Italian Literature: an introduction II B

Academic year: 2022-23
Course: Foundation Course Humanities
Credits: 3
Period: second semester

Number of hours: 24

Teacher: Fiammetta Di Lorenzo (

Language of instruction: English

Learning outcomes


This course is intended as a broad introduction to contemporary Italian literature and culture, from the aftermath of WWI to the first decade of the 21st century. From the Modernist crisis of the subject (Pirandello, Svevo) we will move to WWII and its aftermath (Levi, Banti, Morante, Ortese, Calvino, Pasolini, Sciascia) to the beginning of 21st century (Saviano). By the end of the course students will have gained knowledge of the main literary and cultural events of the last two centuries.

Assessment criteria of knowledge

Students will demonstrate their knowledge of the course topics in a written paper as well as in  follow-up discussions of it.


Students will be able to analyze literary and cultural objects in connection with contemporary Italian history. More in general, they will be able to recognize contemporary literary and cultural phenomena not limited to the Italian context.

Assessment criteria of skills

Throughout the course, students will have to discuss texts and literary topics both in written comments and in class meetings.


Students are expected to actively read all assigned readings before each lesson, and to contribute meaningfully to classroom discussions. While attendance is necessary to obtain a good class grade, presence alone does not constitute participation.


No prerequisites are required for this course.


Introduction to Novecento

  1. Futurismo; Pirandello

The Collapse of the Self

  • Pirandello
  • Svevo, Zeno’s Conscience
  • Svevo, Zeno’s Conscience

From WWII to the Economic Boom

  • Primo Levi
  • Ortese, Morante, Banti
  • Calvino
  • Pasolini, Sciascia

After Postmodernism

  • New Italian Epic; Saviano’s Gomorrah


Peter Brand, Lino Pertile, The Cambridge History of the Italian Literature, Cambridge, CUP, 1999.

All other readings will be available in digital version on MS Teams


Attendance and Participation            30 %

Final Exam                                          70 %

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