COMPARATIVE LITERATURE LM | Università degli studi di Bergamo - Didattica e Rubrica


Attività formativa monodisciplinare
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Scheda dell'insegnamento

Per studenti immatricolati al 1° anno a.a.: 
Insegnamento (nome in italiano): 
Insegnamento (nome in inglese): 
Comparative Literature
Tipo di attività formativa: 
Attività formativa Caratterizzante
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Altre informazioni sull'insegnamento

Modalità di erogazione: 
Didattica Convenzionale
Secondo Semestre
Obbligo di frequenza: 
Ore di attività frontale: 
Ore di studio individuale: 
Metodologie linguistiche, filologiche, comparatistiche e della traduzione letteraria


Educational goals

By the end of the course students will be able to: a) critically analyse literary texts in a intercultural perspective with the context of “cultural studies” and “translation studies”; b) deal with those different intercultural, literary, political and historical backgrounds that shaped modern and postmodern literary genres; c) critically reflect on the connection of the image with the wor(l)d in the European and Extra-European literary cultures of the 20th Century; d) examine the aesthetics through which writers have used an intercultural approach to explore issues related to such topics as migration, identity, memory, trauma, and witness.

Course content

This course is dedicated to "Writing in an intercultural perspective: text and image in the autofiction of the 20th Century" and examines the broadly modern and postmodern correlation of literature with photography, studied by Roland Barthes and perhaps identified best in the literary work of W. G. Sebald and P. Modiano. The course introduces a basic history and discourse of the “image” and explores how photography, a visual genre, was a key prompt for the advent of modernist and postmodernist literary genres, especially in relation to cultural memory, trauma, and witness. Through the analysis of "The Rings of Saturn" by W.G. Sebald and "Dora Bruder" by Modiano, the course will show how their shift towards 'autofiction', a genre of fictionalized autobiography often accompanied by photographs, was debated and even identified within the “cultural studies” and the “translation studies” as an intercultural literary genre able to thematize such topics as migration, identity, cultural memory, trauma, and witness.

Teaching methods

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.

Assessment and Evaluation

The assessment will be written, in English, and it will concern the contents of the literary works listed in the syllabus and of the critical texts. Three questions will be asked concerning: 1) the historical, literary and intercultural framing from the end of the 19th century to nowadays; 2) the intercultural literary genre of the 'autofiction' and the features of the connections of literature with photography in modernism and postmodernism; 3) the thematic and narrative features of one of the literary works in the syllabus, with special attention to the intercultural themes of memory, trauma, migration, and identity. 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.

Further information

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.