By the end of the module students will be able to: a) critically analyse a literary text; b ) deal with those different cultural, literary, political and historical backgrounds that shaped the representations of the fantastic, the gothic and the monstrous in the literature of the long nineteenth Century; c ) critically reflect on the fascination with the metaphorical figure of the vampire in European culture; d) examine the aesthetics through which writers have used the figure of the vampire to explore issues related to a wide range of topics, including sexuality, immortality and monstrosity.
This course concerns "The Vampire in European Literature and Culture of the Long Nineteenth Century". Thus it will deal with some aspects of monstrous and fantastic European literature in the long Nineteenth Century, paying particular attention to the figure of the vampire, with the aim to explain the social, political, aesthetic and cultural factors that have been contributing to its undeniable literary fame. What kind of fears and fantasies does it crystallize? And what kind of discourse about sexuality, death, and disease does it validate? What does its mere existence reveal about gender and ethnicity? In order to answer these questions the course will examine the emergence of the vampire in the gothic literature of the long Nineteenth Century. In order to gain a deeper understanding of the figure of the vampire, the course will discuss poems by August Bürger and J. W. Goethe, John Polidoir's "the Vamyire", E.T.A. Hoffmann’s and Théophile Gautier's tales and Bram Stoker's "Dracula".
The course will be held in English and it will be based on lectures, yet directly involving the students in discussion and dialogue. During classes, students’ proposals for further analyses or debate will be welcome.
The assessment will be written and in English. Questions will concern the contents of the literary works listed in the syllabus and the critical texts. Three questions will be asked concerning: 1) the historical and cultural framing of the European long Nineteenth Century; 2) the features of fantastic, monstrous and gothic literature; 3) the thematic and narrative features of one of the literary works on the vampire listed in the syllabus. The language skills level will influence the outcome of the examination.
Grading scale: a.Outstanding (30 e lode ): excellent knowledge of all of the contents of the course. Excellent ability to analyze the texts and to contextualize them in an appropriate way. The student uses the academic writing register/style with appropriate linguistic terminologies. The translation is correct. b. Very good (30 to 27): very good knowledge of all of the contents of the course. Very good ability to analyze the texts and to contextualize them in an appropriate way. The translation contains hardly any mistakes. c. Good (26-24): Good knowledge of the contents of the course. Adequate ability to describe the texts. The language used is simple but correct. The translation is good. d. Fair/sufficient (23-18): The work has sufficient knowledge, coherence, use of appropriate resources and quality of presentation to warrant a basic pass. The ability to analyze the texts is not wholly satisfactory. The work is very descriptive and does not fully address the issues raised by the question. The translation is not wholly satisfactory. e. Fail (below 18): The student demonstrates only a basic awareness of the contents of the course. The work is frequently confused and incoherent. Both the essay and the translation contain inaccuracies and major errors.
Please remember that this course is taught in English. Erasmus students are kindly asked to contact the lecturer. Due to Covid-19 the course may be taught online and the program may change.