American literature and europe (2019/2020)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Roberto Cagliero
Roberto Cagliero
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
II semestre (Lingue e letterature straniere) dal Feb 17, 2020 al May 30, 2020.

Lesson timetable

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Learning outcomes

This course aims at providing students with an advanced knowledge of themes, genres, and tendencies in the literature and culture of the United States. Focus will be on specific texts and on a variety of critical approaches to interpret them. By the end of this course, students will be able to amalyze texts that show specific tendencies of American culture. They will be able to connect literary works to political, social, and religious events. They will develop critical awareness in seeing how literature is influenced by its context, and how the context defines literature, this allowing for domestic and international consequences. Furthermore students will be able to approach texts with adequate critical tools, and will be familiar with specific features of American English.


The course addresses throgh fiction and non-fiction texts the role of prison and imprisonment in American culture. -****ALL THE MATERIALS MARKED AS "PART OF THE EXAM" in the Moodle page for this course (Moodle page: -Algren, N. short story "El Presidente de Mejico" explored his experience in a Texas jail. From "The Neon Wilderness" -Baliga, S. An Example of Restorative Justice with Sujatha Baliga -Baliga, S. Transformative Justice in Education Speaker Series (video - speech starts at minute 8:10) -Bauer, S. "American Prison". New York, Penguin Press 2018 (pp. 36-39, 55-61, 75-83, 95-99, 103, 120-130, 150-157, 168-175, 196-200, 219-226, 243-247) -BUNKER, "Education of a Felon. A Memoir". ST.Martin Griffin Publishers, 2001 THIS BOOK IS FOR STUDENTS WHO CANNOT READ ITALIAN. IT SUBSTITUTES Kalica, E. e Santorso S. (a cura di), Farsi la galera. Spazi e culture del penitenziario. Ombre Corte 2018 -Davis, A. Are Prisons Obsolete? 2003 (pp. 9-40 only) -Fleetwood, N.R. “Posing in Prison: Family Photographs, Emotional Labor, and Carceral Intimacy”. Public Culture 27:3, 2015 -Franklin, H. B. The Victim as Criminal and Artist: Literature from the American Prison (New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1978 FRINZI -Gordon, A. F. “Angela Davis. Globalism and the prison industrial complex: an interview with Angela Davis”, Race Class 1999; 40; 145 PDF -Green, T. From the Plantation to the Prison. African American Confinement Literature. Mercer UP 2008 FRINZI -Jackson, G. George Jackson/San Quentin video -Jackson, G. Soledad Brother. The Prison Letters of George Jackson -Kolk, B. van Der. The Body Keeps the Score. Penguin CHAPTERS 5, 6 and 7 ONLY -Larson, D. (Ed.) (2014). Fourth City: Essays from the Prison in America. East Lansing, Michigan: Michigan State University Press. FRINZI (1 CHAPTER OF YOUR CHOICE) -LeRoy, Mervin "I Am a Fugitive from a Georgia Chain Gang" (1932) film. From the novel by Robert E. Burns. Film available at -London, J. "Pinched": A Prison Experience PDF Copisteria 30eoltre -Malcolm X, Autobiography (chapters 10 e 11) FRINZI. I suggest watching the film as well Malcolm X (Spike Lee, 1992) -Melville, H. Bartleby, the Scrivener. -Pelàez, Vicky. “The Prison Industry in the United States: Big Business or a New Form of Slavery?” El Diario-La Prensa, New York and Global Research 10 March 2008 -Poe, E.A., “The Pit and the Pendulum” -Thoreau, Civil Disobedience -Tullis, P. “Can Forgiveness Play a Role in Criminal Justice?” -Turner, N. Confession

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Ava du Vernay 13TH - XIII emendamento FILM 2016
Bauer, S. American Prison 2018
Baliga, S. An Example of Restorative Justice with Sujatha Baliga  
Melville, H. Bartleby, the Scrivener  
Spike Lee BlacKKKlansman FILM 2018
Thoreau, H.D. Civil Disobedience  
Kalica, E. e Santorso S. (a cura di), Farsi la galera. Spazi e culture del penitenziario. Ombre Corte 2018  
Green T. From the Plantation to the Prison 2008
Spike Lee Get on the Bus (film) 1996
LeRoy, M. I Am a Fugitive from a Georgia Chain Gang!  
Kok, B. van Der Il corpo accusa il colpo ITAL TRANSL di The Body Keeps the Score Cortina  
D.W. Griffith Intolerance FILM 1916
London, J. "Pinched": A Prison Experience  
Fleetwood, N.R. “Posing in Prison: Family Photographs, Emotional Labor, and Carceral Intimacy”  
Matthew Cooke Survivors Guide to Prison FILM 2018
Bunker, Edward The Education of a Felon  
Poe, E.A. “The Pit and the Pendulum”  
Ava du Vernay When They See Us FILM  

Assessment methods and criteria

Oral exam