30931 - Italian Literature 1 (GR. C)

Course Unit Page


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

Quality education Gender equality Reduced inequalities

Academic Year 2022/2023

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course the student is expected to have a deep knowledge on diachronical aspects of the Italian literary tradition, knows the critical discussion on the keys issues about texts and authors and is able to use the main tools of the methodological analysis of texts and contexts.

Course contents

1 Module: Violations
The module investigates the theme of violation (of speech, bodies, psyche, environment) in the literature of the Middle Ages and the 19th century. The first part is dedicated to Fosca by Igino Ugo Tarchetti, the second to the reading of selected tales from Boccaccio's Decameron. The module includes a meeting with Alessandra Sarchi, author of the novel Violazione (2012). The first part of the course participates in the teaching innovation project.

2 Module: Exile and esclusion from Dante to the 20th century

Starting from the literary and sociocultural context of the 13th and 14th centuries, the first part of the course will explore Dante’s political and literary journey through the reading of Inferno. After illustrating Boccaccio’s contribution to the creation of Dante’s cult, the second part of the course will focus on two figures of the twentieth century that intertwine the theme of exclusion, both linguistic and political, namely Emanuel Carnevali and Pier Paolo Pasolini.


1 Module (Prof. Lara Michelacci)

The study of the following textbook is required: Letteratura italiana. Manuale per studi universitariItalian Literature (From the origins to the mid-sixteenth century and 2. Da Tasso a fine Ottocento), edited by G. Alfano, P. Italia, E. Russo, F. Tomasi, Florence, Mondadori Università, 2018 (vol 1: Boccaccio, pp. 243-300; Scapigliatura and Tarchetti, pp 607-624). The course includes the reading and in-depth critical examination of the following texts and essays:

1) Fosca by Igino Ugo Tarchetti in a recent economical edition; M. A. Bazzocchi, Fosca fantasmagoria erotica and G. Rosa, L'eros conturbante di Fosca in La questione romantica: Igino Ugo Tarchetti 150 dopo, vol. 13,-1-2, 2021.The text without notes and commentary is also available online:https://www.liberliber.it/online/autori/autori-t/iginio-ugo-tarchetti/fosca/

2) Decameron, in a recent annotated edition: Proem; Introduction; I, 1; II 7; III 1; IV, 1; V, 4; VI, 3 and 7; VII 5; IX 2; X 6 and 10.

The text, without notes and commentary, is available on the following websites:
www.letteraturaitaliana.net/gli authors/Boccaccio Giovanni/Decameron
www.liberliber.it/Autori/Boccaccio, Giovanni/Decameron www.brown.edu/Departments/Italian_Studies/dweb/
The study of the following critical texts is also required:

FRANCESCO BAUSI, Leggere il "Decameron", Bologna, il Mulino, 2017

It is also required to read the novel Violazione (Turin, Einaudi, 2012) by Alessandra Sarchi.

2 Module (Prof. S. Ferrilli)

Exile and esclusion from Dante to the 20th century


First part of the module:

- The study of the part on Dante Alighieri in the following textbook is required: G. Alfano, P. Italia, E. Russo, F. Tomasi, Letteratura italiana. Manuale per studi universitari, Firenze, Mondadori Università, 2018, vol. I, Dalle Origini a metà Cinquecento (pp. 95-180).

- Dante, a cura di R. Rea e J. Steinberg, Roma, Carocci, 2020 (in particolar chapters: 1-5, 11-12 and 18, i.e. pp. 21-114; pp. 199-244; pp. 345-361).

- S. Gilson, Boccaccio e Petrarca, in Leggere Dante a Firenze. Da Boccaccio a Cristoforo Landino (1350-1481), Roma, Carocci, 2019, pp. 45-84.

Second part of the module:

- L. Fontanella, Letteratura ed emigrazione in America nel primo Novecento: Arturo Giovannitti, Emanuel Carnevali e altri. Questioni teoriche e metodologiche, in Idem, La parola transfuga: scrittori italiani in America, Firenze, Cadmo, 2003, pp. 11-42.

- S. Vezzana, Il dantismo di Pasolini, in Dante nella letteratura italiana del Novecento, Atti del convegno di Studi (Casa di Dante, Roma, 6-7 maggio 1997), a cura di S. Zennaro, Roma, Bonacci editore, 1979, pp. 279-289.


1) Dante: Preparation of 10 cantos of the Inferno in an annotated edition (I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, X, XV, XXVI). Among the most recent ones, the following editions are recommended (also in reprint): E. Pasquini-A. Quaglio, Milano, Garzanti, 1988; B. Garavelli, M. Corti, Milano, Bompiani, 1994; A.M. Chiavacci Leonardi, Milano, Mondadori, 2007; G. Inglese, Roma, Carocci, 2007; C. Ossola, Venezia, Marsilio, 2021; R. Mercuri, Torino, Einaudi, 2021.

The text, without notes, is available on the following websites: https://www.danteonline.it/index.html; https://dante.dartmouth.edu/; http://www.bibliotecaitaliana.it/ .

2) Selected passages from: Emanuel Carnevali, Il primo Dio. Poesie scelte. Racconti e scritti critici, Milano, Adelphi, 1978 (the references will be published on the Virtual Platform).

Emanuel Carnevali, Dante and Today, in «Poetry», vol. XVIII, 1921, n. 6, pp. 323-327 (the text is available on: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/browse?contentId=59270 )

Selected passages from: Pier Paolo Pasolini, La divina Mimesis, Torino, Einaudi, 1975 o ed. successive (the references will be published on the Virtual Platform).

Teaching methods

The course will be divided in frontal lessons and laboratories on the texts.

Please take note: The first module of the course ( Prof. Michelacci), is part of the project of innovative didactics of the University of Bologna and will be combine place-based formal classes with online educational materials and opportunities for interaction. Further information on how the course will be conducted will be provided at the beginning of the course.

Assessment methods

The evaluation of the students' competencies and abilities acquired during the course consists of two phases:
a written test leading up to and preparatory to the specific subjects contained in the course programme, and an oral test aimed at ascertaining a general knowledge of all the subjects covered during the course.
The written test responds to criteria relating to orthography, morphology, syntax and semantics, clarity of expression, the ability to summarize.
The oral test consists in an oral interview which has the aim of evaluating the critical and methodological ability of the students. The students will be invited to discuss the tests on the course programme. The student must demonstrate an appropriate knowledge of the bibliography in the course programme. Access to the oral test depends on having passed the written test. The final mark is not a mathematical average of the two tests.

Those students who are able to demonstrate a wide and systematic understanding of the issues covered during the lessons, are able to use these critically and who master the field-specific language of the discipline will be given a mark of excellence.

Those students who demonstrate a mnemonic knowledge of the subject with a more superficial analytical ability and ability to synthesize, a correct command of the language but not always appropriate, will be given a ‘fair' mark.

A superficial knowledge and understanding of the material, a scarce analytical and expressive ability that is not always appropriate will be rewarded with a pass mark or just above a pass mark.

Students who demonstrate gaps in their knowledge of the subject matter, inappropriate language use, lack of familiarity with the literature in the programme bibliography will not be given a pass mark.

Non attending students are required to do the same readings and to study the same bibliography of attending students.

Teaching tools

Audio and video aids may be used in support of lectures.

Office hours

See the website of Lara Michelacci

See the website of Sara Ferrilli