitics

Assessment Methods

Continuous Assessment
Participation: 30.0%
Research work: 70.0%


Assis, Machado (2001) Esaú e Jacó. São Paulo: Matin Claret

Couto, Mia (2008) O último voo do flamingo. Lisboa: Caminho.  9-(1)-9-40-17

Dostoievski, Fiódor (2010) Crime e Castigo. Lisboa: Presença  10-(1)-5-43-3

Golding, William (2011) O Deus das Moscas. Lisboa: Dom Quixote.  10-(1)-11-33-8

Kafka, Franz (2011), O processo / Franz Kafka ; trad. Gervásio Álvaro.  10-(1)-11-42-25

Lispector, Clarice (2002) A hora da estrela. Lisboa: Relógio d´Agua.  6-68-2-58 

Marquez, Gabriel G. (2011) Cem anos de soludão. Lisboa: Dom Quixote. 10-(1)-10-11-3 

Orwell, George (2002) 1984. Porto: Público Comunicação Social 8-(2)-21-32-25 

Orwell, George (2008) A quinta dos animais. Lisboa: Antógona  9-(1)-9-4-20

Pepetela (2009) Mayombe. Lisboa: Dom Quixote. 9-(1)-11-46-23

Saramago, José (2006) As intermitências da Morte. Lisboa: Círculo de Leitores. RC-96-6