American Literature LM

A.Y. 2019/2020
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The course is offered in a double annuality as a specialized exploration of selections of US literary production, which will be conducted either from a thematic point of view or from a recent and current critical perspective. The course will present the fundamental theory and methodology of one or more critical approaches. Literary works will be read in class with the aim of training students in the skill of applying literary theory to critical text analysis.
Expected learning outcomes
Required knowledge: at the end of the course, students should demonstrate that they have understood the critical perspectives illustrated in class, and that they have become able to apply them to their analysis of literary texts. Moreover, they should prove their in-depth knowledge of all the literary works included in the course reading list.
Required linguistic skills: at the end of the course, students should demonstrate the ability to read the original versions of the literary works included in the reading list, and to translate them into Italian (or to paraphrase them in English, in the case of international students). Moreover, they should demonstrate, in English, their capacity to interpret the literary texts correctly, and to discuss their interpretations, as well as their application of the acquired theory and methodology to literary analysis.
Required literary skills: at the end of the course, students should be able to conduct a critical interpretation of the literary works included in the reading list according to the acquired theory and methods, and to perform a literary analysis of the same from both a thematic and a formal point of view. Finally, they should show the ability to make connections between the various authors and works they have been studying.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
First semester
Course syllabus
The course is titled Animals in American Literature and consists of the following didactic units:
A: Animals in Theory
B: Animal Poetry & Soundscapes
C: Animals in Translation & Movies
Students from both Lingue and from other-than-Lingue degree courses who want to acquire 6 credits should complete Units A and B; those who want to acquire 9 credits should complete the whole course syllabus.
The course is an introduction to the critical approach of animal studies. Its didactic units deliver, in order: an introduction to the theory, which will then be applied to the reading of some literary texts, both classical and contemporary; the consideration of ecopoems, which will be read also from the perspective of soundscapes; and the rendering of the animal question in translation and in cinematic language.
The course syllabus is valid until February 2021.
Prerequisites for admission
The course is open to students from all degree courses. It is completely delivered in English. Lectures, materials and bibliography require a sound knowledge of the English language.
International students and Erasmus students are welcome as long as they own the required linguistic skills.
Teaching methods
The course is mainly delivered as lectures, in which students will be involved through the reading and interpretation of literary texts, and the discussion of theoretical and critical essays. Students are required to come to class having prepared the readings assigned for the week's syllabus. Audio-visual materials may be used in class.
Teaching Resources
Didactic Unit A
· Greg Garrard, "Animals", Ecocriticism, Routledge, 2004, pp. 136-149.
· Matthew Calarco, "Introduction" & ch. 3 (Indistinction), Thinking through Animals, Stanford Briefs, 2015
· John Berger, "Why Look at Animals", About Looking, 1980
· Cary Wolfe, "Introduction", What is Post-Humanism, U of Minnesota P, 2010
· Herman Melville, "Moby-Dick" (ch. 41) and "The Whiteness of the Whale" (ch. 42), Moby Dick, 1951
· Sarah Orne Jewett, "A White Heron", 1886 (Norton Anthology of American Literature)
· John Steinbeck, "The White Quail", 1935 (The Long Valley, 1938)
· John Junker, ed. Among Animals: The Lives of Animals and Humans in Contemporary Short Fiction, 2014

Didactic Unit B
· Robert Langabum, "The New Nature Poetry", The Modern Spirit, 1970, pp. 101- 126 (on ARIEL)
· Anglo-American animal poems (see the anthology posted in Materiali didattici, on ARIEL)
· Margo DeMello, "Introduction", Speaking for Animals: Animal Autobiographical Writing, Routledge 2014 (on ARIEL)
· Meghan Marie Hammond and Sue Kim eds., Introduction, Rethinking Empathy through Literature, Routledge 2014 (on ARIEL)
· Mary Oliver, a free selection of 6 poems from Owls and Other Fantasies (2006) and from Dog Songs (2013)

Didactic Unit C
· Gianpaolo Vincenzi, "L'imitazione come risorsa e metodo traduttivo" (ch. 3), Per una teoria della traduzione poetica, eum 2010 (on ARIEL)
· Anthology of poets' writings/talks on translation (on ARIEL)
· Anthology of animal poems translations (on ARIEL)
· Grizzly Man, dir. Werner Herzog, 2005, Discovery Docs, US, Lions Gate Films, 2005

Notice for non-attending students
The course syllabus is the same for attending and non-attending students. However, non-attending students are strongly encouraged to facilitate their study by reading the added materials posted in the Materiali folder on Ariel.
Assessment methods and Criteria
Oral: the exam is an interview, during which students will demonstrate their capacity to read and translate the literary texts listed in the course syllabus (non-Italian students will be asked to paraphrase the same in English); their knowledge of the historical, cultural, and literary context of both the texts and writers proposed; their knowledge of the literary works proposed; their critical abilities (i.e., their capacity to analyze the literary works, and to connect different authors, texts and literary trends).
LM students from Lingue are required to take their exam in English. Students from other-than-Lingue degree courses may choose to take their exam either in Italian or in English.
The final score is expressed in thirtieths, 18/30 being the pass score. Students may accept or reject the result (in which case the record will be "ritirato," and they will have to take the whole exam again in a future session).
International or Erasmus incoming students are kindly requested to contact the teacher. Also students with any disabilities should contact the teacher in order to agree on alternative examination methods, in agreement with the competent office.
It is mandatory to bring along an academic edition of all the literary texts listed in the syllabus.
Unità didattica A
Lessons: 20 hours
Unità didattica B
Lessons: 20 hours
Unità didattica C
Lessons: 20 hours
In the Fall semester (teaching period) on Thursdays at 11:00; in the Spring Semester (teaching period) on Thursdays at 15:00. Otherwise, check on the Bacheca on ARIEL. During the sanitary emergency please contact Prof. Loreto by email.
Dept. of Lingue, Anglistica section, third Floor (Sottotetto), piazza Sant'Alessandro 1