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Analysis Introduction

Course: Comparative Literature. Course: Literary Introduction. Course level: Bachelor. Course size: 40-50.

Motivation for the activity

To support the transition from upper secondary schools to university by integrating the academic core issues with recognisable media and analysis principles, which the students know from Danish teaching.

Central learning outcomes for the course

To introduce the students to basic analytical, theoretical and methodologies perspectives within comparative literature.

Central learning outcomes for the activity

To provide the students with an insight into the core issues and support the students' initial reflections on the subject’s central methods of analysis.

Description of the activity

In the course of the subject you centre the teaching around a central work - typically a novel.

In the activity the work is briefly presented to the students in other forms (a film, graphic novel, comic, picture, computer games etc.), which they will use as a basis for group work and a presentation. The framework for the group work can be relatively traditional, as the most important thing is that the students are challenged to use their competencies for media analysis (how is the work translated into a different media), while they at the same time strengthen the comparative literature methods that they have been introduced to.

The activity is run as follows:

  • In groups the students must themselves find the central work in another media, such as e.g. film, TV-series, myth, advertising etc.
  • They must present an analysis with an emphasis on the transfer to the new media, preferably with a brief presentation where the emphasis is placed on the descriptive and analytical
  • The group must prepare a written problem statement with the work and the work in a different media as its analytic focus.

The problem statements are reviewed a week later in the class and there is a discussion of the elements in a university assignment in relation to what they know and the new elements.

Outcome of the activity

The activity has the objective of training the students for the future exams at the university, but also activating them in relation to thir being able to see the correlation and transitions from the methods of analysis they know to those that they must get to know.

The students are generally at home in that which they know (including good practice for group work and structured presentations), but find it difficult to think 'with' in relation to the new, more methodological and discursive methods of analysis. This will be easier to make them aware of, partly by placing it in a specific exam context and partly by basing it on an analysis that have carried out and know.

Reflections on the activity

Reflections on the activity

It is important, especially for the first part of the activity, that you find a good basic text to base the work on.

Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is a good example, as it is found both in a wide variety of versions and also has many possibilities for text analysis.

In general, you should be aware that the assignments set in the induction courses for new students should be very specific and precise.


The content of this page was developed by Laura Søvsø Thomasen, former employee at Aarhus Universitet.