Learning outcomes of the course unit
The course aims to bring students into contact with topics that are concrete and current subjects of study for the lecturers, putting them directly in touch with methods and problems of research and critical work. Attending students are asked to prepare an oral presentation and to produce a short essay on an original argument, which is related to the theme of the course and to the specific interests of the pupil.
The following are mandatory prerequisites:
1. Good knowledge of the main lines of development of literature in Italy from the Middle Ages to the early twentieth century;
2. Knowledge of the main metric forms and the most common rhetoric figures;
3. Sufficient ability to produce written discursive texts.
Course contents summary
In a series of key works of Italian literature (from La Divina Commedia to La figlia di Iorio) are described or staged forms of popular rituals, connected to the religious or civilian life. The course aims to analyze the construction and function of these images and descriptions, and to investigate the nature of the ritual practice of poetry, which always - like every rite - implies a set of rules laid down by tradition, uses a code shared by the community, is 'repeatable' in time (Widergebrauchsrede, according to Lausberg) and meets a requirement essentially communicative.
For the concept of “ritual” the course will keep as a reference point see: W. BURKERT, Structure and history in Greek mythology and ritual, Berkley, University of California Press, 1979.
Some texts and topics to be further explored will be introduced during the course, and each student will then have a specific bibliography proposed to them.
Students who cannot attend regularly to the course can get ready to the examination through a deepened reading of the following texts and critical contributions:
 D. ALIGHIERI, Purgatorio, in any paperback edition with critical notes.  L.B. ALBERTI, Momo, o del principe, ed. R. Consolo, Genova, Costa & Nolan, 1986.  U. FOSCOLO, I Sepolcri e Le Grazie, in any edition (paperbacks also) with critical notes (Mondadori, BUR, UTET);  G. D’ANNUNZIO, La figlia di Iorio, ed. R. Bertazzoli, Milano, Garzanti, 1995.
 C. CALENDA, Purgatorio IX: le forme del sogno, i miti, il rito, in «Rivista di Studi Danteschi», I (2001), 2, pp. 284-301;  B. MARTINELLI, Dante: le prove del sentimento. Rito e confessione (“Purgatorio” XXXI), in Id., Dante: l’altro viaggio, Pisa, Giardini, 2007, pp. 213-257:  S. BORSI, Momus, o Del principe : Leon Battista Alberti, i papi, il giubileo, Firenze, Polistampa, 1999;  F. FEDI, Immagini del rito fra i “Sepolcri” e “Le Grazie”, in Ead. Artefici di numi. Favole antiche e utopie moderne fra Illuminismo ed Età napoleonica, Bulzoni, 2004, pp. 185-211;  I. PLACK, Il mito nella tragedia dannunziana. "La figlia di Iorio": una analisi critica, in «Italianistica», 2003, pp. 377-388;  D. MIGLIARDI, "Uomini accesi e femmine feconde". "La figlia di Iorio" da Michetti a d'Anunzio: sublimazione erotico-simbolica di un mito abbruzzese, in «Sinestesie», 2008-2009, pp. 565-591.
The course will be structured in two phases, through
(1) Introductory lectures
(2) Presentation and discussion of the students' seminar works
Assessment methods and criteria
For attending: preparation of an oral presentation and, subsequently, of a written work.
The assessment of written works produces by the students will take into account various parameters:
(1) The correct and efficient use of the bibliography provided
(2) The originality of the individual contribution to the bibliographic and thematic research
(3) Coherence of the argument
(4) Accuracy and efficacy in the presentation or in the written text.
Non attending students: oral examination.