The Programme in Comparative Studies (PEC) is a unit of the Area of Literatures, Arts and Cultures (LAC) of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities of the University of Lisbon (FLUL), and offers master’s and doctoral courses which aim to provide advanced training in the field of comparative studies, stimulating students to investigate the relationships between texts and different forms of art, as well as between different media, cultural contexts and systems of knowledge. The PEC’s objective is to promote the renovation of the field of the Humanities by encouraging students to look beyond boundaries between disciplines and nations, engaging them in practices that foster discussion and problem solving, critical participation, rigorous thought and autonomy in the face of diversity.
The Programme in Comparative Studies is the result of the development of the master’s programme in Comparative Literature, founded in 1991 as part of the first interdepartmental experiments undertaken at the post-graduate level in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities of the University of Lisbon. Since its creation, a wide variety of professors have participated in the Programme, both as seminar teachers and supervisors of master’s dissertations or doctoral theses. These have included members of the FLUL’s Departments of Classical Studies, English Studies, Germanic Studies and Romance Literatures.
The Programme also prioritises links with international institutions and consortia, namely with the LACE: Literature and Change in Europe network (which includes the universities of Aarhus, Bologna, Granada, Leuven, Lisbon and Tartu) and The HERMES Consortium for Literary and Cultural Studies (which consists of the universities of Aarhus, Giessen, Helsinki, Leiden, Leuven, Lisbon, UCL-London, Prague, Santiago de Compostela, Utrecht and Wisconsin-Madison). Since 1994, the PEC has also benefited from an exchange scheme established with the Department of Comparative Literature at Indiana University – Bloomington, which permits the teaching of one of the Programme’s core seminars by a professor from this institution every other year.
In order to introduce master’s and doctoral students to the dynamics and methodologies of advanced research in Comparative Studies, the PEC maintains a close link with the investigations undertaken at the FLUL’s Centre for Comparative Studies, a fact which permits students to play an active role in national and international projects. In this respect, the PEC also welcomes researchers who wish to develop individual post-doctorate programmes.
Previous Programme directors: Professors João Ferreira Duarte (1991-2009), Fernanda Gil Costa (2009-2012) and Clara Rowland (2012-2016).
Current Programme Director: Prof. Ângela Fernandes