Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Introduzione alla teoria della letteratura

LEVEL 01 - Year 1 in Modular Undergraduate Course



DESCRIPTION During the Twentieth century the literary dibate has tried to address a basic and fundamental question: 'what is literature?' Starting from this question, this Study-unit will try to offer a wide overview on the most important literary theories of the Twentieth century.

Students will read a selection of essays from different theoretical schools: Structuralism, Semiotics, Marxism, Gender Studies, Cultural Studies, Psychoanalytic criticism.

The objective of this study-unit is to familiarize students with the main issues surrounding the current theoretical debate on literature.

In the first part of the unit we will reflect on general issues: what is literature? what is a text? what is a literary canon? The introductory studies of Eagleton, Wellek and Bottiroli will be read and discussed in class.

The second part of the unit will present samples of different approaches to literature in order to show to the students what a literary debate consists of. Essays from Benjamin, Bakhtin, Lukàcs, Orlando, Klein, Eco and Greimas will be read among others.

Study-unit Aims:

The objective of this study-unit is to introduce students to the debate on what literature is, providing them with a general overview on the most important literary theories.

To explain what the theory of literature is and how it influences our comprehension and analysis of literature.

Learning Outcomes:

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

- Outline and debate on the main issues surrounding literature and theory;
- Apply the critical tools in their analysis of Italian and international authors;
- Point out the differences between theory of literature and criticism of literature.

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

- Distinguish between one literary school and another;
- Analyze and interpret a literary text from different critical perspectives;
- Discuss concepts such as 'reception'; 'canon'; 'mimesis'; 'message'; 'world literature';
- Critically reflect not only on the Italian literary canon, but also on the European one.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

V. Baldi, Psicoanalisi, critica, letteratura, Pacini, Pisa, 2014.

A course pack of readings which will be available at the beginning of the study-unit.

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


Assessment Component/s Resit Availability Weighting
Examination (2 Hours) Yes 100%

LECTURER/S Valentino Baldi

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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.