31353 - Anglo-American Literature 3

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Elena Lamberti

  • Learning modules Elena Lamberti (Modulo 1)
    Chiara Patrizi (Modulo 2)

  • Credits 9

  • SSD L-LIN/11

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

  • Language English

  • Campus of Bologna

  • Degree Programme First cycle degree programme (L) in Foreign Languages and Literature (cod. 0979)


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

Quality education Reduced inequalities Sustainable cities Peace, justice and strong institutions

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

Students will learn the literary history of the period at stake; they will acquire useful literary tools to analyze fictional productions and question them in relation to the complex and heterogeneous North American realities.

Course contents


This course proposes a journey across North American literary and cultural productions relating to the period 1950-2020. From the second Red Scare to the Vietnam War to 9/11, from Postmodern Fiction to World Literature, we will cross read Canadian and American ‘old’ and ‘new’ classics to investigate the making of today globalized/Americanized and interconnected realities.

IMPORTANT: The course is structured into two modules of 30 hours each; the course directors will work in synergy and there will a unique final exam (see here below).

Part 1 (Prof. Elena Lamberti, Course coordinator):

Main themes: Young rebels in/of the Tranquilized 1950s; Good wars & bad wars: from WWII to Vietnam and after; Canadian Renaissance; Writing after 9/11; Indigenous Perspectives on Mainstream Narratives.

Part 2 (Instructor Prof. Chiara Patrizi):

Main themes: Postmodern temporalities; Contemporary Women Writers from Sylvia Plath to Jesmyn Ward; African-American and New-Diasporic Blackness; TV series and US culture; Contemporary US music

Please Notice: This course is organized as part of the sustainability phase of the European Project “PERFORMIGRATIONS: People Are the Territory” (www.performigratios.eu), in the frame of the research project “WeTell: Storytelling and Civic Awareness” (https://site.unibo.it/wetell/en) and in collaboration with the literary portal https://site.unibo.it/canadausa . The main goal is to encourage a new global mentality, deeply rooted in the humanities, so to reorient today geopolitics and create a happier and more just world. No knowledge is useful if it leads to satisfy only a few people’s urgent needs, be that material or emotional; knowledge is useful if it induces us to question our communal existence, helping us to learn how to act upon our community in responsible ways, in turn leading to a truly shared happiness.



In view of the final exam, students will be able to customize their reading list, as well as their themes for class presentations and essays under the supervision of the course directors.

Background readings (recommended, not mandatory):

  • Antonelli, S. e Mariani, G. Il Novecento USA: narrazioni e culture del secolo Americano, Roma, Carocci, 2009.
  • Elliott, W. (General Editor), The Columbia Literary History of the United States, New York: Columbia U.P., 1988 (Part V – 1945 to the present).
  • Fink, G., Maffi, M., Minganti, F. e Tarozzi, B. Storia della letteratura americana (nuova edizione), Firenze: Sansoni (1991) 2013 (From chapter IV)
  • Iuli, C. e Loreto P. (eds), La letteratura degli Stati Uniti. Carocci Editore, 2017 (chapters 11-16).
  • Lamberti, E., Controambienti letterari. Classici newyorkesi dell’era elettrica. Bologna, Clueb, 2018.
  • Petrelli, M., Paradiso in nero. Spazio e mito nella narrativa di Cormac McCarthy. Aracne, 2020.
  • Richard J. Lane, The Routledge Concise History of Canadian Literature, Routledge, 2011 (Chapters 1, 2, 3).
  • Simonetti, P., Paranoia Blues, trame del Postmoderno americano. Roma: Aracne Editrice 2015.
  • The Cambridge Companion to Canadian Literature, Edited by Eva-Marie Kroller, Cambridge U.P. 2004 (Chapters 1, 3, 4).

Teaching methods

Students’ active participations is strongly encouraged. Therefore, in addition to the lecture format, group work will be scheduled to create a vibrant and interactive educational environment.

Assessment methods

The final exam is structured in three parts:

  1. Review of a book/film/TV series (text or multimedia)
  2. Class presentation
  3. Final essay of 3000-3500 words, in English.

Teaching tools

Traditional and Multimedia tools

Links to further information


Office hours

See the website of Elena Lamberti

See the website of Chiara Patrizi