English literature and culture 1 [Cognomi F-O] (2014/2015)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Sidia Fiorato
Sidia Fiorato
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
I semestre dal Oct 1, 2014 al Jan 10, 2015.

Lesson timetable

Learning outcomes


Dott. Sidia Fiorato

Crime and the unconscious

The course aims at analysing the interconnections between the detective fiction genre and the investigation of the unconscious in English literature. From its inception, this genre has given expression to the mind and its aberrations; the literary analysis will be integrated to a psychological one in order to show how the novels put under discussion the genre’s tenet of the final restoration of social order. A specific focus will be devoted to the Victorian period, as the attention to the unconscious permeated the entire cultural milieu of the fin de siècle, while the postmodern re-reading of the period will highlight the fusion of personal identity with its artistic expression. Moreover, Margaret Millar’s novel will offer a deep insight into psychiatry and literature in the 1950s.


Primary Texts:

O. Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray (1890) (ed. Penguin)
P. Ackroyd, Dan Leno and the Limehouse Golem (1998) (ed. Vintage)
Margaret Millar, The Beast in View (1955) (ed. Phoenix)

Critical Texts

- K. Powell, “A Verdict of Death: Oscar Wilde, actresses and Victorian Women”, in P. Raby ed., The Cambridge Companion to Oscar Wilde, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2009, pp. 181-194.
- S. Onega, “Dan Leno and The Limehouse Golem and Milton In America”, in S. Onega, Metafiction and Myth in the Novels of Peter Ackroyd, 1999 (pp. 133-147 la parte sul romanzo in programma)
- Connely K., “From Detective Fiction To Detective Literature: Psychology in the Novels of Dorothy L. Sayers and Margaret Millar”, in Clues: A Journal of Detection, Spring 2007, pp. 35-47.
-S. Knight, Crime Fiction since 1800: Detection, Death, Diversity, Palgrave Mcmillan, 2010 (chapters 1, 2, 3, 4 compulsory and one among chapters 5, 6, 7, 8, 9).

History of English Literature: from the Victorian age to the contemporary period
- P. Poplawski, ed., English Literature in Context, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2008
- A. Sanders, The Short Oxford History of English Literature, Oxford University Press, 1994

Assessment methods and criteria

Students unable to attend lectures are required to get in touch before preparing for the exam.

Exam Method/Assessment:
Oral exam