13338 - Contemporary Italian Literature (E-M)

Course Unit Page


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

Quality education Gender equality

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course the student has acquired a working knowledge of wide areas of twentieth-century literary history, with special emphasis on the relation between literature and historical, social, anthropological, and more broadly cultural phenomena. Study is assisted by secondary literature and face-to-face tuition and covers close reading of the text as well as problems of form, structure, composition, and reception.

Course contents

I Module - A Manzonian poetic within the twentieth century: the narrative of the early Bassani

Course length: 30 hours (6 credits). Lectures will start on September the 20th (Monday), 2021. Lessons will be held every Monday from 13 to 15 and every Thursday and Friday 9-11 (Room VI, In. 38, Zamboni street).


II module - Introduction to Italian Poetry

Course length: 30 hours (6 credits). Lectures will start on November the 8th (Monday), 2021. Lessons will be held every Monday from 13 to 15 and every Thursday and Friday from 9 to 11 (Room VI, In. 38, Zamboni street).


Institutional part

Full reading of Promessi sposi, only and specifically in the edition commented by Ezio Raimondi and Luciano Bottoni, Carocci, Roma 2021.


Monographic part

  • First module:

Complete reading of the Storie ferraresi by Giorgio Bassani and of the long story Gli occhiali d'oro by Giorgio Bassani (recommended edition, not obligatory: Giorgio Bassani, Il romanzo di Ferrara, Feltrinelli, Milano 2012).

Other bibliography will be recommended during the course and will cover, for narratological issues P. Giovannetti, Il racconto, Carocci, Roma 2012, for the methodology of the narrative text R. Gasperina Geroni, Cesare Pavese controcorrente, Quodlibet, Macerata 2020. It is understood that these texts are mandatory.


  • Second module:

Individual poetic texts will be read and commented during the lessons. Mandatory reference texts: A. Bertoni, Poesia italiana dal Novecento a oggi, Marietti, Bologna 2019; P.V. Mengaldo (edited by), Poeti italiani del Novecento, Mondadori, Milano 2021 (the student will have to prepare out of ten authors of his choice).

Those who will have to take the exam from 6 credits will be required to freely choose the preparation of any of the two modules.

The program for non-attending students includes the integration of ten other authors (twenty in total) present in the anthology of Mengaldo.

Teaching methods

- Lessons

- Workshops

- Lectures and notes to the texts

- Critical Discussions

Assessment methods

Assessment consists of a viva voce examination aiming to assess the knowledge and critical skills acquired by the candidate during the course.

1. First-class marks will be awarded to candidates who demonstrate an ability to analyse texts in depth and to produce an organic overview of the topics covered in the course. Overall mark between 27 and 30 cum laude(high linguistic ability is required).

2. A mostly mnemonic knowledge of the subject, analytical skills lacking depth, and correct but not always apposite expression will result in a modest mark. Overall mark between 23 and 26.

3. Elementary knowledge, superficial understanding, poor analytical skills, and inapposite expression will lead to a pass or only slightly higher mark. Overall mark between 18 and 22.

4. Gaps in the candidate’s knowledge, inapposite language, and inadequate engagement with the secondary literature offered in the course will result in a fail mark.

Teaching tools

Course sources: texts analysed throughout the lectures and the indicated critical bibliography.

Office hours

See the website of Alberto Bertoni