The Institute for Comparative Literature (ILC) is a R&D Unit hosted by the Faculty of Letters of Porto, currently with a team of 18 full members and 73 collaborators.

ILC focuses in scientific areas such as Literay Studies, Artistic Studies, Philosophy and Sociology, promoting a multidisciplinary approach of research fields such as Comparative Literature, Poetics and Literary Theory, Interartistic Studies, Sex and Gender Studies and Cultural Studies.

Its strategic program, subordinated to the cross-thematic line Literature and Frontiers of Knowledge: Politics of Inclusion (UID/ELT/00500/2013), received the maximum score in the external evolution process of Portuguese R&D Units coordinated by the Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (FCT).

In 2015, the research project Utopia, Food and the Future: Utopian Thinking and the Construction of Inclusive Societies – a contribution from the Humanities (PTDC/CPC-ELT/5676/2014), jointly presented by ILC and CETAPS – with the collaboration of Direção Geral de Saúde and of Associação Portuguesa de Nutricionistas -, was approved for a period of 3 years.


Although formally created in 1985, the Institute for Comparative Literature (ILC) started its activity in 1997, thanks to the effort of Margarida Losa (1945-1999), a scholar from the Faculty of Letters of Porto to whom we are deeply indebted, for her devoted contribution in the development of the area of Comparatistic in the University of Porto and in the North of Portugal. By naming the Institute after her, we wished to pay homage both to her memory and to her work.

In 1998, the ILC became a R&D Unit and has been developing since then, with the support of the Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, and in the Quadro do Programa Operacional Ciência and Inovação (POCTI), the Research Project Literature and Identities, which included twenty five members, teachers from the Faculty of Letters of Porto and from other institutions. Under this broader designation, Literature and Identities, several research areas are being developed, but it is the sub-project Inter-identities that integrates the current activities.

The sub-project Interidentities represented the state of development of the different research areas included in the global project “Literature and Identities” and comprehends three nuclear domains: Liminarities, Subjectivities and Sexualities. By way of privileging methodological options of transversal fields, such domains are studied within the frame of the specific research areas such as Poetry and the Construction of Subjectivity; Literature and Visual Arts; Poetics, Sex and Gender; Translation and Drama Studies; Literature of travels, migrations and double belongings and Detective fiction.

By way of adopting comparative strategies in the analysis of texts contexts, and their interactions, thus, gathering different fields of knowledge and of research (such as Poetics and Literary Theory, Inter-Arts, Feminist Studies, Translation Studies, Drama Studies, or Post-Colonial Studies) the main goal of this sub-project is to contribute to the overall discussion of identitary issues related to the cultural, aesthetic and literary practices that consubstantiate intercultural dialogues and transnational aesthetic dominances.

Since 2002, the Institute also hosts the project coordinated by Fátima Vieira Utopias Literárias e Pensamento Utópico: a cultura portuguesa e a tradição intelectual do Ocidente, whose third phase awaits for the approval of FCT. It is also hosted by ICL the project Novas Cartas Portuguesas [New Portuguese Letters], coordinated by Ana Luísa Amaral, which aims to divulge in Portugal, in Brazil and in other Portuguese speaking countries, the book written by Maria Isabel Barreno, Maria Teresa Horta and Maria Velho da Costa.

The development and the promotion of the research taken place within the Institute is carried on through the organization of seminars, congresses and international symposia, through the participation of the members of the Project in congresses in Portugal and abroad, through the publication of the Cadernos de Literatura Comparada and of the procedures of the congresses, as well as through the publication of the work produced by its researchers, in the form of books and essays.

The cooperation of the ICMLA with national and international institutions is made possible through several protocols with foreign universities, namely Brown University (USA), Universidade Federal Fluminense (Rio de Janeiro) or the Departament of Letters of the University of Utrecht.
The cooperation of the ILCMA with the Universidade Federal Fluminense is being developed within the Convention GRICES/CAPES, and involves a common project of investigation, interchange and advanced formation, under the title “Poesia e Subjectividade: Identidades em Devir”.


  • Lurdes Gonçalves

External Evaluation

External Advisory Committee (CEAC)

  • César Dominguez (U. Santiago Compostela)
  • Jan Baetens (U. Leuven)
  • Paulo de Medeiros (U. Warwick)
  • Vita Fortunati (U. Bolonha)


In Memoriam

Paulo Eduardo Carvalho

paulominPaulo Eduardo Carvalho (1964-2010) was a teacher of the Faculty of Arts of Porto, a member of Instituto de Literatura Comparada Margarida Losa (UP) and a collaborator of Centro de Estudos de Teatro (University of Lisbon) and of the Centre for English, Translation and Anglo-Portuguese Studies (UP).


Margarida Lieblich Losa

losaminMargarida Lieblich Losa (1943-1999) was a teacher of the Faculty of Arts of Porto. She had a degree in Germanic Philology (University of Lisbon), a MA in English and North American Literature (University of Rhode Island, Kingston, USA), and a Ph.D in Comparative Literature (New York University) and in North American Literature (University of Porto).