18095 - English Literature

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course the student will have acquired a sound passive knowledge of the English language; he/she will be able to read and comprehend a text in English and to learn the main forms and genres of English literature and drama. The student will likewise acquire the necessary tools for the analysis of a literary or dramatic text in English, in its historical and theatrical, as well as more strictly literary, aspects.

Course contents

London Staged: The metropolis between space and time, history and memory, in contemporary British drama (1956-2006)

This course intends to explore the relationship between London and contemporary English drama, taking the British capital not only as the privileged place for the staging of plays, but also as setting, and often as protagonist, of the drama itself. London is the scene of memory: theatrical memory – because since the time of Shakespeare it is synonymous with performance – but also historical and social memory, since the British metropolis has been at the centre of modern European and postcolonial history, as well as of the great cultural and social changes that took place in the second half of the Twentieth century. All of the selected plays take London as their setting and as their dramatic theme. The critical reading of these plays – accompanied, when possible, by video performances – will be grounded in the cultural history of contemporary London.

Timetable (second semester)

Monday      17:00 - 19:00 AULA III

Tuesday     17:00 - 19:00 AULA III

Wednesday 17:00 - 19:00 AULA III


Primary texts (12 credits)

Testi primari

John Osborne, Look Back in Anger                  1956

Harold Pinter, The Caretaker                         1960

                   Old Times                               1971

Edward Bond, Saved                                    1965

Tom Stoppard, Rosencrantz e Guildenstern are Dead (Rosencrantz e Guildenstern sono morti)         1966

Caryl Churchill, Top Girls                               1982

Sarah Kane, Blasted                                     1995

Mark Ravenhill, Shopping and Fucking              1996

Polly Stenham That face                               2006

Teaching methods

The teaching method will involve lectures and discussion, the reading of plays and other mateiral, and the viewing of multimedial material.

Assessment methods

At the end of the course there will be a written exam for attending students. Non-attending students will take the exam in oral form.

Office hours

See the website of Keir Douglas Elam