75349 - Literature and Visual Studies (LM)

Course Unit Page


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

No poverty Gender equality Sustainable cities

Academic Year 2022/2023

Learning outcomes

The course aims at providing students with theoretical tools for interpreting literature in the new framework of visual culture which emerged at the threshold of modernity. Students acquire a deep knowledge of the relationships between verbal and visual texts in their multiple manifestations, and are familiar with the main theoretical categories and methodologies which have been elaborated by visual studies and have crossed (and transformed) literary studies themselves.

Course contents


 Objects in Nineteenth century fiction. Between realism and the fantastic

The advent of modernity and capitalism brings about an increasing centrality of commodities, an unprecedented spread of “things” as catalysts of desire, and - thanks to reproduction technologies and a pervasive visual culture – fosters their circulation in the form of images, or their exhibition, in a new regime of visibility (museums, shop windows ...). The course aims to investigate some of the forms in which these phenomena manifest themselves, particularly in two fundamental modes of representation that face one another through the whole Nineteenth century: realism and the fantastic.

Timing of the course: second semester (February-March).


The reading list will be published at the beginning of the academic year

Teaching methods

This 30 hours course is based on the reading, analysis and discussion of literary and non-literary texts. During classes, students will be invited to take an active part in the course, by formulating questions and giving their own insights.
Further downloadable materials in support of the lessons such as digital images, power point presentations and readings will be uploaded on the Moodle Unibo Virtuale during the course.

Assessment methods

The abilities acquired during the course will be evaluated through an oral test aimed at ascertaining a deep knowledge of all the topics covered during the course. The oral test consists in an interview aimed at evaluating the students' critical and methodological skills. Students will be invited to discuss the texts in the reading list and comment on them. Therefore students must demonstrate an appropriate knowledge of the recommended reading list.

Students who are able to demonstrate a wide and systematic understanding of the issues covered during the course, to tackle them critically, and who master the critical jargon of the discipline will be given a mark of excellence. Students who demonstrate a mere mnemonic knowledge of the subject together with a more superficial analytical ability to synthesize, a correct command of the critical jargon but not always appropriate, will be given a ‘fair' mark. A superficial knowledge and understanding of the course topics, a scarce analytical and expressive ability will be rewarded with a pass mark or just above a pass mark. Students who demonstrate gaps in their knowledge of the main topics, inappropriate language skills, lack of familiarity with the syllabus reading list will not be given a pass mark.

Office hours

See the website of Donata Meneghelli