Provencal Literature

A.Y. 2021/2022
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The learning objective of this course is to provide students with an advanced preparation on Medieval Occitan language and literature, that will be studied also from the point of view of textual transmission.
Expected learning outcomes
Knowledge: at the end of the course students will know the history of Medieval Provençal literature - from its origins to the mid fourteenth century - and the Occitan historical grammar.

Skills: students will also be able to understand, translate and examine in depth the texts that are taken into account during the lessons, discussing their linguistic features, historical-literary context and textual problems. Furthermore, students will acquire the ability to deal with interpretative problems, showing awareness of the different methodological perspectives, and making use of the provided bibliography and of discipline-specific terminology.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
First semester
If allowed by any provision in force for the containment of the COVID-19 outbreak, lessons are held in classroom and simultaneously streamed and recorded on Microsoft Teams. For further information, visit the Ariel website of the course.
Course syllabus
From the historical and cultural point of view, Troubadours play a key role in the early development of modern European lyric. As further evidence of this statement, we can recognize a significant group of texts that mix Old Provençal - the lyric language "par excellence" - with other languages that sometimes even lack in literary reputation. Reasons and purposes of this kind of experimentalism vary widely depending on the cultural background that characterizes each of these texts: this is the reason why the study of these poems can offer a distinctive point of view on the linguistic and cultural situation of some of the most important milieus for the development of Romance literatures between 12th and 13th centuries (from the Angevin empire, to the courts of Montferrat and Castille). Phenomena of plurilingualism and linguistic hybridity in Medieval Provençal literature do not occur only in this collection of poems: they can be recognized also within narrative texts (from the "novas" to the famous Provençal speech that Arnaut Daniel speaks as a character in Dante's "Purgatorio") and in particular manuscripts that transmit Provençal literature during the Middle Ages. The course - titled "Troubadours and plurilingualism: texts, poets, manuscripts" - focuses on this topic and is structured in three sections:

Section A (20 hours): after a few introductory lessons, this section will focus on Troubadours' plurilingual poems written in Italy.

Section B (20 hours): this section will focus on Troubadours' plurilingual poems written in the Angevin Empire and in the Iberian Peninsula.

Section C (20 hours): this section will focus on narrative texts and on manuscripts that show Old Provençal involved in phenomena or situations characterized by plurilingualism and/or linguistic hybridity.

Students that will take a 6 ECTS exam will attend sections A and B; students that will take a 9 ECTS exam will attend sections A, B and C.
Prerequisites for admission
No prerequisites for admission. Nevertheless, master's students are expected to have a basic understanding of textual criticism, the historical-comparative grammar of Romance languages and the history of Medieval Romance literatures: for this reason, students who did not attend any class in the domain of Romance philology are asked to contact the teacher. No previous competence in Old Provençal is required to attend the lessons and to pass the exam successfully: all the skills for the linguistic comprehension of texts will be provided in class.
Teaching methods
The structure and contents of the course are conceived for master's students and offer an integrated presentation of all the topics described in the section "Course syllabus": for this reason, students are strongly recommended to attend the lessons.
Class lessons are the prevailing teaching method; they include also the use of digital teaching materials (reproductions of manuscripts, performances of medieval musical pieces, textual and linguistic databases and so on) that are made available on the Ariel platform. Students will also be required to discuss collectively in class the subjects treated during the lessons.
All students taking a 9 ECTS exam are required to prepare a short paper that deepens a topic related to the general subject of the course. This work can be carried out individually or in small groups; the topic and the composition of the working group has to be previously agreed with the teacher, that will provide specific bibliographic references and operational guidance. The paper must be delivered to the teacher by e-mail at least 10 days before the exam.
International and Erasmus students are invited to promptly get in touch with the teacher in order to arrange an apposite plan for exam preparation.
Teaching Resources
Section A:
- Personal class notes;
- Costanzo Di Girolamo, Charmaine Lee, "Avviamento alla filologia provenzale", Roma, Carocci Editore, 2015, pp. 19-94; when self-studying, students can make use of the glossary printed at the end of this book (and of the other lexicographical instruments that will be suggested in class) for preparing the linguistic commentary of the texts;
- Alberto Vàrvaro, "«La tua loquela ti fa manifesto»: lingue e identità nella letteratura medievale" (2002), in Id., "Identità linguistiche e letterarie nell'Europa romanza", Roma, Salerno Editrice, 2004, pp. 227-242;
- Furio Brugnolo, "Il plurilinguismo medievale e la coscienza distintiva degli idiomi romanzi", in "Comunicare nel Medioevo. La conoscenza e l'uso delle lingue nei secoli XII-XV [...]", a cura di Isa Lori Sanfilippo e Giuliano Pinto, Roma, Istituto Storico Italiano per il Medio Evo, 2015, pp. 13-32;
- Lorenzo Tomasin, "Sulla percezione medievale dello spazio linguistico romanzo", in «Medioevo Romanzo», XXXIX/2 (2015), pp. 268-292.

Section B:
- Personal class notes;
- Michel Zink, "I trovatori: una storia poetica", a cura di Federico Saviotti. Premessa di Maria Luisa Meneghetti, Sesto San Giovanni, MIM Edizioni, 2015;
- Giuseppe Tavani, "Il plurilinguismo nella lirica dei trovatori", in "Documenti letterari del plurilinguismo", a cura di Vincenzo Orioles, Roma, Il Calamo, 2000, pp. 123-142.

Section C:
- Personal class notes;
- as more fully specified in the section "Teaching methods", all students taking a 9 ECTS exam are required to prepare - individually or in small groups - a short paper that deepens a topic related to the general subject of the course; this topic has to be agreed with the teacher, that will provide specific bibliographic references.

The teacher will upload on the Ariel site of the course an anthology containing, for each section, the texts that will be read and translated in class and other teaching materials.
Non-attending students are invited to contact the teacher for additional information and supplementary bibliographic references that will substitute the attendance at classes (and consequently the study of personal class notes).
Assessment methods and Criteria
The exam consists of an interview that will assess learning outcomes. The interview begins with reading and translation of a Medieval text that has been analysed in class; students will have to be able to comment it making use of the acquired knowledge and skills about the study of Medieval Provençal texts from the point of view of their historical-cultural importance and literary, linguistic and textual characteristics. The ability to translate and to comment Medieval texts using the specific terminology of Romance studies will be evaluated. For students taking a 9 ECTS exam, the preparation of the short paper will also concur to the assessment, since it will permit to evaluate the skill to carry out a research on a specific topic independently. Handbooks and essays listed in the section "Bibliography" may be the subject of an interview with a further member of the examination board. The evaluation is expressed in thirtieths.
The format of the exam for students with specific learning disabilities should be arranged in advance with the teacher and with the dedicated office.
Unita' didattica A
Lessons: 20 hours
Unita' didattica B
Lessons: 20 hours
Unita' didattica C
Lessons: 20 hours
Educational website(s)