English literature 1 [Cognomi M-Z] (2018/2019)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Raffaele Cutolo
Raffaele Cutolo
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 intro-ducing the students to English literature (from the Victorian to the contemporary period), with specific reference to a selec-tion of canonical texts, and at presenting methodological approaches for the analy-sis of literary texts and genres. The course aims at providing a good knowledge of British literature (articulated in historical context, texts, genres, literary trends and authors) and the skills for a critical analysis and argumentation on different kinds of texts in their historical and cultural context.
At the end of the course, students will be able to:
- Analyse the literary texts of the programme in their historical and cultural context;
- Apply an aware critical approach to literary texts and present an argumen-tation which shows knowledge of literary conventions
- Express the acquired literary and critical competence in English clearly and coherently.


The course presents the articulation of identity in literary texts from the Victorian to the contemporary period. The approach will be interdisciplinary and focussed on the revision of the literary tradition (in particular the fantastic and popular culture). Particular attention will be given to theories about the evolution of the fairy tale and about the ways in which Children's Literature interfaces with cultural issues connected to the affirmation of individual and collective identity.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Patrick Ness A Monster Calls 2011 Any edition: in English, unabridged.
John Storey Cultural Theory and Popular Culture: An Introduction Routledge 2018 Any Edition. Chapter 1: What is Popular Culture?
Giskin Day “Good Grief: Bereavement Literature for Young Adults and A Monster Calls” 2012 in Medical Humanities, 38, 2012, 115-119.
J. K. Rowling Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone 1997 Any edition: in English, unabridged.
Emma Donoghue Kissing the Witch: Old Tales in New Skins 1993 Any edition: in English, unabridged.
Pamela L. Travers Mary Poppins 1934 Any edition: in English, unabridged.
Annette Wannamaker Men in Cloaks and High-heeled Boots, Men Wielding Pink Umbrellas: Witchy Masculinities in the Harry Potter Novels Routledge 2012 Chapter 5 of Boys in Children's Literature and Popular Culture: Masculinity, Abjection, and the Fictional Child, by A. Wannamaker, pp. 121-147.
Valerie Lawson Poppins and Pamela in Wonderland Simon and Schuster 2013 Chapter 7 of Mary Poppins, She Wrote: The Life of P. L. Travers by Valerie Lawson, pp. 143-167.
Jack Zipes The Irresistible Fairy Tale: The Cultural and Social History of a Genre Princeton University Press 2012 Chapters 1-2 (pp. 1-40)
Andrew Sanders The Short Oxford History of English Literature OUP 2004 Chapters: 7: High Victorian Literature; 8: Late Victorian and Edwardian Literature 1880-1920; 9: Modernism and its Alternatives: Literature 1920-1945; 10: Post-War and Post-Modern Literature
Raffaele Cutolo "Voice and Identity in the Fairy Tale: Emma Donoghue's Kissing the Witch" 2012 in Pólemos 6(2), 2012, 207-223.

Assessment methods and criteria

All 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 (1837-2018)
- 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 texts indicated in the programme