HISTORY OF ENGLISH CULTURE
Learning outcomes of the course unit
• Introduce students to Brexit theory and to the cultural discourses of Europeanness and Britishness;
• Provide students with the guidelines in order to analyse a watershed political event, its cultural roots and reverberations, as well as its (inter)national impact;
• Give an overview of the most important features and directions in BrexLit (fiction, poetry, and drama) and of the influence of Brexit on the English language.
Course contents summary
"BREXIT(ING) BRITAIN: THE CULTURAL ROOTS OF A POLITICAL DIVORCE”
The course examines the impact of the Brexit phenomenon (as well as its causes) from a theoretical, political, cultural, literary, and linguistic perspective and deals with the thorny question of Europeanness vs Britishness. In the lectures, the introduction of cultural and political contexts regularly accompanies the analysis of literary texts from a structural, stylistic, and thematic-ideological point of view. Students are also expected to read and study a Brexit novel to be chosen among those listed in the exam syllabus.
The finalised exam syllabus will be available on the Elly page at the end of the course.
• JACQUES DERRIDA, "The Other Heading: Reflections on Today’s Europe", trans. Pascale-Anne Brault and Michael B. Nass (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1992)
• RUDOLF G. ADAM, "Brexit: Causes and Consequences" (Cham: Springer, 2020)
• HAROLD D. CLARKE, MATTHEW GOODWIN, PAUL WHITELEY (eds), "Brexit: Why Britain Voted to Leave the European Union" (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017)
• ROBERT EAGLESTONE (ed.), "Brexit and Literature: Critical and Cultural Responses" (Abingdon and New York: Routledge, 2018)
• STEPHEN PATHMARAJAH, "Brexit: Is It a Betrayal of British Values?" (London: New Generation Publishing, 2016)
• VERONIKA KOLLER, SUSANNE KOPF, MARLENE MIGLBAUER (eds), "Discourses of Brexit" (Abingdon and New York: Routledge, 2019)
• DANNY DORLING, SALLY TOMLINSON (eds), "Rule Britannia: Brexit and the End of Empire" (London: Biteback Publishing, 2020)
Elective Literary Texts (please choose 1 novel among those listed):
• ALI SMITH, "Autumn" (2016)
• AMANDA CRAIG, "The Lie of the Land" (2017)
• JONATHAN COE, "Middle England" (2018)
Due to the pandemic, the course is held through video classes in English, which will be uploaded on the online platform Elly. During the lessons, the professor will introduce the main elements of the political, socio-cultural (and linguistic) 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 English corresponding to B1 level;
• knowledge of political, cultural, literary, and linguistic contexts;
• 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 B1 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 cultural and literary topics appropriately in English, with a sufficient competence in relation to the characteristics of the B1 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.