98924 - Theory and Practice of Reading and Writing (LM)

Academic Year 2023/2024

  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Semiotics (cod. 8886)

Learning outcomes

The aim of the course is to guide to a specific knowledge of peculiar understanding of the reading, with reference to the epistemic aspects and to its structures.

Course contents

The aim of the course is to guide to a specific knowledge of peculiar understanding of the reading, with reference to the epistemic aspects and to its structures.


Ways of worldreading

The program of the course will be divided into three parts

A) During the first part the course is guiding through a specific understanding of peculiar and intentional awareness,, comprehension and transfer of cognition of book learning, with particular attention to the epistemic aspects , the historic plot, contemporary objects and forms sharable in the social network.

From the comprehension of viral transfer of ideas through the reading, to the rehabilitation of different way of the reading itself.

To avoid simplification concerning the ideological end of the book, it will be necessary to confront and study the historical and in particular the intellectual evolution of those epistemological and social categories and collective intentionality and social ontology (Searle/Ferraris)

The main focus of teaching in this second part of the course is to get the students able of critical and historical movement inside the knowledge of encyclopaediae as well as encyclopedism (included digital ones) like metaphor of the order and symbol of the world.

B) A specific attention will be focused In the second part of the course the themes taken into consideration will be declined in relation to the case of encyclopedic knowledge and the myth of the exhaustive representation of reality and in particular of the "world in a book" and that of the "book-world". Starting from a theoretical foundation based on the rereading of the Eco's distinction between dictionary and encyclopedia, the course will start from an analysis of the reference model constituted by the Encyclopedie of Diderot and D'Alembert, through not only historical but also critical recognition. The classical encyclopedic model, in its transformations through the nineteenth and twentieth centuries (with particular reference to the reflection on the encyclopedic novel and its digital evolution in fanfiction platforms, narrative extensions, seriality etc.), will then be compared with modern forms of archiving and dissemination of knowledge, from online encyclopedias to search engines and problems - filters, fake news, big data - related to the world of web communication. Finally the course will conclude on the notions of social object, digital archive and deterministic consequences of the encyclopedic recording of the digital archive of archives, the web. In them, the evolution of reading practices as ways of criticism and free silent exercises to disrupt the impositions of digital temporality regimes and the relative freedom of choice of the reader will be shown.

III). The third part will be devoted to a collective work of research on specific study cases unlighted during the course and organized as digital objects (blog, planning pages, problem solving regarding digital intellectual properties, papers. speech with the help of charts…) that eventually will become subject of final exams.


Due to the experimental and innovative aspect of the course, tests of study will be selected accordingly to the different sudent’s needs during the course itself.

(Please students be advised that the bibliography will depend on the research conducted during the course and it will not be considered as bibliography for final exams)

Robert Darnton, The business of Enlightment. A publishing HIstory of the Encyclopedie, 1775-1800, The Belknap press, Harvard (Cambridge Ma.)

Robert Darnton, The case of the books. Past, present, future, The Belknap press, Harvard (Cambridge Ma.).

Teaching methods

Lessons, workshops and conferences, multimedia lessons, readings of paper, visit to publishing houses and multimedia labs.

Assessment methods

Papers, charts, blog and digital objects design.

Teaching tools

Multimedia reference, websites, digital encyclopedias and sources, books and papers (hard and liquid).

Office hours

See the website of Riccardo Fedriga


Quality education Gender equality Industry, innovation and infrastructure Reduced inequalities

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