92958 - Literature and the Arts (1) (Lm)

Academic Year 2022/2023

  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Italian Studies, European Literary Cultures, Linguistics (cod. 9220)

Learning outcomes

Art and literature can be seen weaving around each other, influencing one and another, and being used as a tool to teach students about liberal arts and humanity. At the end of the course, students will be able to develop a general vision of the relationships between Italian Literature and other Arts, from the nineteenth century to nowadays, with a focus on painting. They will have acquired knowledge on the most relevant works of literature which interact with images and they will be capable of analyzing critical, theoretical and literary texts regarding visual arts.

Course contents

This is the first integrated module of the course in Contemporary Literary Cultures (I.C.) (LM) and explores various ways in which words and images have interacted and shaped Italian culture in the 20th century. While looking at interactions between literature and the arts, the module also introduces students to the following topics and areas to further investigate: 1) the interaction among literature, visual art and new media; 2) the question of gaze in literature; 3) iconology, “visual turn” and “pictorial turn”; 4) the concepts of transposition and remediation; 5) literature and visual arts facing the crisis of modernity and postmodernity.


Students will have to read the following books:

  • Italo Calvino, Palomar, Torino, Einaudi, 1983;
  • Gianni Celati, Quattro novelle sulle apparenze, Milano, Feltrinelli, 1987 OR Gianni Celati, Verso la foce, Milano, Feltrinelli, 1989;
  • Daniele Del Giudice, Nel museo di Reims, Torino, Einaudi, 1988.

Critical essays:

All the documents uploaded on VIRTUALE.

Teaching methods

Classes will consist of a mix of lectures and seminars. Students are required to take part in all class activities, actively contribute to class and group discussions and do all the required readings.

Assessment methods

The final test consists of the discussion of a paper (15.000-18.000 characters including spaces) on one of the course topics, dealing with one or more case studies included in the course programme. The content and the structure of the paper must be preliminarily discussed with and approved by the professor via email, and during the last lesson of the course there will be the opportunity for an oral presentation of the draft paper. In order to have the paper assessed, it is necessary to register via AlmaEsami: the final version must be sent to the professor by email, no later than 7 days before the exam date.

The final mark will be calculated by averaging the mark obtained with the other paper (15.000-18.000 characters including spaces) discussed at the end of the second module of the integrated course, titled Literature and Visual Culture (1) (LM).

Erasmus students who only need to achieve 6 cfu have the option of taking one of the two integrated modules, so for them the final test consists of the discussion of a longer paper (20.000-24.000 characters including spaces).

Marking Criteria

A pass mark is between 18 and 30. Below are the corresponding marking criteria:


  • The paper has an elegant structure and develops a coherent argument, showing independent research and thinking. Appropriate evidence is presented to support the overall argument; a detailed analysis of particular cases is balanced with a broader discussion of the topic; and a reasoned and convincing conclusion is reached. The paper is written in grammatically correct English or Italian and the style is mature and appropriate to academic writing; the bibliography is extensive and follows standard bibliographic conventions, and the referencing is accurate throughout.


  • The paper has a structure that is not entirely clear and tends towards description rather than analysis, with little critical reflection on the evidence that is being presented. Ideas tend to be stated rather than developed, with some gaps in knowledge. The paper is written in acceptable English or Italian, but there are grammatical and stylistic lapses. The bibliography is not extensive and is not always consistent with referencing. Text shows type errors.


  • The paper has an unclear structure that does not allow the development of a coherent argument. The text is merely descriptive, with no or very little analysis, and may be very repetitive and/or shorter than it is required. The evidence is shown without critical reflection on its significance, ideas are baldly stated, and the knowledge displayed is basic. The language shows various problems of expression, and the text is marred by typographical errors. The referencing is of very poor quality and the bibliography is very thin.


  • The paper has a very unclear structure and no coherent argument. There are serious inaccuracies involving fundamental aspects of the topic. The level of written English or Italian is very poor and impedes understanding. The text is marred with errors and referencing is carelessly presented and/or haphazard and/or made up.

Teaching tools

Lectures will be supported by slides presentations as well as audio and video materials.

Office hours

See the website of Beniamino Della Gala


Quality education Gender equality

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