73097 - Writing Lab (1) (LM)

Course Unit Page


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

No poverty Quality education Sustainable cities Peace, justice and strong institutions

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

At the end of the workshop, students will be able to collect and organize complex information in a coherent way and to apply critical analysis methodologies to linguistic sciences. Moreover, students will possess the necessary skills to identify a research topic in the field of philological studies and to address it through an appropriate use of primary sources.

Course contents

Human Pass. New mobilities and usual impediments


The management of the pandemic by national governments has imposed significant limitations on freedom of movement: the confinement and social distancing have led to a disruption of habits, the use of both public and private spaces and their relationship. The pandemic has challenged all the certainties on which the late-capitalist Western society is based, i.e. the mobility of men and goods, the trust in science and health institutions, the consolidated relationship between human beings and urban space. At the same time, migration has continued, indeed increased, but politics and public opinion have relegated it to the background, being too busy dealing with the health of citizens and not with that of "illegal immigrants": saving lives with double standards. This is an obvious implementation of the most devious strategies of "biopolitics" to condition the lives of individuals. This discrimination is even more evident at a time when the pandemic crisis seems to be overcome in Western countries and they are planning restarts and reopenings: in fact, the debate is monopolized by the activation of the vaccine passport required for international travel and tourism, the so-called Green Pass; while the debate on new laws on the reception of migrants seems almost non-existent, leaving the possibility for individual states to make increasingly restrictive decisions. Once again, an inhuman policy, the result of the war of exclusion that Fortress Europe is fighting, in the name of selfishness and racism, leads to the blocking of seas and mountains, through which populations, ideas and cultures have passed for millennia, in a continuous exchange between homeland and world, fixed by narrative testimonies of individual experiences or of entire communities: humanitarian corridors are mere proclamations and we are still very far from a sort of Human Pass that would allow a true freedom of global movement and a real system of reception. It is therefore necessary to reconstruct the layers of civilization still in place, since recently a large number of young Italians have resumed the routes of expatriation, in the direction of Europe and the world, introducing transnational components in regional substrates, also stimulated by the arrival of migrants seeking refuge from violence and poverty induced by neo-colonialism.

The narrative exercises of the Intercultural Writing Workshop therefore want to respond to the need to keep open and active those paths of dialogue and exchange, beyond all barriers, and offer themselves as a place to experiment with new meticulous communities, through the shared development of stories, tales, narratives to overcome the negative stereotypes of the epic of migration, even within national spaces, which involve the whole of humanity from the beginning. In fact, collective writing is essential to allow the sharing of very different life experiences and to give a coherent narrative form to this sharing, learning to cooperate to amalgamate different points of view. In addition, the workshop offers the opportunity to interact with Italian students, international students and students seeking asylum accepted by Unibo, comparing different experiences of study and mobility.


Reading lists and other relevant material concerning both interculturalism and the creative writing exercises will be pointed out and used during the workshop.

Teaching methods

The workshop consists of 10 meetings (4 hours each), which will take place under the supervision of Wu Ming 2, and in collaboration with the professor Fulvio Pezzarossa. In-between each meeting, students will have time to edit and finalize the texts elaborated in class according to a shared timetable.

This is the schedule:

14 february / 21 february / 28 february / 7 march

21 march / 28 march / 4 april / 11 april

2 may / 9 may

The workshop aims to develop collective writing, issuing in its turn from the contact between native identities and foreign cultures. Therefore, the 40 participants will be selected by taking into account their native culture and language, as well as their proficiency in written Italian.

Students should apply starting from 3-30 January 2022 through the website https://eventi.unibo.it/laboratorio-scrittura-interculturale. In their CV, students are required to detail their previous experiences in the field of creative writing and their ongoing interest in the topic of migration.

Assessment methods

The purpose of the workshop is to create intercultural short stories characterized by high standards in terms of both content and form. These short stories will then be collected and published on the Eks&Tra website.

The volumes containing the texts developed in recent editions of the workshop are freely available as e-pubs or pdfs on the following website: www.eksetra.net.

Documented attendance is mandatory for students enrolled in the following degree programs: Italianistica, Culture Letterarie Europee, Scienze Linguistiche of the Scuola di Lettere e Beni culturali, 27928 - LABORATORIO (1) (LM) (G.A) and 73097 - LABORATORIO DI SCRITTURA (1) (LM) for students of Italian Studies as well as for all the students incorporating the workshop into their academic curriculum. Completion of the workshop grants 6 CFUs.

For students attending the Corso di Laurea Magistrale di Lingua e Cultura italiana per stranieri of the Scuola di Lingue e Letterature, the workshop will be considered as 28929 - SOCIOLOGIA DELLA LETTERATURA (1) (LM). In this case, the completion of the workshop grants 3 CFUs.

The final evaluation and the CFUs will be assigned following the student’s attendance of all the meetings and a detailed assessment of his/her written production.

Teaching tools

The Intercultural Creative Writing Workshop is a collaborative project organised by the Dipartimento di Filologia Classica e Italianistica of the Università di Bologna and the Associazione Eks&Tra. Its aim is to offer applicable knowledge for an evolving citizenry.

After a general introduction on the key principles of narratology, students – divided into groups – will focus on the development of an original short story. Great attention will be paid to the analysis of the plot, as well as of the style and language used.

The meetings are intended to stimulate conversation and collective creativity, thereby facilitating encounters and mutual “contamination” through narratives which explore crosscutting themes and current issues. The workshop seeks to promote collaboration between different voices willing to open themselves to the perspective of people coming from other countries and to exchange those perspectives with their own in order to build possible roads to a multicultural future. By renouncing a single point of view, it is possible to understand and appreciate different attitudes, thus spurring a clever imaginative flexibility when practicing interculturalism.

Office hours

See the website of Filippo Milani