By the end of the module students will be able to: a) critically analyse a literary text; b ) deal with those different cultural, literary, political and historical backgrounds that shaped the representations of the fantastic, the gothic and the monstrous in European literature; c ) critically reflect on the fascination with the metaphorical figure of the vampire in European culture; d) examine the aesthetics through which writers have used the figure of the vampire to explore issues related to a wide range of topics, including love, sexuality, immortality and monstrosity.
This course concerns "The Vampire: A European Myth of Cultural Transfer". Thus it will deal with some aspects of monstrous and fantastic European literature in the long Nineteenth Century, paying particular attention to the figure of the vampire, with the aim to explain the social, political, aesthetic and intercultural factors that have been contributing to its undeniable literary fame. The course will examine the emergence of the vampire in the gothic literature of the long Nineteenth Century. In order to gain a deeper understanding of the figure of the vampire, the course will discuss John Polidori's "The Vampyre", E.T.A. Hoffmann’s "Vampirismus", and Théophile Gautier's "La morte amoureuse" (engl. "Clarimonde") and Abraham Stoker's "Dracula".
The course will be held in English and it will be based on lectures, yet directly involving the students in discussion and dialogue. During classes, students’ proposals for further analyses or debate will be welcome.
The assessment will be written and in English. Questions will concern the contents of the literary works listed in the syllabus and the critical texts. Three questions will be asked concerning: 1) the historical and cultural framing of the European long Nineteenth Century; 2) the features of fantastic, monstrous and gothic literature; 3) the thematic and narrative features of one of the literary works on the vampire listed in the syllabus. The language skills level will influence the outcome of the examination.
Grading scale: 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 work is very descriptive and does not fully address the issues raised by the question. e. Fail (below 18): The student demonstrates only a basic awareness of the contents of the course. The work is frequently confused and incoherent. The essay contains inaccuracies and major errors.
Please remember that this course is taught in English. Erasmus students are kindly asked to contact the lecturer.
Due to Covid-19 the course may be taught online and the program may change.