English literature 1
Scientific Disciplinary Sector (SSD)
L-LIN/10 - ENGLISH LITERATURE
Language of instruction
I semestre dal Oct 1, 2015 al Jan 9, 2016.
The course offers an introduction to Black British literature (produced by English authors of south-Asian, African, Caribbean origins) from the 1950s to the present. Four novels written in different historical periods will be analysed from a structural, thematic and linguistic perspective, and, in particular, the concepts of “Blackness” and “Britishness” will be critically investigated within the wider context of the history of British colonialism and imperialism. The Black British identity emerging from the texts will be examined as an ever changing transnational and transracial cultural and political issue that finally questions what it means to be British in the 21st century.
Lectures will be in English.
Texts must be read in English and brought with you on exam day.
- S. Selvon, The Lonely Londoners (1956)
- B. Emecheta, Second-Class Citizen (1974)
- H. Kureishi, The Buddha of Suburbia (1990)
- Z. Smith, N-W (2012)
- P. Bertinetti, English Literature. A Short History (2010) [capp. 8, 9, 10, 11]
- J. Procter, Dwelling Places. Postwar Black British Writing (2003) [capp. 1,2,4]
- A.M. Porter, “Second Class Citizen: the Point of Departure for Understanding Buchi Emecheta’s Major Fiction”, The International Fiction Review 15, n. 2, 1988 (pp. 123-129)
- L. Wells, "The Right to a Secret: Zadie Smith's NW" in P. Tew, Reading Zadie Smith (2013) [pp. 97-110]
ADDITIONAL TEXTS FOR NON-ATTENDING STUDENTS:
- M. Looker, Atlantic Passages (1996) [“Introduction”, pp. 1-20; cap. 3 “Inventing Black London: The Lonely Londoners”, pp. 59-80]
- K. Kaleta, Hanif Kureishi: Postcolonial Storyteller (2010) [cap. 3]
- A. Pes, "Post-postcolonial Issues and Identities in Zadie Smith's N-W", The European English Messenger, vol 23.2, Winter 2014, pp. 21-27
Oral exam at the end of the course. Students will be required to answer questions and comment on primary texts, on the literary and historical period in which they are set, and on critical texts.