THEORY OF LITERATURE
Learning outcomes of the course unit
Knowledge and understanding.
The course will provide the students with a basic understanding of the rhetorical, thematic and ideological structures of fictional texts.
Applying knowledge and understanding.
By providing a constant guide to the activity of reading, and showing a specific interest in the single points of view, as expressed by the rewritings, the course aims at generating a peculiar consciousness of the way both characters and narrators voice one’s own vision of literature and of the world. Students should be able to apply their knowledge and interpretive skills to a wider set of texts and artistic genres, developing a learned and critical readership, or spectatorship.
By the end of the course, students should be able to apply their judgements to a theoretically grounded level of textual reading. They should also be able to show the capacity to correctly situating the texts in the epoch and cultural atmosphere which gave them life. Students will interpret them in a critically founded way, paying attention to narrative devices, themes, genres, poetics, as consistently employed by their authors.
By the end of the course, students ought to show the capacity to master the expression of textual contents, knowing how to point out and communicate the identifying and connecting elements which run across a defined series of literary texts.
Trained to read texts which belong to a cultural tradition, students should develop critical skills, in order to successfully study the contemporary literary panorama. They should also improve their judgement abilities about what they have learnt (literary-historical knowledge) in order to structure their final dissertation, as well as to prepare themselves to the reading abilities required by the second cycle of studies.
Course contents summary
Title of the course: Rethinking Literary History: a geocritical exploration of Turin through genres, from early XXth Century patisseries to the multiethnic present
Among the most debated questions, in literary theory and didactics, is the possible rethinking of literary facts in the wake of explanations alternative to the well-established use of historiography. The so-called spatial turn which took place in the last decades in Humanities, brang to the implementation of the Geocritical methodology, in French criticism. We will see a possible example of Geocriticism through the varying facets of Contemporary Turin, from the beginning of the XXth Century onwards. Ex-Italian capital, cradle of a discreet bourgeoisie, primary cultural centre, and, last but not least, terminal for older and newer migrations.
1A. Giannitrapani, Introduzione alla semiotica dello spazio, Carocci 2013 (only for students in Teoria della letteratura)
1B. Giovannetti, La letteratura italiana moderna e contemporanea. Guida allo studio, Carocci 2001 (only for students in Letteratura italiana contemporanea mod. B; chapters 3, 4, 8 are not compulsory)
2. Gozzano, I colloqui, in Tutte le poesie, edited by G. Bàrberi Squarotti, Bur Rizzoli
3. Pavese, Tra donne sole, Einaudi
4. Ginzburg, Le voci della sera, Einaudi
5. Fruttero & Lucentini, La donna della domenica, Oscar Mondadori
6. Culicchia, Torino è casa nostra, Laterza, or Lakhous, Contesa per un maialino italianissimo a San Salvario, Edizioni e/o (students who decide not to attend the lessons will read both books)
At Copyland (via d’Azeglio 87/A), shortly after the end of the course, some didactic materials will be available, regarding ‘Iacoli - Teoria della letteratura-Letteratura italiana contemporanea mod. B 2015-2016’: students will find some critical readings which will contribute to a deeper understanding of the required readings.
Frontal lessons; DVD screenings (theatrical and cinematic works)
Assessment methods and criteria
Oral. Students ought to show a basic interpretive capacity. While discerning rhetorical-stylistic, thematic and ideological components of the texts, they should be able to reconstruct wider historical and theoretical contexts.