|SCIENTIFIC DISCIPLINARY SECTOR||L-LIN/11|
This is a 54-hour course (two modules 36 + 18 hours) taught in the second semester of the second / third year. It could also be a course of one module, 36 hours (6CFU). It introduces aspects of the literature and culture of the United States from the end of the 19th century to the contemporary period. Language: English.
36-credit-module: Dott.ssa Paola A. Nardi
18-credit-module: not yet assigned
The course aims at familiarizing students with major trends of American culture and with important works in different genres (fiction, essays, poetry, movies, visual arts). Students will learn how to analyze such works competently from a historical and textual perspective
At the completion of the course the student
- will have become familiar with major American historical and cultural developments, and with some major American writers and texts;
- will be able to interpret these developments in English and Italian with reference to fiction, poetry, drama and literary theory;
- will be able to contextualize and analyze texts and documents of notable complexity and historical significance and describe their cultural and linguistic peculiarities.
Preferably, students should already have taken an introductory course in American literature. However, personal interest and a good background in reading literature may be sufficient to participate usefully in this course. A fair knowledge of English (B2 or superior level) and an ability to follow complex historical and cultural arguments are also required. Erasmus students are welcome.
Course with lectures in English and seminar activities, workgroups, and close-readings.
Students who are unable to attend will have to read some supplementary material.
For students who decide to come to lessons, attendance is mandatory for 28 hours out of 36 and 13 hours out of 18 (75% of the course). Attendance is checked through signatures.
Attendance is strongly recommended.
Lessons are in English.
The course of the second year aims at introducing the essential elements of the literature and culture of the United States through some of the fundamental texts of the period from the end of the 19th century to the contemporary period. Every year through different texts and perspectives, students will focus on issues like the literature of the West, the South, the urban development, racial tensions, ethnic literature, environmental issues, Realism, Modernism, and Post-Modernism. These topics will be presented in various courses that will deal with different spaces: New England, Midwest, West, the South, and the American city.
“The Literature and Culture of the Midwest”
The course focuses on the literature and culture of the Midwest, the American heartland, and one of the most representative spaces of the United States. Through a selection of a wide variety of literary texts, students will be introduced to different issues, among which, pioneer’s life in the Midwest, the African-American experience in Chicago ghettos, the pastoral beauty of the natural landscape, the surviving strategies of Native tribes, the devastation of the environment, small towns of the American Province, life on the road.
Authors that might be included in the course for both attending/non-attending students (reading list to be integrated/modified)
Sherwood Anderson, Winesburg, Ohio (1919)
Charles Baxter, Gryphon: New and Selected Stories (2011), selected short stories
Willa Cather, O Pioneers (1913)/ My Antonia (1919), selected short-stories
Louise Erdrich, Love Medicine (1984), selected short stories
Jim Harrison, Dalva (1988), selected poems
William Hathaway, The Blood on the Forge, (1941)
Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac, (1949) selected essays
Sinclair Lewis, Main Street, (1920)
Marilynne Robinson, Housekeeping (1980)
David Foster Wallace, selected short stories and essays
Richard Wright, Native Son (1940)
Slides, as well as further teaching material used during lessons, will be available on aulaweb.
Students who are unable to attend will be given specific critical readings.
Second semester, February 2023, the precise date will be posted in aulaweb at the end of January 2023.
Students will take a written exam at the end of the course (June, July, September, October 2023, and February 2024).
For students who will attend the course, the evaluation will be based on both their active participation in the lessons (25%) and the final exam (75%)
The evaluation will be based entirely on the final exam for the other students.
There will be a written exam (2 hours). The exam consists of 5 questions, and answers must be not less than 15 lines long.
Students will have to show their knowledge of the authors presented, the texts analyzed, and their cultural contexts.
The exam paper involves open questions and commentary on literary texts (poems, extracts of short stories, novels, essays, etc.). The open questions test knowledge and comprehension; the commentary tests the student's ability to recognize and describe the main formal features of specific texts and connect them to contextual historical and cultural information; it also tests the student's comprehension of and ability to respond to, critical essays included in the reading list.
Attendance is highly recommended. Students who cannot attend will have to study some supplementary or different material. Course enrolment via aulaweb is mandatory. Examination enrolment is through the unige website.
This syllabus is valid till July 2024.
Erasmus students are welcome.
If you're a student with a learning difficulty, health problem or disability please contact the professor firstname.lastname@example.org.