The Institute for Comparative Literature (ILC) is an R&D Unit based in the Faculty of Letters of Porto, currently with a team of 25 full members and 74 collaborators.

ILC focuses on scientific areas such as Literary Studies, Artistic Studies, Philosophy and Sociology, promoting a multidisciplinary approach to 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 highest score in the external evaluation 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 to the development of the area of Comparativism at 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 an R&D Unit and has been growing 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 aggregates 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. Given that we aim to promote transversal methodologies, the latter topics are studied from such angles as Poetry and Subjectivity; Literature and Visual Arts; Poetics, Sex and Gender; Translation and Drama Studies; Travel Writing, Migrations and Double Belongings and Detective Fiction.

We adopt comparative strategies for the analysis of texts, contexts, and their interactions, and thus draw upon different fields of knowledge and research (such as Poetics and Literary Theory, Inter-Arts, Feminist Studies, Translation Studies, Drama Studies, or Post-Colonial Studies), our aim being to contribute to the general discussion about identity and its articulation with the cultural, aesthetic and literary practices that sustain cross-culture dialogues and transnational aesthetic dominances.

Since 2002, the Institute has also hosted the project coordinated by Fátima Vieira Utopias Literárias e Pensamento Utópico: a cultura portuguesa e a tradição intelectual do Ocidente, whose third phase awaits approval by the FCT. The ILC also hosts the project Novas Cartas Portuguesas [New Portuguese Letters], coordinated by Ana Luísa Amaral, which aims to publicize in Portugal, Brazil and 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 carried out at the Institute is done via the organization of seminars, conferences and international symposia, through the participation of the project’s members in conferences in Portugal and abroad, through the publication of the Cadernos de Literatura Comparada and conference proceedings, as well as through the publication of the work produced by its researchers, in the form of books and essays.

The cooperation of the ILCML with national and international institutions has been facilitated by several protocols with foreign universities, namely Brown University (USA), Universidade Federal Fluminense (Rio de Janeiro) or the Department of Letters of the University of Utrecht.
The cooperation of the ILCML with the Universidade Federal Fluminense takes place within the context of the GRICES/CAPES Convention, and is based on a common research, interchange and advanced formation project, developed under the heading “Poesia e Subjectividade: Identidades em Devir”.


  • Lurdes Gonçalves

External Evaluation

External Advisory Committee (CEAC)

  • César Dominguez (U. Santiago Compostela)
  • Liliane Louvel (U. Poitiers)
  • 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).