English literature and culture 1 [Cognomi A-E] (2018/2019)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Valentina Adami
Valentina Adami
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
I semestre dal Oct 1, 2018 al Jan 12, 2019.

Lesson timetable

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Learning outcomes

The course, held in English, aims at introducing students to relevant aspects of English literature, from the Pre-Romantic to the Contemporary period, via the reading of a selection of canonical texts. Primary notions about possible methodological approaches for the analysis of literary texts and genres will be imparted. Furthermore, the course will provide a sound knowledge of the English literature of the period (historical context, texts, genres, literary movements and authors) and stimulate abilities and skills for the critical analysis of texts, their discussion and analysis, in consideration of their historical, cultural, and context specificities.

At the end of the course, students will be able to:
- Analyse the literary texts of the syllabus discussing them in relation to their historical and cultural context;
- Discuss the texts using an appropriate critical approach demonstrating the knowledge of the literary conventions of their time;
- Express the acquired literary and critical knowledge demonstrating an adequate competence also in the English language.


After a general introduction to literary theory and the history of modern and contemporary English literature (1780-today), the course will focus on the development of the English novel and on the relationship between literature and cinema. The following topics will be covered during the course:
- critical literary theories
- the history of modern and contemporary English literature
- the development of the English novel
- the theory of adaptation
- in-depth analysis of three novels (J. Conrad's Heart of Darkness, V. Woolf's Mrs Dalloway and J. Fowles's The French Lieutenant's Woman) and two films (The Hours by S. Daldry; The French Lieutenant's Woman by K. Reisz)

Further study materials will be indicated during the course. The full and final bibliography will be published on Moodle at the end of the course.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Deborah Cartmell and Imelda Whelehan Adaptations: from text to screen, screen to text Routledge, 1999 Only the following 2 chapters: Part I An overview 1 Adaptations: The contemporary dilemmas by Imelda Whelehan. Part II From text to screen 2 Introduction by Deborah Cartmell
Joseph Conrad Heart of Darkness 1899
Virginia Woolf Mrs Dalloway 1925
John Fowles The French Lieutenant's Woman 1969
K. Reisz (director) The French Lieutenant's Woman [film] 1981
S. Daldry (director) The Hours [film] 2002
Andrew Sanders The Short Oxford History of English Literature OUP 2004 chapters 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

Assessment methods and criteria

The lessons will be in English. The exam will be an oral discussion in English on the topic of the course and the texts in the programme. It will aim at assessing:
- the ability to discuss topics (literary trends, authors, genres) related to the history of English Literature (1780-2018)
- the ability to present a critical argumentation on topics related to the texts of the syllabus
- the ability to draw connections between the topics of the course, on the basis of the critical theories studied during the course