English literature and culture 1 [Cognomi P-Z] (2017/2018)

Course code
4S002903
Name of lecturer
Lisanna Calvi
Coordinator
Lisanna Calvi
Number of ECTS credits allocated
6
Academic sector
L-LIN/10 - ENGLISH LITERATURE
Language of instruction
English
Period
Semester 1 dal Oct 2, 2017 al Jan 20, 2018.

Lesson timetable

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Learning outcomes

The module aims at offering an overview of late-nineteenth- to twentieth-century English drama and theatrical culture, as well as at presenting the students with the basics of textual analysis.
On successful completion of the module, students will achieve a good knowledge of the cultural context in which the texts included in the programme were composed. They will be able to develop a coherent and detailed interpretation of the texts, apply key methods and concepts relevant to textual analysis, and provide a plausible critical interpretation in a register and style that serve the context and intention.

Syllabus

A century on the stage: from Shaw to Pinter.

The module will deal with a selection of nineteenth and twentieth-century dramatic texts in order to offer an overview of the English stage, theatrical culture and practices from the late nineteenth century to the second half of the twentieth century. Starting from the tradition of the well-made play the module will then explore George Bernard’s Shaw comedy of ideas. The next step of the investigation will lead to William Butler Yeats’ symbolist theatrical experiment and will be carried on by looking at later twentieth-century theatre practices such as such as Arnold Wesker’s social drama as well as Samuel Beckett’s and Harold Pinter’s dramaturgy that deliberately abandons rational constructs and refuses the logical and consequential function of language.

Please be advised
Students are required to do all the readings indicated in the three sections below: 1. Primary Texts, 2. References, 3. Handbook.
Further details on required readings and general information on bibliographical material will be provided during classes.
Language: the module will be held in English.
Futher material will be available for download from the MOODLE e-repository.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

1. Primary texts (any English edition)
- G.B. Shaw, Mrs Warren’s Profession
- G.B. Shaw, Candida
- W.B. Yeats, At the Hawk’s Well (available for free download at: https://archive.org/details/fourplaysfordanc00yeatuoft)
- S. Beckett, Krapp’s Last Tape
- A. Wesker, The Kitchen
- H. Pinter, The Room

2. References
- P. Raby, “Theatre of the 1890s: breaking down the barriers”, in The Cambridge Companion to Victorian and Edwardian Theatre, ed. by Kerry Powell, CUP, 2004, pp. 183-206.
- K. Powell, “New Women, new plays, and Shaw in the 1890s”, in The Cambridge Companion to George Bernard Shaw, ed. by C. Innes, CUP, 1998, pp. 76-100.
- B. O’Donoghue, “Yeats and the drama”, in The Cambridge Companion to William Butler Yeats, ed. by M. Howes and J. Kelly, CUP, 2006, pp. 101-114.
- P. Lawley, “Stages of identity: from Krapp’s Last Tape to Play”, in The Cambridge Companion to Samuel Beckett, ed. by J. Pilling, CUP, 1994, pp. 88-105.
- G. Leeming and S. Trussler, The Plays of Arnold Wesker. An Assessment, Victor Gollancz, 1971, pp. 25-42.
- A. Rayner, “Harold Pinter: Narrative and Presence”, Theatre Journal, Vol. 40, No. 4 (December 1988), pp. 482-497 (available on Jstor – see MOODLE for instructions).
- K. Elam, The Semiotics of Theatre and Drama, Routlegde, 2005, pp. 1-113.

3. Handbook
As regards the literary and cultural context spanning from 1830 to 2010 (from the Victorian Age to the present), students will refer to:
- A. Sanders, The Short Oxford History of English Literature, Oxford University Press, 2003 (third edition): from chapter 7. “High Victorian Literature” to chapter 10 “Post-War and Post-Modern Literature”, included.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
William Butler Yeats At the Hawk's Well Macmillan 1916 Testo primario; scaricabile gratuitamente all’indirizzo: https://archive.org/details/fourplaysfordanc00yeatuoft / Primary text; available for free download at: https://archive.org/details/fourplaysfordanc00yeatuoft oppure https://archive.org/details/fourplaysfordanc00yeat
George Bernard Shaw Candida qualsiasi edizione in inglese / any English edition 1898 Testo primario / Primary text
Alice Rayner “Harold Pinter: Narrative and Presence” Theatre Journal, Vol. 40, No. 4, pp. 482-97 1988 Testo secondario; pp. 482-497; disponibile su Jstor – v. istruzioni per l’accesso su MOODLE / Secondary text; pp. 482-497; available on Jstor – see MOODLE for instructions
Samuel Beckett Krapp's Last Tape qualsiasi edizione in inglese / any English edition 1958 Testo primario / Primary text
George Bernard Shaw Mrs Warren's Profession qualsiasi edizione in inglese / any English edition 1894 Testo primario / Primary text
Kerry Powell “New Women, new plays, and Shaw in the 1890s”, in The Cambridge Companion to George Bernard Shaw, ed. by C. Innes Cambridge University Press 1998 Testo secondario; pp. 76-100 / Secondary text; pp. 76-100
Paul Lawley “Stages of identity: from Krapp’s Last Tape to Play”, in The Cambridge Companion to Samuel Beckett, ed. by John Pilling Cambridge University Press 1994 Testo secondario; pp. 88-105 / Secondary text; pp. 88-105
Peter Raby “Theatre of the 1890s: breaking down the barriers”, in The Cambridge Companion to Victorian and Edwardian Theatre, ed. by Kerry Powell Cambridge University Press 2004 Testo secondario; pp. 183-206 / Secondary text; pp. 186-203
Arnold Wesker The Kitchen qualsiasi edizione inglese / any English edition 1959 Testo primario / Primary text
Glenda Leeming, Simon Trussler The Plays of Arnold Wesker. An Assessment Victor Gollancz 1971 Testo secondario; pp. 25-42 / Secondary text; pp. 25-42
Harold Pinter The Room qualsiasi edizione inglese / any English edition 1957 Testo primario / Primary text
Keir Elam The Semiotics of Theatre and Drama Routledge 2005 Testo secondario; pp. 1-113; Secondary text; pp. 1-113
Andrew Sanders The Short Oxford History of English Literature Oxford, Oxford University Press 1994 Manuale; terza edizione; cap. 7-10, inclusi / Handbook; third edition, ch. 7-10, included
Bernard O'Donoghue “Yeats and the drama”, in The Cambridge Companion to W.B. Yeats, ed. by Marjorie Howes and John Kelly Cambridge University Press 2006 Testo secondario; pp. 101-114; Secondary text; pp. 101-114

Assessment methods and criteria

The exam will consist in an oral discussion (in English) that will test the knowledge of the module’s topics (texts, authors, and genres) and the literary and cultural context (3. Handbook; main authors and movements from the Victorian Age to the present) as well as the use of an approriate vocabulary. Students may be required to read and comment on passages taken from primary texts (Bibliography: 1. Primary texts).
There will be no mid-term tests.

STUDENT MODULE EVALUATION - 2017/2018