Learning outcomes of the course unit
•Introduce students to the discourses of contemporaneity and postcoloniality, which are useful to a theoretical approach to the selected texts;
•Provide students with the guidelines in order to analyse a narrative/dramatic text in its essential and structural components;
•Give an overview of the most important features and directions in contemporary fiction and drama in the various geographical areas involved.
Course contents summary
“IDENTITY JOURNEYS IN SCOTTISH, IRISH, AND POSTCOLONIAL FICTION AND DRAMA (1993-2017)”
The course concentrates on the study of contemporary Anglophone authors and works dealing with the question of Scottish, Irish, and postcolonial identity. It aims to explore the emergence of these different identities in the British Isles, as well as the problematization of a shared Britishness in the contemporary age. In the lectures, the introduction of historical and aesthetic contexts regularly accompanies the analysis of novels and plays from a structural, stylistic, and thematic-ideological point of view. Students are also expected to read and study a text to be chosen among those listed in the exam syllabus.
Compulsory Literary Texts
- A. L. KENNEDY, “Looking for the Possible Dance” (1993)
- DAVID GREIG, “Dunsinane” (2010)
- WILLIAM TREVOR, “Felicia’s Journey” (1994)
- MARTIN MCDONAGH, “The Beauty Queen of Leenane” (1996)
- BERNARDINE EVARISTO, “Mr Loverman” (2013)
- ALIA BANO, “Shades” (2009)
- ALI SMITH, “Autumn” (2016) [extracts]
- AMANDA CRAIG, “The Lie of the Land” (2017) [extracts]
Elective Literary Texts (Please choose 1 novel or 1 play)
- JACKIE KAY, “Trumpet” (1998)
- ALISTAIR BEATON, “Caledonia” (2010)
- RODDY DOYLE, “Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha” (1993)
- MARINA CARR, “By the Bog of Cats” (1998)
- MONICA ALI, “Brick Lane” (2003)
- KWAME KWEI-ARMAH, “Elmina’s Kitchen” (2003)
Due to the Covid pandemic, the course is held through video-recorded classes in English, which will be uploaded on the online platform Elly. During the lessons, the professor will introduce the main elements of the socio-cultural context, the authors’ profiles and the texts, supported by the course bibliography and other materials (both textual and visual) available to students on Elly. The professor will also give advice for personal research and study, in order to stimulate students’ autonomy.
Assessment methods and criteria
The assessment of knowledge and skills occurs by means of an oral examination.
During the oral exam, the student is asked to answer questions in English 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 out of his/her choice, selected from among those examined during the course, or chosen by the student independently and agreed on with the professor.
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 periods in question;
• an appropriate level in the ability to expand autonomously on certain contents.
The oral examination is designed to assess knowledge, the ability for independent and original reworking of such knowledge, as well as the ability to make connections, comparisons and contrasts.
A fail is determined by the lack, demonstrated by students during the oral examination, of understanding of the minimum and essential contents of the course, the inability to express themselves adequately on the subject 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 awarded to those students who show that they have learned the minimum and essential contents of the course, that they have acquired an ability to discuss literary topics appropriately in English, with a sufficient competence in relation to the characteristics of the B2 level, that they have achieved 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.