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CODE 108853
ACADEMIC YEAR 2024/2025
CREDITS
SCIENTIFIC DISCIPLINARY SECTOR L-LIN/10
LANGUAGE English
TEACHING LOCATION
  • GENOVA
SEMESTER 1° Semester
TEACHING MATERIALS AULAWEB

OVERVIEW

This is an elective course offered in the first semester (36 hours); lectures are given in English. It is open to all students, but is especially meant for third-year students and LM students of the Department of modern foreign languages, as well as for Erasmus and other foreign students visiting Genova University in the first semester. The syllabus for a.a. 2024-25 focuses on the British nineteenth-century ghost story.

AIMS AND CONTENT

LEARNING OUTCOMES

This elective course is available to both third-year BA and MA students. It focuses each year on different authors, themes, genres and moments in literary history with the aim of widening the student's experience of literary texts in English through a variety of critical approaches.

AIMS AND LEARNING OUTCOMES

Students who have attended classes regularly and actively, and studied the prescribed material,

- have acquired a general knowledge of the genesis and development of the modern ghost story in English, and are able to connect it to the transformations of the market for literature, and to other historical and cultural aspects of the 'long' nineteenth century.

- have acquired an in-depth knowledge of a small corpus of 19th-century short stories/novellas, are able to describe their main formal and thematic features and connect them to specific historical and cultural contexts, making use of cues and ideas offered by critical materials.

PREREQUISITES

A general knowledge of British literary history (Romantics to Modernists), a good understanding of spoken English, and the ability to read complex literary and critical texts.

TEACHING METHODS

This course will mainly consist in lectures. Classes will require preparatory work at home (preparatory reading of texts which will be made available on Perusall). Individual or group activities on selected literary texts and relevant critical material may be offered to regularly attending students.

SYLLABUS/CONTENT

This course provides an introduction to the study of the ghost story and the flourishing of this sub-genre in the nineteenth century. Its focus is especially on late nineteenth-century fictions. A selection of short stories and novellas by various authors will be studied, together with a range of contextual and critical materials.

RECOMMENDED READING/BIBLIOGRAPHY

All students will have to read a selection of short fictions by various authors (Ch. Dickens, H. James, Ch. Riddell, M. Oliphant, R. Kipling) and extracts from longer fictions relating to ghostly apparitions (M.G. Lewis, E. Brontë). Students will also have to study contextual materials as well as some specimens of significant critical work on the subject (S. Freud, "The Uncanny"; T. Castle on "Phantasmagoria"). All materials will be made available on aulaweb. Likewise, audio-recordings of all lectures will be made available on aulaweb, for the benefit of students who cannot attend regularly.

TEACHERS AND EXAM BOARD

Exam Board

LUISA VILLA (President)

LESSONS

LESSONS START

October 2024

Class schedule

The timetable for this course is available here: Portale EasyAcademy

EXAMS

EXAM DESCRIPTION

Assessment will be based on written examination involving open-ended questions on all the topics surveyed in the lectures and all the materials included in the reading list. It will comprise at least one guided commentary on a passage from one of the fictional works.

Regularly attending students who, from week to week, do their assigned homework and actively take part in class activities will be given the option of replacing selected parts of the written exam with other forms of assessment. 

Students from the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures are expected to take their exam in English. Students from other Departments may choose to be assessed in Italian. 

ASSESSMENT METHODS

Students will be asked to demonstrate their knowledge of primary texts and critical bibliography, their understanding of cultural and theoretical issues and their ability to analyse and contextualise extracts from literary texts. Open-ended questions test knowledge and comprehension; the guided commentary tests the student's ability to recognise 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 strongly recommended. At the beginning of the course students will have to enrol on AulaWeb. Enrolment for exams is online on the University of Genova website.

This syllabus is valid till February 2026.

Students who have valid certification of physical or learning disabilities on file with the University and who wish to discuss possible accommodations or other circumstances regarding lectures, coursework and exams, should speak both with the instructor and with Prof. Sara Dickinson (sara.dickinson@unige.it), the Department’s disability liaison.

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