92960 - Literature and Visual Culture (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

At the end of the course, students will have acquired knowledge of the relationships between Italian Literature and Visual Culture, from the second half of the twentieth century to the first decade of the new millennium, with a focus on photography, graphic novel, advertising, cinema, television and videogames. Students will be able to identify and analyze the interactions between different languages and they will be capable of contextualizing them in the contemporary cultural environment.

Course contents

This is the second 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 21th century.

A transmedia longseller: Il nome della rosa by Umberto Eco

The course will be focused on some aspects characterising the relationship between literature, cinema, television and new media in the construction of narratives that address transnational audiences and create imaginaries that are typical of the global age.

In particular, the case of Umberto Eco's Il nome della rosa (1980) will be analysed as a prototype of the globally successful Italian novel, examining the reasons for this success in the stratification of genres and meanings of the text. Through the reading of the later La misteriosa fiamma della regina Loana (2004), the course will also deal with the relations and integrations between literature and visual media, moving on to an analysis of the transmedia extensions of Il nome della rosa, from the film adaptation by Jean-Jacques Annaud (1986) to the TV series by Giacomo Battiato (2019). it will thus be highlighted the transition from transpositions that could be understood in the light of adaptation theory to the construction of narratives that arise from an imaginary produced by different media and translate into transmedia productions through the integration of entertainment experiences on different media platforms.

The case of Il nome della rosa, covering a long period of time, makes it possible to observe the development of derivative narratives in which the logics of adaptation and expansion converge and conflict, and to which the different interpretative models of adaptation, transmedia storytelling and the narrative ecosystem are applicable from time to time.


Students will have to read and watch the following books and movies:

  • Umberto Eco, Il nome della rosa, edition with the author's drawings and notes, Milano, La nave di Teseo, 2020 (or any other edition that includes the Postille a "Il nome della rosa" 1983);
  • Umberto Eco, La misteriosa fiamma della regina Loana,Milano, Bompiani, 2004 (any edition);
  • Il nome della rosa, movie directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud, 1986;
  • Il nome della rosa, television miniseries directed by Giacomo Battiato, 2019;

Critical essays:

  • Linda Hutcheon, Teoria degli adattamenti, Roma, Armando, 2011 (also in the orginal version: Linda Hutcheon, A Theory of Adaptation, New York-London, Routledge, 2006);
  • Stefano Calabrese (ed.), Narrare al tempo della globalizzazione, Roma, Carocci, 2016 (Introduzione and chapters 4 and 5);
  • Nicola Dusi, Il nome della rosa. Roghi, incendi e scintille tra romanzo, film, serie tv, in Beniamino Della Gala, Lavinia Torti (eds.), Pixel. Letteratura e media digitali, Modena, Mucchi, 2021, pp. 75-96.

Additional resources can be recommended by the teacher in class and on the Virtuale platform.

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. 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 first module of the integrated course, titled Literature and the Arts (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 Reduced inequalities

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