IT2FI-Fictions of Italy: Themes and Genres

Module Provider: Modern Languages
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Level:5
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring term module
Pre-requisites: IT1002 Twentieth Century Italian Culture and IT10MI Making Italians: A Journey in the History and Culture of Modern Italy
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Co-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2016/7

Module Convenor: Dr Daniela La Penna

Email: d.lapenna@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:
This module will introduce students to a series of relevant and exemplary texts written in Italian, normally selected from a broad range of authors spanning the nineteenth and the twentieth centuries. Emphasis will be placed on the ways in which the texts engage with the historical, political and social transformations of their age. Students will be equipped with an understanding of the development of literary forms, themes, and language. Students will be given the opportunity to enhance their reading skills in the original language, increase their confidence in oral presentations, and improve upon their analytical skills in an intellectually stimulating learning environment.

Aims:
This module aims to provide students with an understanding of some of the principal developments in Italian writing (fiction, poetry, and drama) from the nineteenth century to the present day, as well as an appreciation of the changes in the use of the Italian language which have accompanied it. These topics will be studied in the context of the contemporary transformations of Italian language, culture, and society.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module it is expected that students will be able to:

• understand the relationship between the works studied and the contemporary political and intellectual background;

• analyse the treatment of key themes and the techniques used in the works studied;

• express clearly constructed, soundly based arguments about the works in question, making effective use both of published critical studies and of their own independent judgement.

Additional outcomes:
This module also encourages students to:
• express points of view clearly and effectively in oral and group discussions;

• develop their IT skills by conducting OPAC and other Web searches for materials relevant to the module and by submitting word-processed essays;

• improve their team-working and problem-solving skills.

Outline content:
After a general introduction on the political and social background and on the intellectual developments of the period, this component will focus on selected literary texts collections by a few of Italy’s most important writers, poets and dramatists from the nineteenth century to the present. They will normally be selected from the following list: Foscolo, Manzoni, Verga, Capuana, Bassani, Bufalino, Buzzati, Calvino, De Filippo, Fo, Gadda, Ginzburg, Carlo Levi, Primo Levi, Maraini, Marinetti, Moravia, Morante, Pavese, Pirandello, Sciascia, Svevo, Tabucchi, Ungaretti, Vittorini, Volponi. Stress will be laid on the significant range in subject matter, themes, language, and structure, and students will have the opportunity both for a broad overview and for the detailed study of narrative techniques.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
The module will be taught by a team of specialists, offering a combination of lectures, guided readings, and seminars. The approach to the texts will be both linguistic and historical. This dual approach will enable students to gain not only an understanding of how the texts engage with the cultural and historical contexts in which they were produced, but also will enhance the students’ facility with textual analysis, improving their linguistic skills, and supporting their ability to read complex material in the original language.

Preparatory reading will be required for the seminars, and students will be asked to produce short discussion papers as well as their two assessed essays.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 10 10
Seminars 5 5
Guided independent study 85 85
       
Total hours by term 100.00 100.00
       
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 100

Other information on summative assessment:
Coursework:
Students will write two assignments: one essay of 2,000-2,500 words and one assignment that can either be a commentary of a selected passage; or a commented translation into English of a selected passage. The average of the two marks will form the student's assessment mark.

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:

The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.
• where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
• where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.
The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.
  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:

    Requirements for a pass:
    A mark of 40% overall

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Reassessment in August, in the event of failure in this module and of failure in Part 2 as a whole, or (for compulsory modules only) of failure to qualify in Part 2.
    Coursework for reassessment must be resubmitted by 1PM on the third Friday of August or, if the University is closed on the third Friday of August, at 1PM on the next working day thereafter.

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
    1) Required text books:
    2) Specialist equipment or materials:
    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
    4) Printing and binding:
    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

    Last updated: 21 December 2016

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