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First Semester 
Teaching style
Lingua Insegnamento

Informazioni aggiuntive

Course Curriculum CFU Length(h)
[20/40]  HUMANITIES [40/20 - Ord. 2008]  MODERN LITERATURE 12 60


To gain expertise in theoretical and philological areas of interest to the literary topic of the course. Students will develop reading, understanding, and critical response skills, such as critically discussing the evolution of the Shoah novel as a genre as the writing of the Self during classroom lessons and discussions. In a path characterized by the use of advanced textbooks, we want the students' preparation at the end of the course to include knowledge of some cutting-edge topics in their field of study; and also to possess the right skills both to devise and support arguments as to solve problems in their field of study.


Knowledge: at school level, of nineteenth and twentieth centuries Italian literary tradition and periods and the fundamental historical and cultural issues as a whole; basic skills on the critical and methodological problems of literary modernity.

Skills: good active and passive knowledge of written and oral Italian; adequate presentation skills both in the oral as in the written language.


The course includes some thematic segments:
1) Memories and testimonies: the narratives of the concentration camps or littérature concentrationnaire (If this is a man by Primo Levi and The smoke of Birkenau by Liana Millu), in which the conventions of the narrative of the camp and the narrative differences in surrender are analyzed thematic.
2) The girls of Rome: Lia Levi, Rosetta Loy, Giacoma Limentani and the myth of the 'Italians, Brava Gente'. In this part we will study Rosetta Loy's hybrid text The Hebrew word and we will see the interrelation of testimonial, fictive, and non-fiction writing.
3) Giacoma Limentani. We will study the writer's trilogy as an example of trauma writing and narrative transcription of the female experience of the Shoah lived in Rome.
4) The world must be the writer's concern: The Story of Elsa Morante. Exclusively fictional writing can explain the concern for a truthful rendering of historical reality.
5) "Children of the Shoah": Helena Janeczek, Lessons in Darkness and Jewish identity. Janeczek's positive message to his own as well as to future generations will close the course.

Teaching Methods


(a) analysis of literary texts in their expressive and rhetorical exemplivity; deepening the genre of the family novel. Insight into the writing of the self, narrative realism and constants/variants of the family genre.

2. Periodic seminary moments (h. 10):

(a) The active participation of students at seminary moments: with critical commentary in the form of a lesson, written report on the texts studied, the development of elementary bibliographic pathways will be assessed as an intermediate examination test.
To satisfy specific teaching needs tied with the epidemiological situation, some classes will be held on streaming or recordings of the same available on-line.

Verification of learning

Oral test 12 Credits evaluation of thirty minutes. Students should have an excellent knowledge of the upcoming literary texts, awareness of the linguistic and structural complexity of literary texts. Students will have to prove that they can use the critical and methodological tools indicated in the bibliography, using the specialized lexicon of literary disciplines.
Students will need to take to the exam ALL literary texts on which the verification takes place, as well as the critical texts and any other useful tools (cards, notes, summaries) that can be consulted during the question as well as Casadei's manual. Whereas the student shows during the oral examination that s/he has acquired the knowledge and skills necessary to thoroughly analyze the texts and to be able to incorporate them into an organic vision in relation to the problems of the monographic course will receive an excellent evaluation. The correct reading of the texts presented as the expressive mastery of critical and methodological lexicons is an integral part of the test.


1. Primo Levi, Se questo è un uomo. Einaudi 2014 (paperback)
2. Liana Millu. Il fumo di Birkenau, Giuntina 1995
3. E. Morante. La Storia (passi scelti) Einaudi 2014.
4. Rosetta Loy. La parola ebreo Einaudi 2014
5. G. Limentani. Trilogia. Iacobelli 2019
6. S. Lucamante. Quella difficile identità: Ebraismo e rappresentazioni letterarie della Shoah. Iacobelli, 2012.
7. H. Janeczek. Lezioni di tenebra.
8. Testo per lo studio del Novecento: A. Casadei. Il Novecento. 2nda edizione. Il Mulino, 2005.

More Information

Office Hours Wednesdays-Thursdays from 11:00 to 1:00 p.m. on Teams (send email for appointment)

Non-attending students will take two literary texts and general literature as a program to the exam. Any reductions in the program will be made, in the course of the educational activity, in favor of the students attending the course.

When reading and analysing literary texts, we recommend the constant use of a good vocabulary of the Italian language, in order to verify the meanings of the literary Italian lexicon.

Questionnaire and social

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