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BA Italian Studies / Course details
Year of entry: 2023
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Course unit details:
|Unit level||Level 1|
|Teaching period(s)||Full year|
|Available as a free choice unit?||No|
Running parallel with the core course units ITAL10300 Italian Cultural Studies and ITAL10500 Reading Italy: Medieval to Modern, and building on the techniques of textual analysis that they introduce, this is a hands-on course which will enable students to improve their reading abilities in Italian, whilst deepening their appreciation and understanding of literary texts and of social issues in the Italian-speaking world. Through a combination of small-group discussions, group tutorials and private study, students will acquire the skills and knowledge necessary to undertake close readings of texts (chosen from a prescribed list) and to write analyses of them that situate them in their social-political context. The discussions will focus on a range of tutor-led and student-led activities designed to develop an understanding of literature in Italian and also methods of analysing and discussing that literature.
|Unit title||Unit code||Requirement type||Description|
|Italian Cultural Studies||ITAL10300||Co-Requisite||Compulsory|
|Reading Italy: Medieval to Modern||ITAL10500||Co-Requisite||Compulsory|
Available on which programme(s)?
Core course unit for Level 1 for post-A level Italian students, or students on certain programme combinations.
- To develop critical thinking, conceptual reasoning and analytical skills
- To develop the ability to read and analyse literary texts
- To develop the ability to place literary texts in social and political context
- To develop a better understanding of the historical and social realities of the Italian-speaking world
- To develop a better understanding of literary texts in Italian
The first semester will be devoted to developing close reading skills on shorter excerpts (e.g. a poem, a scene from a play). It will also fine-hone students’ commentary skills.
In the second semester, students will turn to the study of longer narrative forms (e.g. novels, films and novellas). With the help of the tutor they will formulate a topic and a research question about the novel of their choice and write an essay about it .
Below is an indicative list of texts to be studied on this unit:
Dino Buzzati, ‘Paura alla Scala’, from Sessanta racconti (1949)
Italo Calvino, ‘Il bosco sull’autostrada’, from Marcovaldo (1963)
Anna Maria Ortese, ‘Un paio di occhiali’, from Il mare non bagna Napoli (1953)
An extract from a novel (prose):
An extract from Luigi Pirandello, Uno, nessuno e centomila (1926)
Knowledge and understanding
Having satisfactorily completed this course unit, students will be able to:
demonstrate an improved ability to read in Italian
demonstrate knowledge and understanding of Italian literary texts
write commentaries and essays in English discussing and analysing Italian literary texts
place literary texts in their historical context within the Italian-speaking world
make use of relevant methodology
engage critically with secondary literature
Having satisfactorily completed this course unit, students will:
Display cultural analytical skills (literary analysis, social and political analysis)
Be able to value knowledge for its own sake, and to appreciate literary creativity within the Italian-speaking world
Having satisfactorily completed this course unit, students will demonstrate:
A significantly improved ability to read Italian
A significantly improved vocabulary and syntax in Italian
An ability to manage time, and work to deadlines;
An improved ability to work with information and communication technology (ICT)
Transferable skills and personal qualities
Having satisfactorily completed this course unit, students will have learned to:
undertake independent learning and reflect upon their achievements;
participate constructively in group discussions;
think critically and present arguments logically
- Students will develop their communicative skills by writing and debating ideas in a clear, concise and coherent manner. They will also cultivate their ability to analyse, evaluate and critique a wide range of material. They will improve their knowledge of the Italian language and be able to demonstrate a broad understanding of Italian culture and history.
|Assessment task||Formative or Summative||Weighting within unit (if summative)|
|Analytical essay about a novel or film||Summative||60%|
|Essay on novel|
Formative or Summative
Comments made during class discussion regarding the relevance and coherence of student participation in classes.
Individual written comments on student participation at the end of Semester 1 and Semester 2
Individual written comments on the assessed commentary by the beginning of semester two and on the assessed essay by the end of the examination period at the end of semester two. Global feedback is delivered orally in class (for the commentary) and posted on Blackboard.
Summative and formative
Individual written feedback on the commentary and essay plans
Individual written comments on formative commentaries and analyses of passages
Semester 1: A selection of short stories, poems and plays will be made available on Blackboard
Semester 2: A list of selected novels and novellas with short summaries will be made available on Blackboard. All texts suggested are available in the University of Manchester library and in affordable pocket editions.
Suggested further readings:
Bondanella, Peter, The Italian Cinema Book (London: BFI, Palgrave Macmillan, 2014)
Ciccarelli, Andrea, and Peter Bondanella, The Cambridge companion to the Italian novel (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003)
Chambers, Ellie, and Andrew Northledge, The Arts Good Study Guide (Milton Keynes: Oxford University Press, 1997)
Cuddon, J. A., The Penguin Dictionary of Literary Terms and Literary Theory (any edition)
Eagleton, Terry, How To Read Literature (New Heaven, London: Yale University Press, 2013)
McKee, Alan, Textual Analysis: A Beginner’s Guide (London: SAGE, 2003)
Reardon, Denis, Doing Your Undergraduate Project (London: SAGE, 2004)
|Scheduled activity hours|
|Independent study hours|
|Laura Rossi||Unit coordinator|