Medieval, humanistic and renaissance Italian literature

A.Y. 2021/2022
Overall hours
Learning objectives
This course aims at two main objectives: 1) to provide students with a critically founded preparation on Medieval, Humanistic and Renaissance Italian literature, through the reading of texts and essays 2) to develope students' analytical and critical skills in order to understand and evaluate both ancient texts and their own and others' research work.
Expected learning outcomes
Knowledge: By the end of the course, the student is expected to: know the main lines of Italian literature from 13th to 16th cent. with relation to historical and cultural context; be acquainted with different instruments and methodologies to analyse and interpret texts; know the main lines of studies' history and more recent achievements regarding some fundamental themes and problems; know and use instruments of bibliographic research.

Abilities: By the end of the course, the student is expected to: fully comprehend and analyse ancient texts in historical and cultural context; find, select and critically evaluate previous scholarship, understanding possibilities and limitations of different methodological perspectives and identifying main themes and challenges of the discipline; prepare a full scientific bibliography on a topic; produce an articulate and personal judgment and express it with clarity using appropriate scholarly lexicon.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
Second semester
More specifica information on the delivery modes of courses and acrivities for the academic year 2021/2022 will be provided over the coming months, with regard to the public health situation.
Course syllabus
The course, for the present year, is divided into two sections. The first section (Parts A-B) is dedicated to Petrarch' poem in Dantean terzine, the Triumphi. Now less reknown, they were a decades-long work for the author and had a wide diffusion and influence on Renaissance culture, in Italy and abroad.
The course includes the following topics:
First section: Petrarch's Triumphi and triumphal imagery in Renaissance culture..
Part A (20 hrs; 3 CFU): Petrarch, Dante, the triumphal imagery.
- Recall and improvement of undergraduate knowledge about history of Italian poetry and petrarchan and dantesque poetry in particular with in-depth text readings; Petrarch and Dante; the idea of classic triumphus; the structure of the Triumphi; close reading of the text.
Part B (20 hrs; 3 CFU): Close reading of the text and discussion of scholarship. Hints on the fortune and diffusion of the Triumphi in XVth cent.: poetry and element of iconography.
Part C (20 hrs; 3 CFU): The letter: genre tradition and philological practise.
- Outline of epistolary genre history from Antiquity to Middle Age to Humanism; the Renaissance, age of letters and of secretaries; material and textual characteristics of the letter; fundamentals of epistolary philology; autograph transcriptions, with classroom guided practice on Giovanni Della Casa's autographs; digital exploration of some Della Casa's manuscripts and presentation of the didactic project for MA dissertations "Lettere di Giovanni Della Casa: schedatura sul database epistolare ARCHILET".
Prerequisites for admission
There are no required prerequisites. Yet, a good undergraduate study of Italian literature is recommended to attend the course. Students who, for different reasons, do not possess this background should contact the teacher to draw a study plan.
Teaching methods
The course (Part A-B), more complex and wider than an undegraduate one, is based on traditional lectures, yet leaves large room to students' active participation. Many text readings will be held, by the teacher and by the students, and bibliography will be discussed in classroom. At the end of the course students can, if they wish (many do), submit a short written analysis of a poetry, so as to test their knowledge and method. The paper is evaluated and taken into account in the final assessment. Teaching widely uses materials posted on the Ariel platform: essays, texts, list of topics to think about.
Part C has a limited theoretical part, being mainly a workshop where student work in small groups under the teacher's guidance to autograph transcripts.
Teaching Resources
Part A:
- Petrarca, Rerum Vulgarium Fragmenta, a cura di M. Santagata, Mondadori (or a cura di P. Vecchi Galli, Rizzoli, a cura di S. Stroppa, Einaudi)
- Petrarca, I Trionfi, a cura di Vinicio Pacca, Mondadori,
oppure a cura di Marco Ariani, Mursia (these two edition are recommendend, others being too simple).
For those students who are unable to attend the lectures a dedicated programme can be found on the ARIEL platform under the voice "Studenti non frequentanti".

Part B:
See Unit A,

Part C:
This teaching module including a large practical part, attendance (at least 7 lectures out of 10) is compulsory and verified through signatures (see next paragraph).
- M. Marti, L'epistolario come «genere» e un problema editoriale, in Studi e problemi di critica testuale. Convegno di Studi di Filologia italiana nel Centenario della Commissione per i Testi di Lingua, Bologna, 1961, pp. 203-208;
- P. Moreno, Filologia dei carteggi volgari quattro-cinquecenteschi, in Studi e problemi di critica testuale 1960-2010. Per i 150 anni della Commissione per i testi di lingua, a cura di E. Pasquini, Bologna, Commissione per i testi di lingua, 2012, pp. 127-147;
- C. Berra, Dal regesto dei manoscritti casiani alle schede Archilet: appunti e un progetto, in Archilet. Reti epistolari. Per un archivio ragionato delle corrispondenze letterarie del Cinquecento e del Seicento (Seminario internazionale di studi, Bergamo 11-12 dicembre 2015), a cura di C. Carminati ed E. Russo.
- C. Berra, Giovanni Della Casa, in Autografi dei letterati italiani, Il Cinquecento. II., published soon.
- E. Russo, La traduzione dell'epistolografia italiana: protagonisti e punti di svolta, in Scrivere lettere. Briefe Schreiben. Ecrire des lettres. Writing letters. Typologies, Utilisation, Corpora, a cura di E. Garavelli e H. Lenk, Memo CII (2018), pp. 15-35.
All essays will be posted on ARIEL site.
Assessment methods and Criteria
Intended learning outcomes are assessed through an oral examination. Students can submit a short written analysis of a text, which will be graded as "sufficiente", "discreto", "buono", "ottimo" and will be part of the final grade. The examination usually starts with the reading of a text (paraphrasis and commentary regarding style and contents) and moves to the discussion of some critical issues and/or essays.
Assessment criteria are: knowledge of topics, ability to analyse a literary ancient text in its different levels and aspects, ability to organize a synthetic, clear and rigorous discourse, full command of disciplinary lexicon, ability to locate problematic themes, ability to synthetise and employ in an original way ideas from across the subject. The grades are on a scale of 30, plus the possibile distinction of the "lode".
Unita' didattica A
L-FIL-LET/10 - ITALIAN LITERATURE - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Unita' didattica B
L-FIL-LET/10 - ITALIAN LITERATURE - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Unita' didattica C
L-FIL-LET/10 - ITALIAN LITERATURE - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Prof. Berra will receive on Teams platform on Wednesday afternoon, by appointment via email