82047 - English Culture and Literature

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Raffaella Baccolini

  • Credits 6

  • SSD L-LIN/10

  • Teaching Mode Traditional lectures

  • Language English


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

Gender equality

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

The student - knows the core features (contents, methods and instruments) necessary for the in-depth analysis of English culture and literature - is able to apply this knowledge when tackling a range of semiotically challenging texts - is able to acquire higher-level cultural and literary knowledge and competences independently, and to apply them to a wide range of novel texts

Course contents

From its inception, cinema has relied upon literature for source material, but for most people, film adaptation of literature can be summed up in one sentence: “The movie wasn’t as good as the book.” Movies based on literary works are defined as adaptations but can also be seen as translations and/or remediations. A director and his/her cast translate the story from the written page into a visual presentation. This course (taught throughout the academic year) seeks to explore the established and continuing interaction of film and literary texts through screenings, readings, class discussions, and in-class work. During the year we will discuss about what happens when a variety of plays, novels, or short stories are translated into a movie and how we view and read these texts. No background in film studies is needed for this course; however, you will be asked to look at and think about films reflectively. Your responses to these texts and close viewing and reading of the texts will be important components of this class.

Attendance and participation are highly encouraged. The exam will be written (ids. and analysis of previously discussed excerpts and analysis of a previously unseen poem or excerpt). A short (1-2 page) response paper to be handed in by the end of the course (and/or before the exam) is also required.


Texts and films will be chosen from this list. Texts and films not examined in class will be used for essays.

Susan Glaspell, Trifles. 1916

Susan Glaspell, "A Jury of Her Peers." 1917

Alfred Hitchcock Presents - S 7 E 12 - A Jury of Her Peers1961; http://dai.ly/x5ehhv9

Sally Heckel, A Jury of Her Peers. 1980 https://youtu.be/zGJTHi0rliA

Martin Sherman, Bent. 1979

Sean Mathias, Bent. 1997

Ariel Dorfman, Death and the Maiden. 1990

Roman Polanski, Death and the Maiden. 1994

David Henry Wang, M. Butterfly. 1988

David Cronenberg, M. Butterfly. 1993

Wajdi Mouawad,Scorched. 2003

Denis Villeneuve, Incendies. 2010

Harvey Fierstein, Torch Song Trilogy. 1982

Paul Bogart, Torch Song Trilogy. 1988

Harvey Fierstein, Safe Sex. 1988

Gavin Millar, Tidy Endings. 1988

Tony Kushner, Angels in America. 1993

Mike Nichols, Angels in America. 2003

Harold Pinter, Betrayal. 1978

David Hugh Jones, Betrayal. 1983

Ken Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. 1962

Dale Wasserman, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. 1963

Milos Forman, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. 1975

Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway. 1925

Marleen Gorris, Mrs. Dalloway. 1997

Michael Cunningham, The Hours. 1998

Stephen Daldry, The Hours. 2002

Grace Paley, Enormous Changes at the Last Minute. 1974

Mirra Bank, Ellen Hovde, Muffie Meyer, Enormous Changes at the Last Minute. 1983

Francis Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby. 1925

Jack Clayton, The Great Gatsby. 1974

Baz Luhrmann, The Great Gatsby. 2013

Jesse Andrews, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. 2012

Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. 2015

Ted Chiang, “Story of Your Life.” 1988

Denis Villeneuve, Arrival. 2016

Philip K. Dick, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?1968

Larissa Lai, “Rachel.” 2004

Ridley Scott, Blade Runner. 1982

Margaret Atwwod, The Handmaid’s Tale. 1985

Volker Schlöndorff, The Handmaid’s Tale. 1990

Bruce Miller, The Handmaid’s Tale. 2017—

Mohsin Hamid, The Reluctant Fundamentalist. 2007

Mira Nair, The Reluctant Fundamentalist. 2012

Teaching methods

Attendance and participation are highly encouraged. Some initial lectures will be followed by class discussion. You are required to read the assigned readings in advance.

Students are required to enroll in the course on the e-learning page.

Assessment methods

The final exam will be written. A sample copy of the written exam will be available on the e-learning page for the course (50%).

Students will also have to hand in a short essay (3-5 page response paper) before taking the written exam (50%). Due dates and further explanations will be given during the course.

Teaching tools

Material available on the e-learning page.

Links to further information


Office hours

See the website of Raffaella Baccolini