Scheda insegnamento

  • Docente Elena Lamberti

  • Crediti formativi 9

  • SSD L-LIN/11

  • Modalità didattica Convenzionale - Lezioni in presenza

  • Lingua di insegnamento Inglese

  • Orario delle lezioni dal 30/09/2019 al 26/11/2019


L'insegnamento contribuisce al perseguimento degli Obiettivi di Sviluppo Sostenibile dell'Agenda 2030 dell'ONU.

Istruzione di qualità Ridurre le disuguaglianze Città e comunità sostenibili Pace, giustizia e istituzioni forti

Anno Accademico 2019/2020

Conoscenze e abilità da conseguire

Lo studente possiede conoscenze approfondite sulla storia e sullo sviluppo delle letterature anglo-americane, con particolare attenzione al rapporto tra i testi letterari e il contesto storico, artistico e linguistico. Conosce e sa utilizzare le metodologie pratiche per l'analisi e l'interpretazione del testo letterario



Within totalitarian and non-democratic regimes, where leadership is coercively imposed upon a dominated community, the ideas of dissent, vulnerability and security are easily grasped and understood. Nonetheless, some environments seduce us in subliminal and overwhelming ways, creating the reassuring illusion that we inhabit spaces enhancing our conscious free will when, in fact, they do not. In our technologically interconnected realities, individual and collective actions are often conditioned by sophisticated forms of persuasion creating mainstream narratives that are not easily noticed.

In this context, the literary jargon of the most popular genres (Sci-Fi, detective stories, romances) is often used - inside and outside Literary Studies - not to encourage awareness of complex societal matrixes, but instead to oversimplify them. Are we ironic spectators or active thinkers? Are we capable to use literature as a social device that relates to civic awareness and makes us conscious citizens of a world that is more and more connected, but less and less equal and sustainable?

This course intends to probe the role of literature in creating counter-environments to dominant discourses, in turn encouraging social innovation at a time of deep cultural and technological change, with a special focus on North American fiction of the period 1980s-2019. These are some of the topics that we will address in class:

  • The Soft Power of Literature
  • Critical thinking: conscious dissent
  • Putting literature on: from subject to function
  • The free will of literature: counter-surveillance
  • Vulnerability: the rear-view mirror of fiction
  • Self-Awareness: inner storytelling

Please Note: 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 www.canadausa.net. 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.


This course will feature a series of guest scholars and professionals to encourage the dialogue between literature and civic society so to widen our knowledge of learning and training opportunities available nationally or internationally. The detailed schedule will be available when classes start.



Alexis, André. Despair and Other Stories of Ottawa (1998); Coupland, Douglas. Hey Nostradamus, (2003); Coupland, Douglas. Microserfs (1995); DeLillo, Don. Cosmopolis (2003); DeLillo, Don. Falling Man (2007); Foer, Jonathan Safran. Extremely Loud, Incredibly Close (2009); Gibson, William. Pattern Recognition (2003); Kuly-Keefer, Janice. The Waste Zone (2002); Roth, Philip. The Plot Against America (2004); Sankoff, Irene & Hein, David. Come From Away (Libretto, 2015); Spiegelman, Art. In the Shadow of No Towers (2004); Wallace, David Foster, This Is Water: Some Thoughts, Delivered on a Significant Occasion, about Living a Compassionate Life (2009).


Antonelli, Sara e Mariani, Giorgio. Il Novecento USA: narrazioni e culture del secolo Americano, Roma, Carocci, 2009; Bauman, Zygmunt. Liquid Modernity (2000); Bauman, Zygmunt. Wasted Lives. Modernity and its Outcasts (2004); Bye, J . Soft Power: the Means to Success in World Politics, New York, PublicAffairs, 2004; Chomsky, Noam. Profit Over People. Neoliberalism and Global Order, (1998); Franklin, Ursula. The Real World of Technology. Toronto: House of Anansi Press, 1999; Irr, Caren. Toward the Geopolitical Novel. U.S. Fiction in the Twenty-first Century, Columbia University Press, 2013; Iuli, Cristina e Loreto, Paola. La letteratura degli Stati Uniti. Dal Rinascimento americano ai nostri giorni, Carocci editore, 2017 (capitoli 8, 11, 13- 16); Lamberti, Elena. “Don DeLillo’s Cosmopolis: Modern Outcasts and an Old Barbershop”, Anglistica AION. Interdisciplinary Journal, Special Issue on “Wastelands: Eco-narratives in Contemporary Cultures in English”, Vol. 19, n. 2 (2015/16), pp. 5-20; Lamberti, Elena. “Waste Zones and Muskoka Chairs: Global & Non-Global Approaches to Green Canada”, in Green Canada Etudes Canadiennes. O. Palusci (ed), Brussels/New York: Peter Lang, 2016; Leavy, Patricia. Iconic Events. Media, Politics, and Power in Retelling History, New York: Lexington Books, 2007; Lung, CMK (ed). Perspective on Culture, Technology and Communication: The Media Ecology Tradition. Cresskill, Hampton Press, 2006; McLuhan, Marshall. The Mechanical Bride. Folklore of the Industrial Man, 1951; Musarò, Pierluigi & Iannelli, Laura. Performative Citizenship. Public Art, Urban Design, and Political Participation. Mimesis International, 2017; Wallace, David Foster. “E Unibus Pluram: Television and U.S. Fiction”, in A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again. Essays and Arguments, Abacus, London, 1998.

Metodi didattici

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

Modalità di verifica dell'apprendimento

Class presentations; final essay

Strumenti a supporto della didattica

Traditional and Multimedia tools

Link ad altre eventuali informazioni


Orario di ricevimento

Consulta il sito web di Elena Lamberti