By the end of the course, students will be able to critically read the methodological contributions and the narrative texts proposed. Students will be provided with all the necessary tools:
a) to mastering the different critical theories that have explored the relationship between literature and ecology, understood as the study of the links between living organisms and their environment;
b) to analyze the cultural, political, historical and economic conditions that during the twentieth century led as a necessary outcome to the birth in the world and in Italy of a literary trend, above all narrative, focused on environmental issues;
c) to reflect on the influence that this literary trend has and may have in the future on the development of a more mature consciousness and a more aware relationship with the surrounding space.
Italian literature and ecology. The course is divided into two parts. In the first part, the relations between literature and ecology will be defined in general by examining the different critical perspectives, such as ecocriticism or geocritics, which were born precisely to study issues related to the environment. Furthermore, both the central reasons around which ecological narratives are configured and some constants of the relationship between man and nature will be examined.
The second part of the course will address the relationship of Italian writers (in particular Calvino, Pasolini, Rigoni Stern, Volponi and Ortese) with nature and ecological risk in the second half of the twentieth century, that is, in the years of post-war industrialization. The role of the landscape in determining cultural identity and the reactions to its rapid destruction in recent decades make Italian literature of the twentieth century an ideal case study. In particular, it will be seen how the main declensions of the word "ecology" (study of the relationships between living beings and their environment; set of activities through which man modifies the surrounding space; protection of nature against decay) correspond as many strands literary (the relationship of the characters of a literary text with nature; industrial theme; representation of environmental risk through dystopian imagery).
The course will be held in Italian 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 evaluation will be oral. The questions will concern the content of the literary works and critical texts proposed, analyzed and commented on in class and listed in the bibliography, and will verify the achievement of what is established in the educational objectives.
The course will take place in the second semester and is taught in Italian. The course programs are valid for two years. Erasmus students are kindly asked to contact the professor.