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CODE 55857
ACADEMIC YEAR 2023/2024
CREDITS
SCIENTIFIC DISCIPLINARY SECTOR L-LIN/11
LANGUAGE English
TEACHING LOCATION
  • GENOVA
SEMESTER 2° Semester
TEACHING MATERIALS AULAWEB

OVERVIEW

This is a 36-hour course taught in the second semester of the first year. It introduces aspects of the literature and culture of the United States from the Colonial Period to the end of the 19th century. Language: English. Credits: 6.

AIMS AND CONTENT

LEARNING OUTCOMES

Students will acquire a general knowledge of the language, culture, institutions and selectied literary trends and texts of the U.S.

AIMS AND LEARNING OUTCOMES

The course aims at familiarizing students with major trends of American culture and with important works in different genres (fiction, essay, drama, poetry, film). Students will learn how to analyze such works competently from a historical and generic perspective.

Students who attend this course regularly and study the prescribed materials

1.    can describe the literary forms and the most important personalities of the American literature and culture of the 19th century;

2.    can recognize and interpret theoretical, poetical, and narrative texts in the context of the historical/cultural period studied

3.    can analyze complex texts with their cultural and linguistic peculiarities

PREREQUISITES

The course is entirely taught in English. Students are expected to have a B2 level of English which is the exit level they are supposed to have with the Italian High School Degree

TEACHING METHODS

Course with lectures in English and seminar activities, workgroups, and close-readings. Three hours per week given in two classes (of 2 hours and 1 hour respectively).

LESSONS ARE IN ENGLISH.

For students who decide to come to lessons, attendance is mandatory for 28 hours out of 36 (75% of the course). Attendance is checked through signatures at the beginning and end of lessons. 

Attendance is strongly recommended.

SYLLABUS/CONTENT

The course of the first year aims at introducing the basic elements of the literature and culture of the United States through some of the fundamental texts of the period from the Colonies to the Civil War. Every year through different texts and perspectives, students will focus on issues like American Exceptionalism, the Puritan Heritage, the Wilderness, the myth of the frontier, racial tensions, cultural and ethnic varieties, and the American Dream.

RECOMMENDED READING/BIBLIOGRAPHY

Authors that might be included in the course for both attending/non-attending students (reading list to be integrated/modified)

 

N. Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter (novel)

Harriet Jacobs, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (novel)

Emerson, “Nature”, (extracts)

                “The American Scholar” (extracts)

Herman Melville, “Bartleby” / “I and My Chimney” (short story)

Frederick Douglass, “What to A Slave is the Fourth of July” (extracts)

Edgar A. Poe, “The Tell-Tale Heart” / “The Oval Portrait” / “The Cask of Amontillado”, “The Gold Bug” (short stories)

Walt Whitman, Song of Myself” (poems)

Charles Chesnutt, “The Goophered Grapevine” / “The Wife of His Youth"

 

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.

TEACHERS AND EXAM BOARD

Exam Board

PAOLA ANNA NARDI (President)

GABRIELE FERRACCI

STEFANIA MICHELUCCI (Substitute)

LESSONS

LESSONS START

Second semester, martedì 20 February 2024

EXAMS

EXAM DESCRIPTION

Students will take a written exam at the end of the course (June, July, September, October 2023, and January 2024).

For students who will attend the course, the evaluation will be based on both to their active participation in the lessons (25%) and the final exam (75%)

For the other students, the evaluation will be based entirely on the final exam.

There will be a reduction in the number of questions and the exam duration for attending students who have already dealt with texts in the syllabus.

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. 

ASSESSMENT METHODS

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.

FURTHER INFORMATION

Attendance is highly recommended. Students who are unable to 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 February 2025.

Erasmus students are welcome!

If you're a student with a learning difficulty, health problem or disability please contact the professor disabili@unige.it and and Professor Dickinson (sara.dickinson@unige.it)

You should also inform the professor with a mail to paola.nardi@unige.it well in advance of the exam.