German-Language Literatures – Contemporary Issues

Academic year
Subject Area
German Linguistics
Language of Instruction
Mode of Delivery
ECTS Credits
1st Cycle Studies

Recommended Prerequisites

Introduction to the Study of German Literatures; German Literatures and Comparative Studies.

Teaching Methods

Apart from lecturing moments, held by the teacher in order to provide the necessary framework, classes will essentially be designed so as to open up spaces of reflection on the selected texts. Thus, the curricular unit will use i) oral and written exercises of textual analysis and commentary (to be carried out individually or in groups), ii) students' oral presentations on concepts, authors, characters, etc., iii) joint discussions on the items in question.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of the semester, students should

1. have consolidated their reading and analytical skills and be able to understand critically the social and political positionality of literary texts;

2. be familiar with relevant German-language authors and texts, according to the topics chosen every year for de unit;

3. be able to identify with confidence and to approach analytically different literary genres, compositional devices, textual structures and thematic features;

4. have improved their knowledge of German and their ability to express themselves in Portuguese.

Work Placement(s)



The unit focuses on authors and texts representative of German literatures from the mid-20th century to the present. It aims at offering fundamental references, while organizing itself along thematic lines (such as memory and violence, science and society, globalization and multiculturalism, etc.). The syllabus may vary from one edition to the other, depending on the academic staff member in charge, but the unit will have the following items as its base:

1. consideration of the political, economic, social and cultural situation of the German-speaking countries in the epochs in question;

2. analysis of literary and programmatic texts;

3. reflection on literary modes and genres;

4. study of texts by authors such as P. Celan, W. Borchert, H. Böll, B. Brecht, F. Dürrenmatt, M. Frisch, H. M. Enzensberger, I. Bachmann, P. Weiss, G. Grass, Ch. Wolf, Th. Bernhard, B. Schlink, U. Timm, D. Grünbein, among others.

Whenever pertinent, classes will make use of audiovisual material.

Head Lecturer(s)

Maria de Fátima Gil Rodrigues da Silva

Assessment Methods

Continuous assessment
In-class participation : 10.0%
Synthesis work: 40.0%
Frequency: 50.0%

Final assessment
Exam: 100.0%


Balzer, B., Mertens, V. (1990). Deutsche Literatur in Schlaglichtern. Mannheim: Meyers Lexikonverlag.

Barner, W. (Hg.) (2006). Geschichte der deutschen Literatur von 1945 bis zur Gegenwart (2. akt. und erweit. Aufl.). München: Beck.

Bellmann, W., Hummel, Ch. (Hg.) (2012). Deutsche Kurzprosa der Gegenwart. Stuttgart: Reclam.

Beutin, W. et al. (1994). História da Literatura Alemã das Origens à Actualidade. Lisboa: Cosmos.

Grange, W. (2009). Historical Dictionary of Postwar German Literature. Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow Press.

Kohl, K., Robertson, R. (eds.) (2006). A History of Austrian Literature. 1918-2000. Rochester: Camden House.

Korte, H. (1989). Geschichte der deutschen Lyrik seit 1945. Stuttgart: Metzler.

Rothmann, K. (2014). Kleine Geschichte der deutschen Literatur (20. durchges. und erw. Aufl.). Stuttgart: Reclam.

Wellbery, D. E. et al. (ed.) (2004). A New History of German Literature. Cambridge: Harvard UP.