Learning outcomes of the course unit
Apart from allowing students to acquire the basic knowledge necessary to confront any literary text in terms of genre and socio-cultural contextualisation, the course aims at developing their sensitivity to literariness and to provide them with the tools to examine texts in their original language. It also aims at giving them the instruments to acquire information concerning specific authors and texts, aesthetic theories and cultural issues in relation to the gender red thread on which the entire course focuses. At the end of the course they should hold the necessary skills and competences to analyse English literary texts from both a critical and linguistic perspective, as well as to identify the relationships between texts and contexts. Another important aim of the course is to provide students with the critical and linguistic tools apt to develop those communicative skills (both in Italian and in English) allowing them to examine and comment upon any literary text autonomously.
Course contents summary
The course concerns the history of English literature (or literature in English) from Shakespeare to nowadays, following a thematic path centred on gender issues and the representation of male and female figures/ images/ aspects in preselected literary texts. Authors and texts will be contextualised, and the works will be analysed in their linguistic and semantic features. The course will follow a chronological line. In the first part (about 15 hours) students will examine a selection of authors and texts from the Elizabethan age to late 18th century, in relation to the historical and cultural context which they represent and express. The second part (the other 15 hours) will focus on authors and texts from the Romantic period to nowadays, including representative texts of postmodern and postcolonial discourses. The six workshop hours will be devoted to in-depth discussions of some of the themes tackled in the course, and to the close reading of some texts marked by linguistic and formal complexity.
For cultural and literary history: L. M. Crisafulli e K. Elam (a cura di) Manuale di letteratura e cultura inglese, Bologna: BUP, 2009 e The Norton Anthology of English Literature, vol. I e vol. II. Here the students must read all the introductions to the periods and to the authors included in the syllabus. The specific selection of texts will be indicated in the definitive syllabus published in the online platform of the university (elly). In this website the students will also find the critical secondary materials (essays and articles) in support of the reading of the primary texts.
The course consists of teaching units which aim at guiding students in their close reading of literary texts, and providing them with examples of how to make use of bibliographical reference. Classes will be divided into lectures and seminars, according to the topics and the selected texts. Most of the materials will be available in the online platform of the university (elly). To the class work students will have to add their own individual homework, in particular to read full texts in the original language which can only be examined through extracts during the lectures.
Assessment methods and criteria
The oral examination, in part in Italian and in part in English, will consist of two parts:
1. The student will present a topic of his choice in English (analysis of a short text, comparison between various texts, etc.). This part aims at evaluating the student’s capacity of linking text and context, as well as to use English in order to comment upon a literary text.
2. The students will be examined, in Italian (unless he/she wants to answer in English), on other texts of the syllabus and on specific aspects concerning the socio-cultural and literary backgrounds.
A fail is attributed to an oral examination revealing: a serious lack of knowledge in relation to the contents of the course; the inability on the part of the student to express himself/herself adequately in Italian; a total inability to interpret the literary text in the light of assigned secondary sources. Deemed sufficient (18-23 / 30) is an examination in which the student shows to have learned the minimum and essential contents of the course, an ability to express himself/herself in an Italian appropriate to the topic presented; a sufficient capacity to decode the literary text through the use of assigned secondary materials. The student gets an average rating (24-27 / 30) if he/she proves to have more than a sufficient level (24-25/30) or a good level (26-27/30) in the evaluation indicators listed above. He/she is awarded a very good or excellent score (from 28/30 to 30/30 cum laude) if he/she fully meets the requirements expressed by the indicators listed above.