Theory of Literature

A.Y. 2023/2024
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The purpose of the course is to offer students the in-depth knowledge of some theoretical issues often debated in the twentieth century, and (depending upon the textual analysis) either to lead them to both a reflection and analysis of the forms, ways, and styles of the literary texts considered, or to a contextualization of the authors discussed in the lessons.
Expected learning outcomes
The skills that students can acquire are based upon the strength of different levels of texts: the ability to reflect on issues of literature theory, to read and critically discuss writing in verse or prose,the ability to analyze literary text from a linguistic, stylistic and rhetorical point of view, the ability to understand different forms of critical interventions, and to relate texts with their historical context, with their authorial identity, with different kinds of ideas.
In this sense, the expected results relate to the strength of interpretive skills, critical awareness of the close link that must be established between the analysis of the stylistic-expressive level and the attribution of meanings, which necessarily include the reference to not only historical context but the experiences of the author.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
First semester
Course syllabus
The course will first (part A) propose a reading of the first part of "Sein und Zeit" by Martin Heidegger, around which we will arrange some reflections on subject, meaning, language and interpretation, following Charles Taylor, Hans-Georg Gadamer, Paul Ricoeur, and other philosophers. Then (part B), we will deepen Charles Taylor's reflections on human nature and language, which we will try to refer to literature by reading Annie Ernaux's "La Honte". Finally (part C), we will continue our work on literature through the reading of three works by William Shakespeare: "Romeo and Juliet," "Othello" and "The Tempest."
Students who will not attend lessons will be proposed a different program (see the website of the course).
Prerequisites for admission
No prerequisites for admission.
International or Erasmus incoming students are kindly requested to contact the teacher of the course. Students with SLD should also contact the teacher, in order to discuss alternative examination methods, in agreement with the competent office.
Teaching methods
The topics of the course will be presented by the teacher and discussed with the students. Attending students will also participate in two group activities: the first, relating to part A, will consist in the development of a wiki on Martin Heidegger's "Sein und Zeit"; in the second, relating to part C, each student, within their group, will prepare an in-depth study on the work of Shakespeare they will have chosen. Further explanations will be provided in class.
Teaching Resources
Students who will attend lessons:
Part A: Martin Heidegger, "Sein und Zeit" (part I).
Part B: Charles Taylor, "Self-Interpreting Animals," "Language and Human Nature," and "Theories of Meaning"; Annie Ernaux, "La Honte".
Part C: one work by William Shakespeare: "Romeo and Juliet," "Othello" or "The Tempest."
Further information will be given on the website of the course.

Students who will not attende lessons: see the website of the course.
Students who will not attend lessons: see the website of the course.
Assessment methods and Criteria
Students who will attend lessons: for part A, the teacher will evaluate the wiki produced in the group activity (see below, "Metodi didattici"); for part B, the assessment will be based on an oral exam; for part C, the assessment will be based on the oral presentation of the in-depth study prepared by each student within their group (see below, "Metodi didattici"). All evaluations will be out of thirty. Further information will be given in class.
Students who will not attend lessons: the exam will be oral and the evaluation will be out of thirty.
Lessons: 60 hours
Professor: Ballerio Stefano
Mondays, 3:00 pm - 6:00 pm, by appointment.
Dipartimento di Studi letterari, filologici e linguistici, Modern studies section, second floor