31055 - Anglo-American Literature 1

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Franco Minganti

  • Learning modules Franco Minganti (Modulo 1)
    Elena Lamberti (Modulo 2)

  • Credits 9

  • SSD L-LIN/11

  • Teaching Mode Traditional lectures (Modulo 1)
    Traditional lectures (Modulo 2)

  • Language English

  • Course Timetable from Oct 08, 2018 to Oct 25, 2018

    Course Timetable from Nov 07, 2018 to Dec 18, 2018

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course, the student is aware of the main issues of US (and Canadian) literary history. He will be able to read, understand and translate literary texts, and will use basic analytical tools to critically interpret the literary works of the most important authors, while situating them within proper cultural and historical frames.

Course contents

The Literary Identity of North-America: United States & Canada.

The course (9 cfu) is aimed at 1st year students of "Laurea triennale" who have chosen "Letterature Anglo-Americane" (American Literature) as the literature to be associated with one "lingua triennale" (namely, English).

The course is an introduction to the literature of North America (USA and Canada) written in English and focuses particularly on identity issues and the perception of a "national" literature. Classic and funding texts will be cross read to outline the symbolic and mythological patterns that have moulded the US and Canadian national realities through time. Literature is investigated through a constant dialogue with other arts, including media, cinema, photography and the visual arts. The concepts of identity, memory, community, inner/outer landscape will constitute the thematic paradigms to approach the evolving mentalities underpinning the evolution of complex identity processes in the so-called New World.

The course is integrated by a series of conferences featuring scholars in different areas of studies (the detailed schedule will be available when classes start).

The course is structured into two modules of 24 and 36 hours, taught by professors Franco Minganti and Elena Lamberti respectively.

Part 1 (Prof. Franco Minganti, October 2018): Origins / 1850s

Main themes: Discovering / Conquering / Inventing “America”; Puritan America; American Pioneers; Afro-Americans (The Passage).

Part 2 (Prof. Elena Lamberti, November/December 2018): 1850s/1915

Main themes: American Transcendentalism; The Gilded Age; Literary Impressionism; New Realism (USA); Travelogues (Canada); Melting Pot & Multiculturalism.

Readings/Bibliography

1) MANDATORY READINGS (Final test)

IMPORTANT: all students must know the literary history (See also Final Exam: Test). The following readings are therefore mandatory and are different for UNIBO students and ERASMUS / INTERNATIONAL students:

a) UNIBO STUDENTS

1) Guido Fink et al, Storia della letteratura americana, Firenze: Sansoni, 1991 (Solo la parte: “Dalle origini al 1915”)

2) Gebbia Alessandro, “La letteratura Anglocanadese”, in Lombardo A. (a cura di) Le Orme di Prospero. Le Nuove letterature di lingua inglese: Africa, Carabi, Canada, Roma, La Nuova Italia Scientifica, 1995, pp. 141-219; Capone Giovanna, Canada. Il villaggio della terra, Bologna, Patron (chapters 1,2,3).

b) ERASMUS/INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

From The Columbia Literary History of the United States, New York: Columbia U.P., 1988:

  • Part 1, Chapters I, III
  • Part 2, Chapters II, III, IV
  • Part 3, Chapter IV

2) CUSTOMISED READINGS (Final Essay)

To complete the preparation for the final exam (Essay), students are asked to choose a mandatory number of volumes from the here below lists A, B, C, D.

PLEASE NOTE: students can integrate/customise the reading lists here below provided they discuss all changes with the course director PRIOR the exam. The minimum required number of texts cannot be changed.

A) Two among the following primary sources (USA):

*Beecher Stowe Harriet, Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852)

*Beecher Stowe Harriet, Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852)

*Crane Stephen, The Red Badge of Courage, (1894)

*de Crèvecoeur Hector St.John, “What is an American” da Letters from an American Farmer (1782)

*Douglass Frederick, “My Escape from Slavery” (1881) http://etext.virginia.edu/etcbin/toccer-new2?id=DouEsca.sgm&images=images/modeng&data=/texts/english/modeng/parsed&tag=public&part=1&division=div1

*Emerson R.W., The American Scholar(1837)http://www.gutenberg.org/files/16643/16643-h/16643-h.htm#THE_AMERICAN_SCHOLAR

*Emily Dickinson, dieci poesie a scelta

*Fenimore Cooper James, The Last of the Mohicans (1826)

*Fuller Margaret, Woman in the Nineteenth Century (1843) - http://www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/8642/pg8642.html

*Hawthorne, Nathaniel The Scarlet Letter (1850)

*Lhamon W.T., Jr., “Rogue Blackness” (1830. Jim Crow jumps the American stage)

*London Jack, Martin Eden, (1909)

*Margaret Fuller, Woman in the Nineteenth Century (1843) http://www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/8642/pg8642.html

*Melville Herman, Benito Cereno http://www.gutenberg.org/files/15859/15859-h/15859-h.htm#toc_4 [http://www.gutenberg.org/files/15859/15859-h/15859-h.htm%23toc_4]

*Melville Herman, Moby-Dick (1851)

*Thoreau H.D., Civil Disobedience(1849)http://www.gutenberg.org/files/71/71-h/71-h.htm

*Thoreau Henry D., Walden; or Life in the Woods, (1854)

*Twain Mark, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884)

*Walt Whitman, Song of Myself [Book III of Leaves of Grass] http://www.gutenberg.org/files/1322/1322-h/1322-h.htm#2H_4_0027

*Washington Irving, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” http://www.gutenberg.org [http://www.gutenberg.org/]

*Washington Irving, Rip Van Winkle http://www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/2048/pg2048.txt

B) Two among the following primary sources (Canada):

Traill, C.P., The Backwoods of Canada, (1836)

Jameson Anna, Winter Studies and Summer Rambles in Canada, (1838)

Moodie Susanna, Roughing it in the Bush, (1852)

Carr Emily, Klee Wyck (1941); The Book of Small (1942); The House of All Sorts (1944), Growing Pains (1946)

Cohen Leonard, Beautiful Losers, (1966)

Atwood Margaret, The Journals of Susanna Moodie (1970)

C) One volume chosen among the following secondary sources:

* Leonardi Nicoletta, Il paesaggio americano dell’ottocento. Pittori, fotografi e pubblico, Roma, Donzelli Editore 2003.

*Frye, Northrope, Mythologizing Canada. Essay on the Canadian Literary Imagination, edited by Branko Gorjup,Toronto, Legas, 1997

*Frye, Northrope, The Bush Garden: Essays on the Canadian Imagination, Toronto, Anansi, 1971

*Hutcheon, Linda, The Canadian Postmodern: A Study of Contemporary English-Canadian Fiction, Oxford, OxfordU P, 1988

*Lanzillo, Maria Laura, Il multiculturalismo, Bari, Laterza, 2005

*Portelli Alessandro, Canoni americani. Oralità, letteratura, cinema, musica, Roma, Donzelli Editore, 2004.

D) One critical essay chosen among the following ones ([*] Marked texts belong in A New Literary History of America, edited by Greil Marcus and Werner Sollors - Cambridge, MA/London: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2009).

* Amfreville Marc, “American Gothic” (1798. Charles Brockden Brown publishes Wieland; or, The Transformation) [*]

*Armstrong Nancy, “Mary Rowlandson and the Alien and Sedition Acts” (1798. Congress passes its version of the Indian captivity narrative) [*]

*Bercovitch Sacvan, "How the Puritans Discovered America" [AlmaDL/AMS Campus]

*Beverly Lowry, “Uncle Tom's Cabin” (1851-1852. Readers eagerly await weekly installments of Harriet Beecher Stowe's novel, serialized in the National Era) [*]

*Bharati Mukherjee, “The Scarlet Letter” (1850. Nathaniel Hawthorne confesses his desire to ‘kill the public') [*]

*Calvino, Italo,”Mark Twain, L’uomo che corruppe Hadleyburg”, in Perchè leggere i classici, Milano, Mondatori, 1991, pp. 196-202

*Castillo Susan, “The Salem Trials” (1692. Four young girls accuse three women of witchcraft) [*]

*Cusmano Domenic, “Whose Culture is it anyway? Towards a redefinition of Canadian Culture”, in Il Canada e le Culture della Globalizzazione, cit., pp.551-556

*Damrosch Leo, “Letters from an American Farmer” (1765, December 23. Michel-Guillaume Jean de Crèvecoeur is naturalized as a citizen of the colony of New York) [*]

*Farné Roberto, “Cinema di animazione”, in Iconologia didattica. Le immagini per l'educazione dall'Orbis Pictus a Sesame Street, Bologna, Zanichelli, 2002

*Fortunati Vita, “Word and Image in the Works of Emily Carr”, New Englishes, pp. 3-20

*Gorjup Branko, “Continuity and Discontinuity in the Representation of Space in Canadian Writing”, in Il Canada e le Culture della Globalizzazione, cit. pp. 765-784

*Granville Ganter, “Battles of Rhetoric: Oratory and Identity in Cooper's Last of the Mohicans”, [©1997 by James Fenimore Cooper Society]

*Greil Marcus, “Moby-Dick; or, The Whale” (1851. ‘Give it up, sub-subs!') [*]

*Hancuff, Richard, “Without a Cross: Writing the Nation in The Last of the Mohicans” [©1999, James Fenimore Cooper Society and the College at Oneonta ]

*Marx Leo. "Walden as Transcendental Pastoral." Emerson Society Quarterly, in Ruland, Richard, ed. Twentieth Century Interpretations of Walden: A Collection of Critical Essays. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1968, pp. 101-112

*Monticelli Rita, “Haunting Otherness: Intertextuality in 19th Century Travel Literature on Canada”, in Il Canada e le Culture della Globalizzazione, cit., pp. 317-330

*Portelli Alessandro, “La valle, lo spettro, l’accumulazione”, in Portelli A., Il re nascosto. Saggio su Washington Irving, Roma, Bulzoni, 1979

*Reed Ishmael, “Mark Twain's Hairball” (1884. A man and a boy go down the Mississippi) [*]

Richard Hutson, “Cooper's Leatherstocking Tales” (1826. Natty Bumppo returns in The Last of the Mohicans) [*]

*Rowlandson Mary, Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration [...] (Intro, 1st, 2nd, 3rd Removes) http://www.gutenberg.org/files/851/851-h/851-h.htm#2H_4_0001

*Todorov Tzvetan, "Perché diciamo America. Quinto centenario della scoperta. Vespucci contro Colombo: le ragioni di un nome" [AlmaDL/AMS Campus]

*Varrà Emilio, “Huckleberry Finn”, in La zattera dell’immaginario. Mito simbolo e racconto in Mark Twain, Bologna, Il Ponte Vecchio, pp. 83-130

*Woodlief, Ann M “Negotiating Nature / Wilderness; Crèvecoeur and American Identity in Letters From an American Farmer”.

Plase note: Students are warmly invited to watch the following movies, in case they don’t catch up with them in class)

The Scarlet Letter (Victor Sjöström, 1926)

Rip Van Winkle (Francis Ford Coppola, 1982)

Moby-Dick (John Huston, 1956)

Ethnic Notions (Marlon Riggs, 1987)

Bamboozled (Spike Lee, 2000)

Teaching methods

The course is based on regular classes; it is structured following an interdisciplinary methodology juxtaposing literary sources to artistic, historical ones, as well as on film and multimedia references.

Assessment methods

The FINAL EXAM consists of:

A) Final written test (to test the study of the mandatory readings as per the reading list here above). The test consists of 30 ‘closed’ questions (20: true/false; 10 multiple choice); students are given 1 (one) hour. Evaluation: 1/30 to each right answer.

B) Short essay (3000-3500 words), in English or in Italian. The essay must further develop one of the thematic issues suggested in class (a list will be made available in due course) on the basis of the selected readings (see lists A,B,C,D here above). Essays must be presented on the day of the written test.

Teaching tools

Multimedia materials, including movies and film clips

Office hours

See the website of Franco Minganti

See the website of Elena Lamberti