Academic year
2021/2022 Syllabus of previous years
Official course title
Course code
LMJ150 (AF:330315 AR:186347)
On campus classes
ECTS credits
Degree level
Master's Degree Programme (DM270)
Educational sector code
2nd Semester
Course year
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The course is linked to the teaching of the English language. It aims to improve the linguistic skills already acquired and introduces students to the knowledge and understanding of various texts (poetic texts) ranging from Seamus Heaney to Douglas Livingstone, and discussing some of the main and post-colonial theory books and some eco-critical essays. In particular, it aims to:
1) Allow students to gain the ability to read, translate and understand a literary text in its context, and to critically comment on it;
2) Allow them to use the methodologies of textual analysis appropriate to the proposed texts and literary genres;
3) Allow them to communicate effective observations derived from the texts and historical-cultural periods dealt with in class.
A finer competence with English language, especially that one used in contemporary literary texts. Students will be guided to critically read and listen to and comment various literary texts (mainly poems) and specific theory books in order to become aware of the causes and consequences of colonialism and neo-colonialism which have condemned many Third World countries to poverty and decadence. The module will be focussed on Scotland, Ireland and South Africa, and will present some of the key events linked with the last decades in some post-colonial parts of the world, including a discussions about pollution, climate change, global warming, privatization of land, destruction of wild areas, etc.
None but a reasonable ability to read texts in the English language and about the history of some post-colonial countries such as Ireland, Scotland, South Africa.
This module will offer a general overview on some poetical productions from the 1960s to contemporary writing. It will insist on some of the major English-language areas, such as South Africa, Ireland and Scotland, and on writers such as Douglas Livingstone, Seamus Heaney and Norman MacCaig. It will offer an ecocritical approach to their works, underlining how their “sense of place” and their poetic and political preoccupations were very much close to and influenced by a high sense of engagement with their environment. A special attention will be dedicated to those texts which have spoken out about the environment and climate crises and about some of the major abuses and violences against our Planet.
In particular, Douglas Livingstone was a microbiologist who tested the Indian Ocean every day to investigate pollution and water compositions and variations along 26 different spots (“sampling stations”), writing his last book, A Littoral Zone, on humanity’s physical and psychic elements. Seamus Heaney, often defined as “the poet archeaologist”, since his “bog poems” has investigated the life on the surface of the Irish soil, but also its depths and secrets, being faithful to a special idea of his “sense of place”. Norman MacCaig, one of the main protagonist of Scottish contemporary poetry, has often spent his summers in the Highlands (Sutherland), writing hundreds of poems inspired not only by his love for that landscpae but also by the various violences, colonizations, trasnsformations and appropriations of that land.
This module will approach poetical texts from various ecocritical angles, showing how the beautiful and dramatic value of those poetical English-language poems can work as glaring lighthouses in the storm of our contemporary times.

—KEN HILTNER, Ecocriticism: The Essential Reader, London, Routledge, 2015 (selected pages/ pagine scelte).
—GREG GARRARD, Ecocriticism, London, Routledge, 2004.
—ASHCROFT-GRIFFITHS-TIFFIN, The Empire Writes Back (Routledge, 1989): introduction chapt.
—CHILDS-WILLIAMS, An Introduction to Post-colonial Theory, London, Routledge, 1997 (selected pages on Fanon, Césaire, Bhabha).
—ASHCROFT-GRIFFITHS-TIFFIN, Postcolonial Studies: The Key Concepts, London, Routledge, 2000 (selected pages and chapters/ pagine scelte e capitoli selezionati).

—WILLIAM WORDSWORTH, A Selection of Poems (from: Lyrical Ballads).
—H.D. THOREAU, A Selection of Poems (from: Heaven Under Our Feet. Poesie e Idee su Natura e Ambiente, a cura di M. Fazzini, Second Guess Press, 2021).

— DOUGLAS LIVINGSTONE, Loving. Selected Poems and Other Writings, Venezia, Amos Edizioni, 2009 (a selection of poems / una scelta di poesie). See also: Douglas Livingstone, A Ruthless Fidelity. The Collected Poems of Douglas Livingstone, Johannesburg, AD Donker, 2004;
—DOUGLAS LIVINGSTONE, “The Other Job”, in Loving. Selected Poems and Other Writings, Venezia, Amos Edizioni, 2009, pp. 59-81;
—MARISS EVERITT, “Jack Sprat and His Wife: Symbiosis in Douglas Livingstone’s A Littoral Zone”, English in Africa (32, 2) October 2005, pp. 53-67.
—MARCO FAZZINI, Son to the Ocean. New Essays on Douglas Livingstone’s Poetry, Venezia, Amos Edizioni, 2008 (see in particular: Duncan Brown, “Environment and Identity: The Littoral Zone (1991)”, pp. 109-135).

— NORMAN MACCAIG, Colleted Poems, London, Chatto & Windus, 1990 (una scelta di poesie);
— MARCO FAZZINI, “The Language of Alterity. MacCaig the Equilibrist”, in Crossings, Venezia, Supernova, 2000, pp. 39-61;
—COLIN NICHOLSON, “Such Clarity of Seeming”, in Poem, Purpose and Place, Edinburgh, Polygon, 1992, pp. 37-56;
—VALERIE GILLIES, “A Metre of Landscape”, in Norman MacCaig. Critical Essays, Edinburgh, Edinburgh University Press, 1990, pp. 145-156.

—SEAMUS HEANEY, New Selected Poems 1966-1987, London; Faber & Faber, 2002;
—SEAMUS HEANEY, “The Sense of Place”, in Preoccupations, London, Faber & Faber, 1981, pp. 131-149;
—SUSANNA LIDSTROM, Nature, Environment and Poetry, London, Routledge, 2015 (selected pages/pagine scelte);
—TIM WENZELL, Emerald Green, Cambridge, Cambridge Scholars, 2009 (selected pages/ pagine scelte).
Starting from the reading and translation into Italian of a passage from one of the primary texts (chosen by the lecturer), the exam will be devoted to evaluating the student's capacity to comment on the passage/s, in a larger discourse involving the whole novel/poem, other passages from the same work or from the other texts on the syllabus, and in the light of the problematical issues (related to the history and the literary and cultural questions of the period) discussed in class or in the critical set texts.
Lectures, with class discussions. DVDs, Cds, invited guests from various parts of the world.

This subject deals with topics related to the macro-area "Natural capital and environmental quality" and contributes to the achievement of one or more goals of U. N. Agenda for Sustainable Development

This programme is provisional and there could still be changes in its contents.
Last update of the programme: 17/12/2021