30931 - Italian Literature 1 (GR. B)

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course the student has a good understanding of the Italian literary tradition, knows the fundamental issues of the critical discussion about the authors and texts and is able to use the main methods of analysis of texts and contexts; he has also acquired the ability of adequately expressing himself in writing.

Course contents

The course is about the relationship between science and literature and aims at investigating how deeply the scientific world views affect the system of literature. The first section will be devoted to Dante's Comedy, whose calculated architecture reflects the orderly and hierarchical medieval cosmos. We will then focus on Galileo, following the effects of the scientific discoveries of the seventeenth century on contemporary literature. Finally we will consider the works of Italo Calvino, where the interest in science is reflected in the testing of abstract and geometric forms of writing.


Dante, Commedia, a c. di E. Pasquini-A. Quaglio, Milano, Garzanti

Reading and commenting on a choice of 10 cantos from Dante's Comedy is required (e.g. Inf. I, II, V, X, XXVI, XXXIII; Purg. I, III, XXVI; Par. I).

G. Galilei, Il Saggiatore, a c. di L. Sosio, Milano, Feltrinelli, 2008

I. Calvino, Lezioni americane, Milano, Mondadori, 2013; Le cosmicomiche, Milano, Mondadori, 2016


For the historical and literary contexts related to the authors examined the reference manual will be Letteratura italiana, a c. di A. Battistini, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2014 (the parts to be studied will be indicated in class).

Additional critical bibliography will be provided during the course.

Teaching methods

Lectures and analyses of literary texts.

Assessment methods

The evaluation of the students' competencies and abilities acquired during the course consists of two phases:


a written test leading up to and preparatory to the specific subjects contained in the course programme, and an oral test aimed at ascertaining a general knowledge of all the subjects covered during the course.

During the year, 3 written tests (one per session) and 6 oral tests are delivered.

The written test responds to criteria relating to orthography, morphology, syntax and semantics, clarity of expression, the ability to summarize.

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. Access to the oral test depends on having passed the written test. The final mark is not a mathematical average of the two tests.


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

Some texts will be made available on the Internet (http://campus.unibo.it)

Office hours

See the website of Giovanni Baffetti