Scientific Disciplinary Sector (SSD)
L-LIN/10 - ENGLISH LITERATURE
I semestre (Lingue e letterature straniere) dal Sep 27, 2021 al Jan 8, 2022.
The course, taught in English, aims to provide students with an introduction to British literature from the Renaissance to late Romanticism, focusing on some of the most representative works. The course also aims to introduce the main critical approaches and the main features of literary genres. The overall goal of the course is to provide students with a good level of knowledge of literary history (in terms of historical context, texts, genres, movements and authors) and to develop their critical skills for analysis, argumentation and exposition in English, in relation to various typologies of literary texts in their historical-cultural context.
At the end of the course, students will be able to:
- analyse the set texts and place them in their respective historical-cultural contexts;
- describe the texts in a structured and informed way, taking into account literary conventions and applying an informed critical approach; - discuss literary topics in English in a clear and consistent way.
Questions of Time and Place in Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale and The Tempest
The course will analyse two of Shakespeare’s late plays: The Winter’s Tale and The Tempest. We will tackle issues such as journeys in literature and drama, textual migrations and intertextuality, representations of ‘otherness’, gender and genre discourses, metatheatricality. Such themes will be dealt with by exploring the Jacobean historical and cultural context, but also through modern and contemporary adaptations of those two romances.
Further bibliographical instructions and clarifications about the exam will be provided at the beginning of the lectures.
Language: the course will be entirely in English.
Exclusively the editions of the primary texts indicated below will be admitted; please bring the texts in class.
a. Primary texts (compulsory):
- William Shakespeare, The Winter’s Tale, ed. by John Pitcher, London: Arden Shakespeare (Bloomsbury), 2010.
- William Shakespeare, The Tempest, ed. by Virginia Mason Vaughan and Alden T. Vaughan, revised edition, London: Arden Shakespeare (Bloomsbury), 2011.
b. Secondary texts (compulsory):
- Michael D. Bristol, “In Search of the Bear: Spatiotemporal Form and the Heterogeneity of Economies in The Winter's Tale”, Shakespeare Quarterly, Vol. 42, No. 2, 1991, pp. 145-67.
- Jerry Brotton, “'This Tunis, sir, was Carthage': Contesting Colonialism in The Tempest”. In Post-Colonial Shakespeares, edited by Ania Loomba and Martin Orkin, New York: Routledge, 1998, pp. 23-42.
- Mary Ellen Lamb, “Virtual Audiences and Virtual Authors: The Winter's Tale, The Tempest, and Old Wives' Tales”. In Staging Early Modern Romance: Prose Fiction, Dramatic Romance, and Shakespeare, ed. by Mary Ellen Lamb and Valerie Wayne, New York: Routledge, 2009, pp. 122-42.
- Virginia Mason Vaughan, “The Critical Backstory: ‘What’s Past is Prologue’”. In The Tempest: A Critical Reader ed. by Virginia Mason Vaughan and Alden T. Vaughan, Arden Shakespeare (Bloomsbury), 2014, pp. 13-38.
b1. Optional secondary texts:
- Catherine Belsey, “Parenthood: Hermione’s Statue”. In Catherine Belsey, Shakespeare and the Loss of Eden, Houndmills, Macmillan, 1999, pp. 85-128.
- Silvia Bigliazzi and Lisanna Calvi (eds), Revisiting The Tempest: The Capacity to Signify. Houndmills, Palgrave, 2014.
- Richard Proudfoot, “Verbal Reminiscence and the Two-Part structure of The Winter’s Tale”, Shakespeare Survey Vol. 29, 1976, pp. 67-78.
c. Handbook (obligatory):
For the section on the history of literature (from the sixteenth century to the Enlightenment), students are expected to study:
- Andrew Sanders, The Short Oxford History of English Literature (Oxford University Press, 2004 - third edition): chapters 3 (“Renaissance and Reformation: Literature 1510-1620”), 4 (“Revolution and Restoration: Literature 1620-1690) and 5 (“Eighteenth-Century Literature 1690-1780”).
Students will be able to download additional teaching material (such as handouts, texts, pictures, etc) provided in class from the MOODLE platform by the end of the course. This additional teaching material does not replace, but supplements the compulsory reading and study of the primary and secondary texts (to be read in their entirety), of the handbook for the history of literature section, as listed under the section REFERENCE TEXTS.
Visualizza la bibliografia con Leganto, strumento che il Sistema Bibliotecario mette a disposizione per recuperare i testi in programma d'esame in modo semplice e innovativo.
The exam will be oral and entirely in English. It will consist in a conversation aiming to verify the student’s 1) knowledge of the subject matter (texts, authors, genres) and the literary and historical context dealt with in the course; 2) development of their ability to synthetise and analyse the subject matter of the course; 3) suitability as regards their linguistic and argumentative skills in their exposition. The exam may include a student’s reading and commenting on some passages of the two plays in the programme.
There are no differences between the exam modalities of attending and non-attending students.