Good knowledge of English. Adequate capacity to communicate in English. Good knowledge of American literature.
At the end of the course the students will have acquired a sound knowledge of the main aspects of the culture and literature of the United States in a transnational perspective. Students will also reach a good of knowledge of the American critical movements of the 20th century.
The course offers an introduction to the American Bildungsroman as a critical problem, exploring its main articulations through readings that will privilege the Twentieth-century literary canon. We will first look at canonical and transnational definitions of the Bildungsroman, then we will take into account a number of US incarnations of the genre in a diachronic perspective.
An in-depth focus on the selected works will enable us to put the critical tools to the test of the actual fictional worlds. Special attention will be paid to the way in which questions related to national identity, class, gender, and ethnicity may influence the content and form of coming-of-age narratives.
Lectures (in English). Use of power point slides. An active participation on the part of students is strongly encouraged. Students can replace part of the program with oral presentations based on PowerPoint slides.
The final exam will be written and will consist of 1) an extended critical commentary on the topics discussed during the course; 2) a short contextualization of a passage from one of the novels.
The evaluation will take into account the clarity of the argument and the accuracy of the references both to the primary sources (plots, characters, themes, style) and to the critical texts (capacity to summarize their main argument).
The quality of the writing (grammatical and lexical correctness, fluency, rhetorical effectiveness) will be a crucial element of the overall evaluation.
a. Outstanding (30 e lode ): excellent knowledge of all of the contents of the course. Excellent ability to analyze the texts and to contextualize them in an appropriate way. The student uses the academic writing register/style with appropriate linguistic terminologies.
b. Very good (30 to 27): very good knowledge of all of the contents of the course. Very good ability to analyze the texts and to contextualize them in an appropriate way.
c. Good (26-24): Good knowledge of the contents of the course. Adequate ability to describe the texts. The language used is simple but correct.
d. Fair/sufficient (23-18): The work has sufficient knowledge, coherence, use of appropriate resources and quality of presentation to warrant a basic pass. The ability to analyze the texts is not wholly satisfactory. The language used is very descriptive and at times faulty.
e. Fail (below 18): The student demonstrates only a basic awareness of the contents of the course. The work is frequently confused and inconsistent. Both the text identification and the essay contain inaccuracies and major errors.
For a complete list of the required readings (primary and secondary sources), students must carefully read the course bibliography in LEGANTO.
Erasmus and Erasmus Mundus students should inform the instructor of their enrollment in the course by sending her an e-mail before classes begin (email@example.com).