Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Writing the Mediterranean

LEVEL 05 - Postgraduate Modular Diploma or Degree Course



DESCRIPTION This study-unit studies a number of writings from and on the Mediterranean in terms of their affinities and cross-currents with Anglophone writing from different literatures, exploring literary constructions of the region, such as odysseys, voyages, Grand Tours; lines of cultural transmission, odysseys of interpretation and re-imagination; representations of the Mediterranean as an area of exchange and of cultural clashes; the “otherness” of the Mediterranean for Northern cultures; the “postcolonial” Mediterranean (literature produced in Egypt, and in Turkey, for example); its urban, cultural, political and economic, polyglot centres (e.g. Venice, Istanbul, Marseille, Trieste, Athens, Cairo, Alexandria).

Study-unit Aims:

• To survey the cultural memory of the Mediterranean in literature generally and in literatures in English.
• To analyse and critique the idea of a Mediterranean imaginary within literature generally and in literatures in English.
• To present a range of texts on and from the Mediterranean, written at different periods.
• To teach similarities and differences in the literary representations of areas and/or periods in the Mediterranean.
• To show the influence of one work upon another, especially in the way they construct the culture, history and geography of the Mediterranean.
• To teach how the chosen texts show cultural encounters, clashes or exchanges in the Mediterranean.
• To teach students to write advanced critical commentary upon the selected texts.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:

By the end of the study-unit the student will:
• Achieve in-depth knowledge of a range of texts from, or representing aspects of, the Mediterranean.
• Acquire critically informed knowledge of similarities and differences in the portrayals of areas and / or periods of the Mediterranean.
• Be able to identify the influences between the texts studied, or how they converge or diverge in their literary construction of (an area of) Mediterranean culture, history or geography.
• Acquire an advanced sense of how the texts studied represent or reflect cultural encounters, clashes or exchanges.
• Produce advanced textual / critical commentary upon selected texts from the literature studied.
• Be more adept in aspects of comparative literature that bring conceptions and critiques of 'Weltliteratur' and the literature of the Mediterranean (especially in English) together.

2. Skills:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
• Select works from a particular geographic area in order to study the way they aim to represent it.
• Discern similarities and differences in various literary portrayals of places and cultures.
• Identify influences across literary texts.
• Write advanced commentaries on different genres of literature emerging from a specific geographic area.
• Critique ideas of space and time in the study of regionalism in literature, together with the very idea of regionalism.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

• William Shakespeare, Troilus and Cressida (Arden Shakespeare.3rd Revised edition: 1998).
• Christopher Marlowe, The Jew of Malta (Methuen Drama; 3rd New edition edition: 2009).
• P.B. Shelley, 'Prometheus Unbound,' 'Hellas,' 'Ozymandias,' 'Adonais'.
• Byron, 'Childe Harold's Pilgrimage,' Canto 2, 'The Curse of Minerva,' ' Don Juan' Cantos I and 2.
• John Keats, 'On Looking into Chapman's Homer,' 'Lamia,' 'Ode on a Grecian Urn,' 'The Fall of Hyperion'.
• Charles Dickens, Pictures from Italy, (1846) (Penguin Classics; New Ed edition (1998).
• John Ruskin, The Stones of Venice (1851-1853) (DaCapo Press: 2003).
• EM Forster, A Room With A View (1908).
• James Joyce, Ulysses (1922) (Wordsworth Editions: 2010).
• David Malouf, An Imaginary Life (1978)(Vintage; New Ed edition:1999).
• J M Coetzee, 'As a Woman Grows Older,' (New York Review of Books, Jan 15, 2004).
• W. G. Sebald, Campo Santo (2003), translated by Anthea Bell (Penguin: 2006).
• Sonallah Ibrahim, Zaat, (The American University in Cairo Press: 2004).
• Orhan Pamuk, Istanbul (Faber and Faber:2006).

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture and Seminar

Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Long Essay SEM2 Yes 100%

LECTURER/S Petra Caruana Dingli
Krista Bonello Rutter Giappone
Stella Borg Barthet
Norbert Bugeja
Ivan Callus
James David Corby
Maria Frendo
John Joseph St John
Peter Vassallo

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 2018/9, if study-unit is available during this academic year, and may be subject to change in subsequent years.