Teaching plan for the course unit



Catalą Castellano English Close imatge de maquetació




General information


Course unit name: City and Literature

Course unit code: 569570

Academic year: 2020-2021

Coordinator: Cristina Alsina Risquez

Department: Department of Modern Languages, Modern Literature and English Studies

Credits: 6

Single program: S



Estimated learning time

Total number of hours 150


Face-to-face and/or online activities



-  Cultural trip





-  Seminar





-  Experimental workshop




Supervised project


Independent learning






The subject will be taught in Catalan and/or Spanish. Students may use any of these languages for presentations and written work. Other languages may also be accepted, subject to approval by the teaching staff.



Competences to be gained during study


Basic and general competences

— Capacity to apply the acquired knowledge to problem-solving in new or relatively unknown environments within broader (or multidisciplinary) contexts related to the field of study.


— Capacity to interpret texts from different eras and cultural traditions.


— Capacity to develop independent thought: critical and self-critical capabilities, capacity to develop original problem-solving strategies, capacity to generate new ideas, and capacity to delimit an object or field of study in terms of the construction and representation of cultural identities.


— Knowledge forming the basis of original thinking in the development or application of ideas, typically in a research context.


— Capacity to integrate knowledge and tackle the complexity of formulating judgements based on incomplete or limited information, taking due consideration of the social and ethical responsibilities involved in applying knowledge and making judgements.


— Capacity to communicate conclusions, judgements and the grounds on which they have been reached to specialist and non-specialist audiences in a clear and unambiguous manner.


— Skills to enable lifelong self-directed and independent learning.


— Capacity to understand: identification of concepts, problems and key questions in debates on the construction of cultural identities.


— Capacity for reflection: awareness of one’s own thought process, and ability to acknowledge and appraise different theories and points of view in the field of literary and cultural studies.


— Capacity to manage information: capacity to extract and integrate information from different sources, making effective use of libraries, archives, newspaper archives and other resources (particularly digital resources) relevant to research in the humanities.


— Capacity to conduct basic research and monitor recent developments in the international scientific community in the fields of cultural studies, literary studies and gender studies.


— Ability to work in a team (capacity to collaborate with others and contribute to a common project / capacity to work in cross-disciplinary and multicultural teams).


Specific competences

— Capacity to analyse the links between contemporary artistic creation and history, cultural institutions and social and political trends, taking into account the influences of colonisation and globalisation.


— Advanced understanding of the different theories and methodologies applied to interculturality, globalisation and post-colonial studies, and the analysis of different types of texts in these fields; more detailed knowledge of the tools of philology needed to analyse complex texts and conduct comparative studies.


— Capacity to identify and apply literary, sociological and cultural theories that address the theme of identity (with regard to gender, class, sexuality, ethnicity, etc.).





Learning objectives


Referring to knowledge

• Gain extensive knowledge of imaginaries of the city in modern and contemporary German literature.
• Understand literary representations of the city and the individuals that inhabit and form relations in it according to certain social norms and conventions.
• Understand literary representations of the city and specific historical events of the nineteenth and twentieth century, recorded in written biographies, whose impact obliterates individual identity.


Referring to abilities, skills

• Develop the capacity to construct robust, complex arguments that address the state of the art on an international level.
• Develop the capacity to manage information effectively, to identify the literary, sociological and cultural theories and methodologies applicable to specific cases, and to contribute clearly and accurately to discussions of literary and cultural issues.


Referring to attitudes, values and norms

• Demonstrate a respect for all reasonably argued and well-founded viewpoints.



Teaching blocks


1. Semiology of the city; Construction and representation of imaginaries of the modern city

2. The narrated city I: society and the construction of cultural identities; Literary representations of the city and society: spaces and interaction, materiality and power, beauty and fragility, irony and caricature

3. The narrated city II: history and alienation of individual identities; Literary representations of the city and history: role and loss of identity, survival and temporality, corporeality and eroticism, art and perversion



Teaching methods and general organization


The general methodology combines theoretical and practical learning, through lectures and practical applied activities which may include directed debates, group work, oral presentations, written assignments and research tasks. 



Official assessment of learning outcomes


Four individual exercises. Weight: 10%, 10%, 40% and 40% of the final grade.


Examination-based assessment

Students who are unable to meet the requirements for continuous assessment may change to the single assessment option, in which case a written request must be submitted before the deadline stipulated by the Faculty.


Single assessment consists of a written assignment (approximately 4,000 words) worth 100% of the final grade, which must be submitted by the official deadline stated in the Faculty’s academic calendar.

Repeat assessment

The procedure for repeat assessment is the same as that established for single assessment.



Reading and study resources

Consulteu la disponibilitat a CERCABIB


Barthes, Roland. La aventura semiológica. Trad. Ramón Alcalde. Madrid: Paidós, 1990. Orig. L’aventure sémiologique. Paris: Éditions du Seuil, 1985.


Benjamin, Walter. Infancia en Berlín hacia 1900. Trad. Klaus Wagner. Madrid: Alfaguara, 1982. També a: Obras. Madrid: Abada, 2006. Orig. "Berliner Kindheit um Neunzehnhundert / Städtebilder". A: Gesammelte Schriften. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 1989.


Corbineau-Hoffmann, Angelika. Kleine Literaturgeschichte der Großstadt. Darmstadt: WBG, 2003.  EnllaƧ

Davis, Mike. Ciudades muertas. Ecología, catástrofe y revuelta. Trad. Dina Khorasane et al. Madrid: Traficantes de sueños, 2007. Orig. Dead Cities and Other Tales. New York: The New Press, 2002.


Simmel, Georg. "Las grandes ciudades y la vida del espíritu" (1903). Trad. Héctor Manjarrez. A: Cuadernos políticos, 45/1986, pp.5-10. Orig. "Die Grossstädte und das Geistesleben. Essay". A: Aufsätze und Abhandlungen 1901-1908. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 1993-1995.