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 Lucia Boldrini
Stella Borg Barthet
Norbert Bugeja
Ivan Callus
James David Corby
Maria Frendo
Peter Vassallo

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The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
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It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.