University of Malta

Study-Unit Description
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TITLE La critica contemporanea

LEVEL 02 - Years 2, 3 in Modular Undergraduate Course



DESCRIPTION The first part of the study-unit will focus on the key concepts of formalism, structuralism, semiotics and their approach to textual literary analysis. It will also discuss the evolution of the basic tenets from a historical perspective. In the second part of the study-unit, the interpretation of literary discourse, in a framework of complex relations between text and reader, will be examined through a representative selection from Umberto Eco’s works.

Study-Unit Aims:

The objective of the study-unit is to introduce students to semiotics in a historical perspective of development. It will provide them with the necessary tools to analyse critically a literary text, within the study-unit's ambit.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge and Understanding:
By the end of the study-unit the students will be able to:

- discuss the historical development that links formalism, structuralism and semiotics;
- understand the principles that govern text analysis according to a methodology based on semiotics;
- identify the relations between text and reader.

2. Skills:
By the end of the study-unit the students will be able to:

- analyse texts using tools pertaining to formalism, structuralism and semiotics;
- identify the characteristics of literary discourse;
- discuss a literary text in the light of the theory of communication.

Main Text/s and any Supplementary Readings:

Biagini, E., Brettoni A., Orvieto, P. (2001) "Teorie critiche del Novecento. Con antologia di testi". Roma: Carocci.
Eco, U. (1990). "I limiti dell’interpretazione". Milano: Bompiani.
Chines, L., Varotti C. (2001) "Che cos'e' un testo letterario". Roma: Carocci.

Supplementary readings: As advised during the study-unit.


ADDITIONAL NOTES Pre-requisite Qualifications: At least an intermediate level in Italian or permission from lecturer holding the study-unit.

When parts of this study-unit are taken on their own, with the lecturer's approval, they should be registered as follows: ITL2113 (2 credits) first semester, and ITL2213 (2 credits) second semester.


Assessment Component/s Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment Yes 50%
Assignment Yes 50%

LECTURER/S Joseph Pace Asciak

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the study-unit description above applies to the academic year 2017/8, if study-unit is available during this academic year, and may be subject to change in subsequent years.
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