The course is titled American Prose: Life Writing, the Novel, and the Short Story and consists of the following didactic units that will be taught in this chronological order:
A: Autobiography, fiction, and the rise of a national literature
B: The XIX century American novel and the short story
C: Voices from the late XIX and the beginning of the XX century
Students from Lingue who major in American Literature must attend the whole course, which provides 9 credits, and are required to complete the whole course syllabus.
Students from Lettere, Storia, Filosofia and other departments can opt for either a 9 or a 6 credit course. The latter are invited to discuss and set the program in advance.
The course is an introduction to US narrative, from colonial autobiographical writing through the birth and flourishing of a national literature during the XIX century and its two main genres, the novel and the shot story. It then focuses on Realism, Naturalism at the turn of the century and finally on Modernist prose writing before and during the Jazz age.
The course syllabus is valid until July 2022.
Prerequisites for admission
Students from Lingue must have taken and passed the English language test administered by the degree course and the exam American Literature I.
The course is completely delivered in English. Its materials and bibliography require a sound knowledge of the English language.
International students and Erasmus students are most welcome as long as they own the required linguistic skills.
Synchronous classes start with an introductory discussion/brainstorming, followed by a lecture focused on the context, the analysis and interpretation of the texts listed in the syllabus, students' questions and comments. Students are asked to read the texts in advance. Lessons will be recorded and available on the Ariel webpage.
Non-synchronous classes include the use of audio-files, notes, slides and comments and will be available on the Ariel webpage.
· Cristina Iuli, Paola Loreto (ed.by), La letteratura degli Stati Uniti. Dal Rinascimento americano ai nostri giorni, Roma, Carocci, 2017 (chapt. 1, 3, 5, 6)
· Beside the primary texts, students are required to study the introductions to the historical and cultural contexts, the timelines and the introductions to the authors in The Norton Anthology of American Literature (Ninth Edition, 2017, vol. A, B, C e D):
The Norton Anthology of American Literature (Ninth Edition, 2017, vol. A, B):
· Benjamin Franklin, "The Way to Wealth" (442-448)
· Mary Rowlandson, from A Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mary Rowlandson (267-300)
· Olaudah Equiano, from The Interesting Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, The African, written by himself (733-745)
· Washington Irving, "Rip Van Winkle" (29-40); "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" (41-61)
· James Fenimore Cooper, from The Last of the Mohicans (79-86)
The Norton Anthology of American Literature (Ninth Edition, 2017, vol. B, C):
· Nathanel Hawthorne, "Young Goodman Brown" (345-354); "Wakefield" (355-359)
· Edgar Allan Poe, "The Fall of the House of Usher" (654-666); "William Wilson. A Tale" (667-680); "The Man of the Crowd" (681-686);
· Herman Melville, "Bartleby The Scrivener" (1483-1508), "Benito Cereno" (1511-1569)
· Volume C:
· Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (130-310)
· Henry James, Daisy Miller: A Study (421-460)
The Norton Anthology of American Literature (Ninth Edition, 2017, vol. C, D):
· Kate Chopin, "Désirée's Baby" (538-542)
· Jack London, "To Build a Fire" (1047-1057)
· Volume D:
· Zora Neale Hurston, "The Gilded Six Bits" (Ariel)
· Francis Scott Fitzgerald, "Babylon Revisited" (675-690)
· William Faulkner, "A Rose for Emily" (794-799)
· Ernest Hemingway, "Hills Like White Elephants" (803-807)
Students are asked to read two of the following texts (not included in the Norton Anthology):
· Nathanael Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter
· Herman Melville, Moby-Dick
· Henry James, The Turn of the Screw
· Henry James, Portrait of Lady
· Sherwood Anderson, Winesburg, Ohio
· Francis Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
· William Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury
Notice for non-attending students
Students who do not attend classes, or only part of them, are required to read the materials (essays on specific authors or themes) collected in the "Materiali" folder on Ariel (Materiali Moduli A, B, C, for 9 credit exams; for 6 credit exams, the Materiali section varies according to the program set).
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; their knowledge of the literary works; their critical abilities (i.e., their capacity to analyze the literary works, and to connect different authors, texts and literary trends).
Students from Lingue have to take their exam in English. They should be aware that the quality of their exposition will be part of the exam assessment.
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.