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CODE 65308
SEMESTER 2° Semester



The teaching is divided into two parts: 6 CFU: 36 h. frontal teaching - first semester; 9 CFU: 54 h. frontal teaching - second semester

Particularly throughout the last century, theatre played a fundamental role in the social and political life of Poles. In this art, Poland counts some of the greatest directors and theatres of the Western world, such as Tadeusz Kantor or Jerzy Grotowski. Some of the greatest representatives of prose of the period, such as Witkiewicz and Gombrowicz or, in our days, Andrej Stasiuk, have also dedicated themselves to theatre. But The Avi (Dziady) by Adam Mickiewicz is also a play in which the poet lays the foundations for the spiritual birth of modern Poland.

The second part of the course (an additional 18 hours, for a total of 9 CFU) will consist of a general overview of the major literary currents and historical-political events from Young Poland to the present day.





The teaching aims to bring the student closer to the specific cultural heritage of Poland, its history and literature. A literature whose value in modern times can also be witnessed by the Nobel prizes awarded to it: Sienkiewicz (1905, the first Nobel to a Slavic writer), Reymont (1924), Miłosz (1980), Szymborska (1996), Tokarczuk (2018), to which one can also, in part, add the Nobel awarded to the Yiddish writer I.B Singer in 1978.The aim of this teaching is to make the student approach to the very rich and articulated literary heritage of Poland, from the XVIIII century until nowadays

At the end of the course, the student should be able to find an orientation in the geographical and cultural space of Poland and to individuate some of its more important peculiarities on a European contest

It is therefore intended, by varying the programme from year to year, to offer students new ways of interpreting the thought structure of this great country, focusing on its literature but also considering its history, customs, sociology


At the end of the course, students must be able to orient themselves and understand Polish literature of the twentieth century, in particular as regards the general themes of teaching. They will have to know at least in broad terms the complex geo-political history of Poland of the last century. They will also have acquired a first knowledge of translation techniques from Polish into Italian and will be able, through group work and on-line support, to carry out simple translations from literary texts.


The accomplishment of at least one year of Polish Literature


Frontal lessons

Viewing, explanation and commentary of proposed texts.  At least once during the semester, students will be asked to prepare in small groups of two to three people a short commentary on one of the topics covered and to present it to the rest of the class. Before the final exam, students will prepare a written paper on a topic of their choice from those covered, rigorously applying the drafting rules provided


The teaching is divided into two parts. The first (6 CFU, 36 h) will focus on Polish Theatre


The second part of the course (a further 18 hours, totalling 54 h, 9 CFU) will consist of a general summary of the major literary currents and historical-political events, from Young Poland to the present day.




Mandatory Readings:


History of Polish Literature edited by Luigi Marinelli, Einaudi 2004, from p. 324 to the end.

Theatre and power in Poland from the 19th century to the present day

The Avians Part III (1832) by Adam Mickiewicz (1798-1855) Fragments

The Shoemakers (1934) by Stanislaw Ignacy Witkiewicz (1885-1939)

Operetta (1966) by Witold Gombrowicz (1904-1969)

Emigrants (1974) by Slawomir Mrozek (1930-2013)

The Dead Class (1975) by Tadeusz Kantor (1915-1990)

Night (2005) by Andrzej Stasiuk (1960 -)


Non-attending students will discuss with the teacher an addictional program.



Before accessing the exam, at least a week in advance, all students, whether attending or not, will have to prepare a short paper (one or two pages), on one of the subjects of the course, following the instructions in the file Norme per tesi e tesine available on the Teacher Page





October 2024




The oral exam will allow to evaluate the student's ability to put in relation the various topics discussed during the course. During the exam, which includes open questions and feedbacks on the entire program covered, will be evaluated the quality of the presentation, the correct use of the vocabulary (in particular in relation to the literary movements and the currents of thought studied), the capacity of critical and temporal orientation. Attendance and active participation in the lessons and at the conferences, which are an integral part of the teaching, is also obviously evaluated.




The student will demonstrate to have assimilated the program, to have acquired the basic knowledge provided during the teaching, to be able to elaborate a short speech both on the subject at will and on those required and to comment on the texts studied during the course semester, placing them in the Polish and European historical and cultural context. Attendance and active participation in the lessons will not only facilitate the exam path but will also be evaluated in the final score.
The essay submitted before the exam will be discussed and evaluated


Polish students may read the bibliograhy in the original language

Facilitations for Ukrainian students


Students who have duly filed a certification of disability, DSA or other special educational needs are advised to contact both the contact person Prof. Sara Dickinson ( and the lecturer at the beginning of the course, in order to agree on teaching and examination methods that, while respecting the teaching objectives, take into account individual learning methods and provide suitable compensatory tools.