28991 - Contemporary Italian Literature (LM)

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course the student will know the main historical and critical questions posed by authors and texts of the contemporary italian literature. He/She also will know the lines of the critic debate and use the main methods to analise literary texts.

Course contents

On the detective story. Social criticism and avant-garde as consumption

The course aims to enable students to acquire the most up-to-date methods of analysing literary texts. In particular, priority will be given to the formal reading and interpretation of two auteur detective stories, to be considered: a) as examples of authorial reworking of a text model conceived for undifferentiated consumption; b) as literary experiments aimed at mimicking at the same time the forms of "high" literature and that of entertainment literature. The texts submitted for analysis will be interpreted, first of all, from the point of view of their vocation to produce a reader (a lector in fabula, to use the words of Umberto Eco) inclined to be entertained and amused, and at the same time to seek - precisely within the folds of detective divertissement - a reason to reflect on social relations and the institutions that mediate these relations. The narrative structure of the two novels will be compared to that of the two film adaptations based on them.


Students will study the following texts:

 Leonardo Sciasica, A ciascuno il suo (1966), Milano, Adelphi, 2000.

Umberto Eco, Il nome della rosa (1980-2012), Milano, La nave di Teseo, 2020.

Massimo Onofri, Storia di Sciascia, Roma-Bari, Laterza, 2004, pp. VII-137.

Bruno Pischedda, Eco: guida al Nome della rosa, Roma, Carocci, 2016.

Giuliana Benvenuti, Un caso editoriale: «Il nome della rosa», in G.Alfano, F. De Cristofaro (a cura di), Il romanzo in Italia, vol. IV, Roma, Carocci, 2018, pp. 367-378.

Teaching methods

The lessons are, most of all, lectures held by the teacher. During the lessons, students will be encouraged to participate. We will use also some tools to support teaching, especially power-point. Movies and documentaries will be shown for the contextualization of readings scheduled. Finally, scholars will be invited for some specific issues and for the presentation of some texts and authors.

Assessment methods

The oral test consists in an oral interview which has the aim of evaluating the critical and methodological ability of the students. The students will be invited to discuss the tests on the course programme. The student must demonstrate an appropriate knowledge of the bibliography in the course programme.

Those students who are able to demonstrate a wide and systematic understanding of the issues covered during the lessons, are able to use these critically and who master the field-specific language of the discipline will be given a mark of excellence.

Those students who demonstrate a mnemonic knowledge of the subject with a more superficial analytical ability and ability to synthesize, a correct command of the language but not always appropriate, will be given a ‘fair' mark.

A superficial knowledge and understanding of the material, a scarce analytical and expressive ability that is not always appropriate will be rewarded with a pass mark or just above a pass mark.

Students who demonstrate gaps in their knowledge of the subject matter, inappropriate language use, lack of familiarity with the literature in the programme bibliography will not be given a pass mark.

Teaching tools

In addition to lectures by the course leader, audio-visual aids will be used to support teaching.

Office hours

See the website of Riccardo Stracuzzi


Quality education Gender equality Reduced inequalities

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.