ENGLISH LITERATURE II
Learning outcomes of the course unit
The course aims to provide students with solid general knowledge on the major literary events of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, accompanied by notions that will allow them to contextualize literary figures and texts within a complex series of historical and cultural events, as well as methodologies for the analysis and interpretation of specific texts of the period in question, such as the eighteenth-century novel, the Romantic-period lyric or the Victorian novel.
During the course, the student learns to
. know the main authors, works, movements and aesthetic ideas in the literary-cultural period of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, as well as the different historical, political, cultural and artistic phenomena proper to these centuries;
. understand and analyze complex literary and dramatic texts both in terms of their formal characteristics and their thematic and ideological contents;
. explore in an independent and original way the themes treated in the course, using print and digital bibliographic tools;
. make informed and motivated judgments about literary and cultural phenomena, based on a careful decoding of textual evidence;
. formulate, communicate and discuss contents, analyses and judgments - in Italian - by using the linguistic register appropriate to the specific topic, that is to say, appropriate to the lexicon of literary studies;
. formulate and communicate content and analysis - in English - using a linguistic register appropriate to the subject, and in line with the level B2 of the Common European Framework of Reference in the line with second-year Lingua e Traduzione courses;
Course contents summary
The course focuses on the study of the major authors, works and literary movements in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century British literature. Particular attention is paid to the evolution of poetic genres and the development of the novel, as well as the most important literary and cultural phenomena from the Augustan age to the late nineteenth century. The course structure respects the chronological development of these phenomena. In the first part, it examines the major literary events in the eighteenth century and, more particularly, the emergence of the modern novel. The next phase examines the stages of pre-Romanticism and Romanticism, analyzing in particular the development of Gothic literature and Romantic poetry. The third and last section focuses on Victorian narrative realism, the major poetic manifestations in the late nineteenth century and some central cultural phenomena of the "fin de siècle", including aestheticism. In class, the tutor will provide historical and aesthetics contextualization, alongside the analysis of texts (in the original language and in the anthological form) from a structural, stylistic and thematic-ideological point of view. Students are also required to read and study a few integral texts - novels, poems and dramas - chosen from those listed in the syllabus drawn up by the tutor at the end of the course and made available both on the site of the Area of Foreign Languages and Literatures and in paper version in the offices of the Area itself.
The course texts are: "Norton Anthology of Literature Inglese" (8th edition) (New York: WW Norton), especially with regard to the anthological selections to be analyzed in class, and "Manuale di letteratura e cultura inglese," a c. di L.M. Crisafulli e K. Elam (Bologna: Bononia University Press) for literary and cultural history. Additional references are provided during the course and are regularly listed in the syllabus.
The course is organized through lectures held in Italian during the first stage of the course. From the second phase, English joins the Italian language and then becomes the major vehicle of communication in the third stage. In class, the tutor introduces the main historical and cultural elements, the profiles of the authors and the texts, using both the set texts and additional visual or textual materials made available on the University’s LEA platform. He also provides suggestions for individual study, in order to boost the student’s autonomy.
Assessment methods and criteria
The assessment of knowledge and skills is by way of an oral examination in Italian and English.
In order to take the examination, the student must have passed the exam for English Literature I.
During the oral exam, the student is asked to answer questions in Italian relating to the contents of the course, individual readings and any further studies independently carried out.
In addition, the student is required to present a topic in the English language selected from among those examined during the course, or chosen by the student independently in consultation with the teacher.
The student who requests it can take the exam entirely in English.
The knowledge and skills to be assessed during the oral examination are:
. an oral proficiency in Italian at an advanced level (i.e. the successful acquisition of the appropriate register and the specific language of literary studies) and oral proficiency in English corresponding to B2 level;
. knowledge of texts, authors, and ideological contexts and formal issues of the literary phases in question;
. an appropriate level in the ability to expand autonomously on certain contents;
In order to verify the achievement of such knowledge and skills, oral test questions are designed to assess knowledge, ability for independent and original reworking of such knowledge, and ability to make connections, comparisons and contrasts.
A fail is determined by the lack, demonstrated by the student during the oral examination, of understanding of the minimum content of the course; inability to express themselves adequately on the subject in Italian and in English at B2 level, the lack of autonomous preparation, and the inability to solve problems related to information retrieval and the decoding of texts. A pass (18-23/30) is determined by student’s demonstration that s/he has learned the minimum and essential contents of the course, an ability to communicate appropriately the topic in Italian and, for the English language, with a level which presents an acceptable number of B2 characteristics, a sufficient degree of self-preparation and a sufficient capacity of textual analysis. Middle-range scores (24-27/30) are assigned to the student who produces evidence of a more than sufficient level (24-25/30) or a good level (26-27/30) in the evaluation indicators listed above. Higher scores (from 28/30 to 30/30 cum laude) are awarded on the basis of the student’s demonstration of a very good or excellent level in the evaluation indicators listed above.