cod. 1006565

Academic year 2021/22
2° year of course - Second semester
Academic discipline
Letteratura italiana contemporanea (L-FIL-LET/11)
Discipline semiotiche, linguistiche e informatiche
Type of training activity
66 hours
of face-to-face activities
9 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit

Learning objectives

Knowledge and understanding.
The course will provide the students with a basic understanding of the rhetorical, stylistic, thematic and ideological structures of literary, dramatic, and cinematic texts.
Applying knowledge and understanding.
By providing a constant guide to the activity of reading, and showing a specific interest in the single points of view, as expressed by the rewritings, the course aims at generating a peculiar consciousness of the way both characters and narrators voice one’s own vision of literature and of the world. Students should be able to apply their knowledge and interpretive skills to the classical tradition, as well as to a wider set of texts and artistic genres, developing a learned and critical spectatorship. A peculiar form of understanding will result from the practice of analysis of the processes of intersemiotic translation.
Making judgements.
By the end of the course, students should be able to apply their judgements to a theoretically grounded, supranational level of textual reading. They should also be able to show the capacity to correctly situating the texts in the epoch and cultural atmosphere which gave them life. Students will interpret them in a critically founded way, paying attention to narrative devices, themes, genres, poetics, as consistently employed by their authors.
Communication skills.
By the end of the course, students ought to show the capacity to master the expression of textual contents, knowing how to point out and communicate the identifying and connecting elements which run across a defined series of texts.
Learning skills.
Trained to read literary as well as artistic texts which belong to geographically and historically different cultures, students should develop critical skills, in order to successfully study the contemporary art panorama. They should also improve their judgement abilities about what they have learnt in order to structure their final dissertation, as well as to prepare themselves to the reading abilities, as required by the second cycle of studies.


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Course unit content

American Adaptations. Characters, topics, social transformations under a double lens

After a few introductory remarks, concerning basic critical terms for studying intermedial crossings, the course will touch upon some exemplary episodes of American fiction of the XXth Century (and beyond), aiming to describe structure and content of the novels, also recurring to an in-depth analysis through the existing adaptations. We will focus on four moments of American literature, adopting a double gesture. We will primarily look at topics, features and forms of representation of society inside the novels, eventually moving to a reconsideration of the novels themselves, seen through the lens of critical interpretations, and, first of all, through the perspective of adaptation as a prime interpretation of the novel.

Full programme

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1. Antonelli, Mariani (a cura di), Il Novecento USA. Narrazioni e culture letterarie del secolo americano, Carocci, 2009 (excluding chapters 3 and 13; optional reading: chapter 9).
2. Bernardelli, Che cos'è la narrazione, Carocci, 2019 (only for students who do not actively attend the workshop)
3. London, Martin Eden
4. Wharton, Ethan Frome
5. West, The day of the locust
6. DeLillo, Cosmopolis

NB: There is no differentiated program for students who cannot attend the lessons
NB2: See the Elly platform for more critical materials

Teaching methods

Frontal lessons. Screening and analysis of films in the classroom. More didactic material online, on the platform Elly.

Assessment methods and criteria

Oral examination, based on the analysis of one or diverse narrative passages, as well as on some questions, aimed to prove the student's knowledge of the contents of both the handbook(s) and literary texts.
Evaluation: A fail is determined by the lack of an understanding of the minimum content of the course, the inability to express oneself adequately, by a lack of autonomous preparation, the inability to solve problems related to information retrieval and the decoding of complex texts, as well as an inability to make independent judgments. A pass (18-23/30) is determined by the student’s possession of the minimum, fundamental contents of the course, an adequate level of autonomous preparation and ability to solve problems related to information retrieval and the decoding of complex texts, as well as an acceptable level of ability in making independent judgments. Middle-range scores (24-27/30) are assigned to the student who produces evidence of a more than sufficient level (24-25/30) or good level (26-27/30) in the evaluation indicators listed above. Higher scores (from 28/30 to 30/30 cum laude) are awarded on the basis of the student’s demonstration of a very good or excellent level in the evaluation indicators listed above.

Other information

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