Contribution of the course to the overall degree programme goals
The course is part of the Master’s Degree programs in European, American and Postcolonial Language and Literature and in Language Sciences and aims at providing students with advanced knowledge and skills in the field of American literature (late 19th and early 20th century). Students will improve their skills in analyzing prose texts and in relating such texts to their historical and cultural contexts. The analytical skills students have learnt during the BA course will be further verified and developed, to include more specialized knowledge of literary history, critical theory and methodology. In addition, they will broaden their experience in working autonomously and in presenting the results of their own research.
Expected learning outcomes
The learning outcomes of the course are 1. development of knowledge and understanding of the key literary texts of late 19th- and early 20th-century realist literature; 2. the skill to apply this knowledge and understanding to other texts; 3. the development of advanced communication skills in English; 4. autonomous formulation of judgements in analyzing primary and secondary texts; 5. ability to work synergically with other students.
Advanced knowledge of oral and written English (≥ C1). Good knowledge of the history of American literature and of the key concepts of literary theory previously learned during the BA course in Languages, Civilisation and the Science of Language and/or through the reference books indicated below.
The course will examine representative and eccentric works in American literary naturalism.
Mandatory and suggested critical material will be available on Moodle.
Henry James, "Paste" (1899)
Edith Wharton, Bunner Sisters (1892)
Theodore Dreiser, Sister Carrie (1900)
Stephen Crane, The Red Badge of Courage (1895)
Paul Laurence Dunbar, selected poems
Charles Chesnutt, "The Web of Circumstance" (1899)
Jack London, Martin Eden (1909)
Critical readings will be available on the course's Moodle
1. Participation (5% of the final grade)
2. Group presentations (30 minutes max.) on a text on the syllabus made in order to evaluate the ability to work synergically with other students (20% of the final grade)
3. Short paper (3000 words max) in which students are required to show their skills in analyzing and contextualizing the texts on the syllabus in a critical and autonomous way. To be handed in at least one week before the exam (50% of the final grade)
4. Oral exam (30 minutes max.) in which students will be evaluated in their ability to analyze and contextualize literary texts in a critical and autonomous way. The level of English and communication skills will also be evaluated (25% of the final grade for attending students; 50% for non attending students)
Lectures, seminars, and class discussion
Type of exam
written and oral
2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals
This subject deals with topics related to the macro-area "Poverty and inequalities" and contributes to the achievement of one or more goals of U. N. Agenda for Sustainable Development
Last update of the programme: 01/12/2022
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