Skip to main content
CODE 98533
SEMESTER 2° Semester


Autobiography and writings of the self in French

The course aims to offer a critical overview of the development of autobiographical writings from the end of the 18th century to contemporary times. Reflections on the genres of the writings of the ego, on the representation of the feminine self and on the use of photography will guide the approach to the works examined



The course aims to provide students of Literature with a good knowledge of the history of French literature from the Enlightenment to the end of the twentieth century, with anthological readings in front of text and particular attention to historical and artistic dynamics, as well as to theoretical positions.


The teaching is part of the course of study in the subject area, providing the basis for a comparative reflection on literary history in relation to history and the history of art, through fundamental knowledge of the relationship links.

Attendance and active participation in the proposed training activities (frontal lessons and online activities) and individual study will enable the student to

  • know the general outlines of the literary history of the period in question with particular regard to the narrative of the self;
  • distinguish the characteristics of the major literary movements; 
  • recognise the works of the great authors of literature written in French;
  • contextualise literary productions in the culture and historical period of reference;
  • recognise and identify the characteristics of photographic representation in texts.

The course aims to contribute to the achievement of the following Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda:

  • Goal 4. Provide quality, equitable and inclusive education and learning opportunities for all
  • Goal 5. Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
  • Goal 16. Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development




Lectures with the support of digital technologies.

The following modes will be used during the course: Flipped classrom, Task based learning, Cooperative learning and Collective reading. Group and individual work will be offered to students. The frequency will be monitored. 


Autobiography and writings of the ego in French

The lectures will present theoretical aspects relating to the study of the literature of the period covered by the course and anthological excerpts will be analysed in class, which will form part of the teaching material available on aulaweb. The course will consist of three parts in which the following topics will be developed:

1) The emergence of autobiography in France and its developments from the eighteenth to the twentieth century.

2) Writings of the feminine self.

3) Photography and the account of the self.


In addition to the teaching materials on Aulaweb and the recording of the lectures, the following textbook will be useful for the study of the history of French literature of the period covered by the course, compulsory for non-attending students.

- Michela Landi (ed.), Letteratura francese. Dall’Ottocento al XXI secolo, Vol. 2, Le Monnier Università, 2021

The programme includes five (9CFU) or four (6CFU) integral readings from among the texts that will be studied during the course and whose bibliographical details will be provided at the beginning of the course. Non-attending students will also study one of the following theoretical reference texts:

- Philippe Lejeune,The Autobiographical Pact, Il Mulino

A selection of articles to be communicated at the beginning of the course




February 2025



Oral examination


The oral exam will test your actual acquisition of basic knowledge of French culture and literature from the late 18th century to the present day, literary movements and major authors in relation to the development of autobiographical writing and forms of self-narrative.

Literary text analysis skills will be tested by reading and commenting on a text chosen at random from those read and analysed in class.

The interview will also focus on the candidates' readings of the full texts and will aim to assess whether an adequate level of knowledge has been achieved and whether the ability to situate the texts in the historical and cultural period in which they were written has been acquired.

Expository capacity and accuracy in the use of language specific to the discipline will also be assessed.


Students with disabilities and students with DSA are reminded that in order to request adaptations for examinations they must first enter their certification on the University website at in the "Students" section. The documentation will be checked by the University's Services for the Inclusion of Students with Disabilities and DSA Sector (
Subsequently, at least 10 days before the date of the exam, an e-mail must be sent to the teacher with whom you will be sitting the exam, including in copy knowledge of both the School's Referring Teacher for the inclusion of students with disabilities and with DSA (Prof. Elisabetta Colagrossi: and the Sector indicated above. In the e-mail it is necessary to specify: the name of the teaching subject; the date of the call; the student's surname, first name and matriculation number; the compensatory and dispensatory measures considered functional; and required.  The contact person will confirm to the teacher that the applicant has the right to request adaptations during the examination and that these adaptations must be agreed upon with the teacher. The lecturer will respond by stating whether the requested adaptations can be used.
Requests must be sent at least 10 days before the date of the exam in order to allow the lecturer to assess their content. In particular, if you intend to use maps for the examination (which must be much more concise than the maps used for the study) if the submission does not meet the deadline, there will be no technical time to make any changes. For further information on the request for services and adaptations please refer to: