Comparative World Literature

This project aims to structure and to develop the field of World Literature in Portugal, based on two theoretical assumptions: the comparative perspective and the estrangement of reading. It currently develops a set of anthologies (3 vols) on World Literature in Portuguese, based on the assumption that the world-scope of literatures in Portuguese, in terms of geographical spread (Europe, South America, Africa, and Asia) and of number of speakers (270 million) may be considered as a paradigmatic example for other cases. The project argues that it is necessary to develop a non-Eurocentric conception of European literatures, and that such is the case of literatures in Portuguese.


Up until 2020, WORLD LITERATURE will develop the following objectives:

  • completion of the 3-volume anthologies under research (the first part was published in 2017 and the second one in 2018);
  • preparation of a submission to an ERC Advanced Grant;
  • a project in Digital Humanities, through the design and development of a comprehensive website, with a cartographic visualization of the results of the 3-volume anthologies, historical and geographical maps, guidelines, and paradigmatic texts of the anthologies in digital version;
  • organization of the 2015 session of the Institute of World Literature (IWL), coordinated  by Harvard U, gathering 150 students and 25 faculty from top Universities around the globe;
  • advanced training, through regular invitations to top scholars in the field.


  • 2011, 2012, and 2013: participation in the Summer session of the Institute of World Literature, respectively in Beijing (one student), Istanbul (one student), and Harvard Universities (one seminar leader, one student).
  • 2011, 2012, and 2013: invitation to scholars: David Damrosch (Harvard U); Martin Puchner (Harvard U); Karen Thornberg (Harvard U); David Jackson (Yale U); Wiebke Denecke (Boston U); Zhang Longxi (Hong-Kong U); Zhao Baisheng (Beijing U); Paulo Horta (New York U at Abu-Dhabi).
  • 2012: protocols were established with UNESCO and Project ELiCa ((University and School for a European Literary Canon)[ Ref. 2010/0782/001/001 CUP7 COOP7].
  • 2012: Workshop: (Literatura-Mundo e Inovação Pedagógica: Fundamentos e Práticas de Leitura FLUL), 1st edition.
  • 2012 – Intensive course taught on World Literature in Portuguese at PUC Porto Alegre (Brazil).
  • 2012-2013: the Project was presented in international conferences taking place at the following Universities and institutions: Gulbenkian Foundation; U Abu-Dhabi; U Roma (La Sapienza); U São Paulo; Real Gabinete de Leitura (Rio de Janeiro); U Aveiro; U Porto; U Stockholm.
  • 2013: Workshop: Literatura-Mundo e Inovação Pedagógica: Fundamentos e Práticas de Leitura (FLUL), 2nd edition.
  • 2013: a special issue of the Spanish journal of the Comparative Literature Association, 1616. Anuario de Literatura Comparada, devoted to “World Literature in Portuguese”, had as its guest-editor Helena Buescu. Six essays were published: Helena Buescu; Paulo Horta; Stefan Helgesson; Alva Teixeiro; Inocência Mata; Maria Graciete Silva.
Source of description: Information from the provider

Fields of research

Portugese literature, Digital Humanities, World Literature




Universidade de Lisboa (ULISBOA) / University of Lisbon
Faculdade de Letras
Centro de Estudos Comparatistas (CEC)



Centro de Estudos Comparatistas (CEC), Universidade de Lisboa
Date of publication: 07.06.2019
Last edited: 07.06.2019