ENGLISH LITERATURE III
Learning outcomes of the course unit
The course aims to give students solid general knowledge of the main manifestations of national identity within the literary cultures of the British Isles from the Renaissance to the present, in order to enable them to contextualize literary facts within complex series of literary-historical and cultural events from both diachronic and synchronic perspectives.
During the course students learn to
. know the main authors, works, movements and aesthetic ideas related to the issue of national identity in the cultures of the British Isles from the Renaissance onwards;
. understand and analyze literary texts in the original language characterized by formal, thematic and ideological complexities;
. independently find further information on these topics using both print and digital resources;
. make informed and motivated judgments based on a careful decoding of the text, in relation to complex literary and cultural phenomena;
. communicate and discuss content, analyses and judgments in English, using an appropriate linguistic register, that is one suitable to the lexicon of literary studies, and corresponding to the C1 level;
. apply the skills developed during the course also to complex non-literary texts, offering documented analyses of these texts and justifying interpretations through a careful individuation and examination of textual data.
In order to take the exam, the student will have already passed English Literature Year 2.
Course contents summary
The course, taught in English, focuses on the study of authors, works and movements - from the Renaissance to the contemporary period - dealing with the question of national identity. It aims to bring students to examine the emergence, within the field of literary representation, of the different national identities in the British Isles from the early modern period onwards, as well as the development of a shared but problematic Britishness from the eighteenth century onwards. At the same time, the course will consider, through the analysis of texts from different eras, how Britain’s imperial expansion has influenced the formation of these identities. These examinations are complemented by the study of specific literary and cultural movements and periods in the evolution of English-language literature in the British Isles of the Twentieth Century. In the lectures, the introduction of historical and aesthetic contexts regularly accompanies the analysis of texts (in the form of excerpts and in the original language) from a structural, stylistic and thematic-ideological point of view. Students are also expected to read and study novels and plays to be chosen among those listed in the exam syllabus, drawn up by the tutor at the end of the course and made available online.
This will be illustrated at the beginning of, and made available online half-way through, the course.
“Norton Anthology of English Literature” (9th edition) (New York: W.W. Norton) especially for texts to be analyzed and studied; 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. Further bibliographic references will be given during the course and will be listed in the exam syllabus.
During the lectures, taught in English, the tutor will introduce the main historical-cultural contextual aspects, the profiles of the authors and the texts, using the course bibliography and additional textual or visual materials made available on the University’s Elly Platform. Students will also be offered suggestions for individual study and analysis, thus inviting them – as third-year students – to pursue an increasingly original and independent approach to the analysis of the themes and issues raised during the course.
Assessment methods and criteria
Assessment of knowledge and skills is by oral exam in English. The exam aims to assess:
. oral proficiency in English corresponding to the C1 level and, more particularly, the student’s successful acquisition of the appropriate register and the specific lexicon of literary studies;
. knowledge of texts, authors, contexts and their formal and ideological issues in the development of the theme of national identity from the Renaissance onwards;
. an adequate ability to explore independently and personally rework contents learned during the course, to propose individual insights that may go beyond the topics covered in the course, to solve problems related to information retrieval and the decoding of complex texts, and to formulate autonomous judgments.
Questions during the oral exam are designed to assess knowledge, the ability to rework this knowledge independently and originally, the ability to apply this knowledge through textual analysis, and the ability to expand it through connections, comparisons and contrasts.
A fail is determined by the lack, demonstrated by the student during the oral examination, of an understanding of the minimum content of the course, the inability to express oneself in English at C1 level, by a lack of autonomous preparation, the inability to solve problems related to information retrieval and the decoding of complex texts, as well as an inability to make independent judgments. A pass (18-23/30) is determined by the student’s possession of the minimum, fundamental contents of the course, the ability to express oneself at a level of English which, despite simplified communicative skills, presents some characteristics of the C1 level, an adequate level of autonomous preparation and ability to solve problems related to information retrieval and the decoding of complex texts, as well as an acceptable level of ability in making independent judgments. Middle-range scores (24-27/30) are assigned to the student who produces evidence of a more than sufficient level (24-25/30) or 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.