Modules A and B:
Good knowledge of English.
Bergamo University students must have completed English Language 2 and Literature 2 requirements.
Erasmus students are expected to have reached at least a B2/C1 language competence level.
At the end of the course:
Students will have acquired familiarity with the formal, thematic and rhetorical features of each text;
will have developed an enhanced awareness of various reading approaches to each text; will have refined their sensitivity to the expressive potential of the English language.
Students are expected to have a firm knowledge of the HISTORICAL, POLITICAL, SOCIAL and LITERARY context for the period under discussion (second half of the 19th century and early 20th century).
The course consists of two modules which address prose texts from the period of English literature known as Victorianism/Early Modernism (second half of the 19th century to first half of the 20th).
Module A consists of a textual and critical reading of novels, chapters and short stories belonging to the contested genre of “supernatural fiction”.
Module B (international module) explores three novels and a number of short stories belonging to genre of detective fiction. The texts will be read by applying various interpretive approaches, the resources and the limits of which will be discussed in class.
The novels listed are quite long, so should ideally be read BEFORE the course commences.
A few notes on the what students should know for the purposes of the final exam (both modules). Students are expected :
1) to possess at least a general knowledge of the broad periods of English literature (Old English, Middle Ages, Renaissance, Enlightenment, Romanticism, Victorianism, Modernism.
2) to possess a reasonably detailed knowledge of the period of English literature covered by the two modules (approx. 1840 to 1940)
This applies to both modules (A and B). Students should be familiar with key features in the history, culture and literature of the time. To prepare this part of the course students should use:
Paul Poplawski: English Literature in context, Cambridge University Press, 2017. 1st or 2nd edition (Only chapters: 5 - The Victorian Age 1832-1901 and 6-The Twentieth Century 1901-1939)
For each module, students are expected to:
1) Have a detailed knowledge of each PRIMARY TEXT (e.g. full novels, select chapters or short stories) discussed in class. Knowledge should not be limited to plots, characters, and main themes but also address issues of style, imagery, symbolism or any other theoretical issue discussed in class.
2) Possess at least a general biographical knowledge for each of the authors discusses (life/works) and a familiarity with theoretical terms used or discussed in class.
COMPULSORY READINGS for history and critical theory (both module A and module B):
Arata, Stephen, Madigan Haley, J. Paul Hunter, and Jennifer Wicke, eds. A Companion to the English Novel. Blackwell Companions to Literature and Culture 155. Hoboken: Wiley-Blackwell, 2015 (Read only Chapter 3 – The 1850s and Chapter 22 - London)
Paul Poplawski ed., English Literature in Context, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2017. 1st or 2nd edition. (Read only chapters 5-The Victorian Age 1832-1901 and 6-The Twentieth Century 1901-1939).
PLEASE NOTE: Multiple choice questions on history and the cultural context will be based on Poplawski and on the two chapters from Arata listed above.
*** MODULE A ONLY ***
PRIMARY TEXTS: Primary Texts in Any English Edition.
Sheridan LeFanu from In a Glass Darkly (1872): Carmilla 90pp. (read the complete short story)
Vernon Lee Hauntings. Fantastic Stories (1890) 15 pp.
Read the introduction to the collection (Hauntings): (online material)
Read the complete short story
Amour Dour: Passages from the Diary of Spiridion Trepka
Lord Dunsany "Thirteen at Table" e "The City on Mallington Moor" from Tales of Wonder and Other Stories (1908) 12 pp. Read both short stories
Bram Stoker The lair of the White Worm (1911) 150pp. (only passages read in class)
Arthur Machen The Terror (1917) 120 pp. (read the whole story)
FURTHER COMPULSORY READINGS
C. S. Lewis THE NUMINOUS and THE SUPERNATURAL
Ascari from A Counter-History of Crime Fiction, 2007 - Read only the chapter entitled “Pseudo-Sciences and the Occult “(online material)
*** MODULE B ONLY ***
Primary texts in any English Edition:
Wilkie Collins The Moonstone 1868
1) Prologue The storming of Seringapatam
2) Gabriel Betteredge Chapters I–XXIII
3) Franklin Blake Second Period, Third Narrative, Chapters I–III
4) Ezra Jennings, Second Period, Third Narrative, Chapter VIII
Conan Doyle The Hound of the Baskervilles 1902 150 pages
Agatha Christie The Murder of Roger Ackroyd 1926 (only passages read in class)
Dorothy Sayers Strong Poison 1930 (read the complete novel)
FURTHER COMPULSORY READINGS
Mary, Evans. The Imagination of Evil: Detective Fiction and the Modern World. Continuum Literary Studies. London: Continuum, 2009. (Only Introduction e Chapter 1 – Making Crime (online material) 30 pages
Dorothy Sayers. Introduction to the Omnibus of Crime. London 1928
Online material 40 pages
Raymond Chandler. The Simple Art of Murder, An Essay, The Atlantic Monthly, December 1944
Online material 5 pages
Lessons may include PowerPoint slides and multimedia tools.
Students will be asked to take active part in classroom discussion.
In order to take the exam Bergamo students must have successfully completed English Language II. Erasmus students must possess a valid B2/C1 language competence certification.
The program is valid for two years. Students will be assessed ONLY VIA A WRITTEN EXAM for all the exam sessions held during the first year after the end of the course. Students taking the exam after that date will be examined orally.
Required skills for the oral or written exam:
1. students must show adequate knowledge of the literary and cultural contexts for the issues discussed in the course;
2. Italian students are expected to read all the texts in English and should be able to translate them into Italian;
3. students must be able to discuss texts critically with reference to the issues addressed in the course.
The written exam lasts 2 hours and 40 minutes and comprises two parts. The first part is a multiple-choice test on primary and secondary sources (30 questions). The second part consists of a short translation from one of the texts and two open questions, where students will be asked to write a brief essay for each module (1 to 2 pages long). Students will be notified via email when exam results are posted on their webpage.
The oral exam comprises at least two questions for each module, including a translation. The final mark is the average of the two modules’ evaluations, which take place within the same session.
The course will be taught in the 3rd and 4th sub-term. Erasmus students and students unable to attend may contact the lecturer during office hours, via email or via Skype (firstname.lastname@example.org; Skype ID: davide.del-bello) for explanations or supplementary readings, if necessary.
Students who have chosen module A as an elective will be examined on the texts assigned for module A.
Students who have chosen module B as an elective will be examined on the texts assigned for module B.
Class handouts will be made available online at the end of the course. Non-attending students must prepare the same course material listed here for attending students.