Course Description:

After the unification of Italy, Italian writers and intellectuals, who had been the most forceful promoters of the Italian nation, began to write about the diversity of the Italian cultures and the difficulties of the new nation, The different realities of Italy, the economic and cultural disparities among its regions, became the dominant themes of literature and the arts. This course explores the expressions of moral uncertainty and delusion that characterize the works from this period (Scapigliati, Verga, Serao, Fogazzaro) and analyzes the writings of the three poets who attempted to become spiritual and political leaders of the nation (Carducci, Pascoli e D’Annunzio). Particular attention will be devoted to the formal innovations devised to address always larger and politically diverse audiences. Taught in Italian.

Course Learning Goals:

At the end of the course, students will be able to identify the development of literary and theoretical issues in relation to their historical context. Students will be able to recognize formal elements of literary texts and to analyze them in relation to those issues. They will learn to express complex ideas in standard written Italian and to communicate effectively in modes that are appropriate to the discipline.

Departmental Goals II and III: Cultural Proficiency and Professional Preparation.

Required Texts:

Reader available in hard copy (Italian department) and in digital version on sakai.


Literary History:

  • Dictionary of Italian literature, edited by Peter Bondanella. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1996. Revis. Ed. (PQ4006.D45 1996. Reserve, Archibald S. Alexander Library)

  • The Cambridge History of Italian literature, edited by Peter Brand and Lino Pertile. Cambridge/ New York: Cambridge University Press, 1996 (PQ4038.C35 1996. Reserve, Archibald S. Alexander Library)

  • Dizionario critico della letteratura italiana, diretto da Vittore Branca, 2a ed. Torino: UTET, 1986. 4 vv. (PQ4057.D59 1986. Reserve, Archibald S. Alexander Library).

Formal and Linguistic Analysis:

  • Pietro G. Beltrami, Gli strumenti della poesia. Bologna: Il mulino, 2002 (PC1505.B45 2002. Reserve, Archibald S. Alexander Library)

  • Antonio Pinchera. La metrica. Milano: B. Mondadori, 1999 (PC1505.P56 1999. Reserve, Archibald S. Alexander Library)

Course Requirements and Grade distribution:

Participation, 25%: Active participation in class discussion based on the preparation of three to five questions assigned in advance for each class. More than 3 absences will negatively affect the participation grade.

Papers, 25%: 2 papers on a topic chosen in consultation with the instructor.

Midterm, 25%: identifications and essay questions.

Final, 25%: identifications and essay questions. For date, time, and location, please check the link: