English literature 1 (2020/2021)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Yvonne Bezrucka
Yvonne Bezrucka
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
I semestre (Lingue e letterature straniere) dal Sep 28, 2020 al Jan 9, 2021.

Lesson timetable

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Learning outcomes

The course, held in English, aims at introducing the students to English literature (from the Victorian to the contemporary period), with specific reference to a selection of canonical texts, and at presenting methodological approaches for the analysis 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 argumentation which shows knowledge of literary conventions
-Express the acquired literary and critical competence in English clearly and coherently.



If, as a species, i.e. as human beings, we will not take drastic and draconian actions in order to diminish the ecological footprint we leave on the planet, in 2050, the rise in general warmth of the earth by 3 Celsius degrees will foster, or have already fostered, irreversible natural reactions which will derange the planet dramatically.
The planet – Gaia – as our generation has had the luck to know it, will not exist anymore. Unhealable changes might by then have occurred, triggered off by Darwinian adaptation processes that the planet will undertake to adapt and alter its state according to the irreversible environmental situation. We will therefore examine chosen works of literature, of the past and the present, that have testified and testify to the present predicament and dangerousness of our situation.

Literary works that will be examined are:

- C. Dickens. 1987 (1854). Hard Times. Harmondsworth: Penguin.
- T. Hardy. 1985 (1887). The Woodlanders. Harmondsworth: Penguin.
- V. Woolf, 1982 (1928). Orlando. London: Granada.
- V. Woolf, 1933. Flush. A Biography. London: Hogarth Press
- A. Ghosh. 2019. Gun Island, London: John Murray.

Literary Criticism:

J. Bate, Romantic Ecology. 1991. London: Routledge. 36-61.
Y. Bezrucka. 2013. “Nature as Oikos and Kepos: Ecocriticism as a Branch of Bioethics in Romantic Studies”, in 'Il Romanticismo oggi', Nuovi Quaderni del CRIER, X, Fiorini, Verona, 33-54, download from Academia.edu.
Y. Bezrucka. 2005. Oggetti e collezioni nella letteratura inglese dell'Ottocento, Ares, Trento. 9-53, 123-46, download from Academia.edu.
G. Garrard, Ecocriticism. 2012. 2nd ed. London: Routledge. 1-36, 94-116.
P. Wohlleben, The Hidden Life of Trees. 2016. London: Harper Collins

Suggested History of Literature: Andrew Sanders, The Short Oxford History of English Literature, chapters 7-10.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Greg Garrard Ecocriticism Routledge 2012 2nd ed.
Virginia Woolf Flush. A Biography Penguin, Viking 1977
Amitav Ghosh Gun Island John Murray 2019
C. Dickens Hard Times. Harmondsworth: Penguin 1987 (1st ed. 1854
Y. Bezrucka Nature as Oikos and Kepos: Ecocriticism as a Branch of Bioethics in Romantic Studies”, in 'Il Romanticismo oggi', Nuovi Quaderni del CRIER, X, Fiorini, Verona, 33-54, download from Academia.edu CRIER 2013
Y. Bezrucka Oggetti e collezioni nella letteratura inglese dell'Ottocento (download from Academia.edu.) ARES 2005
Virginia Woolf Orlando. A Biography Granada 1982 1st ed. 1928
Jonathan Bate Romantic Ecology Routledge 1991
Peter Wholleben The Hidden Life of Trees Harper Collins 2016
Thomas Hardy The Woodlanders Penguin 1985 1st ed. 1887

Assessment methods and criteria

Oral Viva if possible, given the covid conditions, otherwise written examination.