SCIENZE UMANISTICHEModern PhilologyAcademic Year 2022/2023

9794265 - Letteratura inglese comparata / Comparative English Literature A - Z


Expected Learning Outcomes

According to the Dublin descriptors, students, at the end of the course, will demonstrate:

1) Knowledge and Understanding

This course intends to present students with the main cultural/literary trends of late modern and contemporary Britain and Italy, thus focusing on the main features of travel and migrant writing in Anglo-Italian contexts. The activities that will be carried out on the texts included in the syllabus will also enhance their comprehension skills. 

2) Applying Knowledge and Understanding

A considerable part of the course will be dedicated to close reading activities, which will help students to develop their literary appreciation tools, also to apply their knowledge of Italian and British culture in late modern and contemporary times.

3) Making Judgement

Close reading activities will promote students’ ability to make judgement, also to establish stylistic and thematic relations among the texts included in the syllabus.    

4) Communication skills

Text analysis activities, as well as exchanges on the chosen texts will enhance students’ communication skills also in English.   

5) Learning skills 

Students will develop a deeper awareness of their learning skills, which will result in a more mature and autonomous approach to texts.     

Course Structure

Both the course and the syllabus are divided into 2 modules:

1) Writing Italy: Fiction and Travel (3 ECTS);

2) Italian Migrant Communities in Scotland: Perceptions and Self-Perceptions (3 ECTS);

The course will be held both in Italian and in English. The materials that will be used in class, complete with the extracts that have been chosen, bibliographical references and audio-video materials, will be immediately made available in electronic form. 

Required Prerequisites

Students are required to know at least the main cultural and literary currents of late modern and contemporary Italy. As regards linguistic skills, they should have a B1 level of English   

Attendance of Lessons

Attendance is not mandatory, but warmly recommended.   

Detailed Course Content

Module A, Writing Italy: Fiction and Travel (3 ECTS), is centred on four XIX-XXI century English writers: Charles Dickens, E.M. Forster, Muriel Spark, and Jan Morris. The extracts that will be presented in class will draw the students’ attention to the way the Italian “other” has been represented until today.


Module B, Italian Migrant Communities in Scotland: Perceptions and Self-Perceptions (3 ECTS), will focus on Joe Pieri (1918-2012), Ann Marie Di Mambro (1949―), Anne Pia (1951―) e Mary Contini (1961―), Scots-Italian writers, who have written about the Italian communities in Glasgow and Edinburgh. Their works will throw light on the history of Italian migration to Britain as well as on the concepts of identity, “perception” and “self-perception”.

Textbook Information


Students will choose one of the following handbooks:


·       Lilla Crisafulli e Keir Elam (a cura di), Manuale di letteratura e cultura inglese, Bologna, Bononia University Press, 2009, pp. 181-489.

·       Harry Blamires, A Short History of English Literature, London, Routledge, 2013, pp. 231-423.

Texts and Materials


Course Planning

 SubjectsText References
1Module A - Writing Italy: Fiction and TravelThe English literature handbook from the Victorian Age to contemporary times
2TextsExtracts from C. Dickens, ''Pictures from Italy'', E.M. Forster, ''A Room with a View'', M. Spark, ''Territorial Rights'' and J. Morris, ''Trieste and the Meaning of Nowhere''
3Historical background and authors' bioThe PPT presentation/s and the critical essays on the chosen classics
4Module B - Italian Migrant Communities in ScotlandExtracts from J. Pieri, "Isle of the Displaced...", A.M. Di Mambro, "Tally's Blood", M. Contini, "Dear Olivia" and A. Pia, "Language of My Choosing"
5MethodologyT. Young, "The Cambridge Companion to Travel Writing" (selected parts)  
6Module B - Italian Migrant Communities in ScotlandExtracts from J. Pieri, "Isle of the Displaced...", A.M. Di Mambro, "Tally's Blood", M. Contini, "Dear Olivia" and A. Pia, "Language of My Choosing"

Learning Assessment

Learning Assessment Procedures

LM-14 students will discuss the above-mentioned contents in Italian; LM-37 and international students in English. 

They will be expected to translate the chosen extracts into Italian. 

A written test will be given at the end of Module A.   

Examples of frequently asked questions and / or exercises

Travel literature in late modern and contemporary Britain: formal features and themes.

- Charles Dickens and his vision of Rome in Pictures from Italy

-  Travel as an opportunity of individual growth in E.M. Forster’s A Room With a View.

- Italian immigration in Britain: historical phases and development.

The Arandora Star tragedy in Italian Scottish literary accounts: from Joe Pieri to Anne Pia.   

Versione in italiano