Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Introduction to Italian Literature
Academic Year
Intended for use in future years

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 11 x 1-hour lectures
Seminars / Tutorials 2 x 2-hour seminars


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Exam 2 Hours   written examination  70%
Semester Assessment One essay c. 1,500-2000 words  Continuous Assessment:  30%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   written examination  100%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

At the end of the course, students should

  • have an insight into the Italian literary "canon"
  • be capable of identifying the main literary periods with genres;
  • be able to discuss a limited number of texts from different periods.

Module description

A chronological survey of Italian literature - the aim being that of helping students find their way through the literary "canon" (and pointing out which texts students are likely to enjoy most should they wish to read some Italian literature). Examples of texts will be provided in Italian and English. As preparation for the exam, students will be required to follow up the main points indicated in class with some reading on the authors and/or literary currents mentioned during the lectures. There is no prescribed text as such in this respect - several books are available in the library, both in Italian and in English, and are indicated below.

No previous knowledge of Italian literature or of the language is necessary, so students of other disciplines are welcome to take this course.

Students will be encouraged to read as many primary (literary) texts (in translation, if desired) as they are able and willing to do, but such reading is by no means compulsory for the exam. At least one text will probably need to be read for the continuous assessment essay (a choice of topics will be given). One other, recent, text (a short novel, a series of poems, or a play) will be the subject of a two-hour seminar to be held at the end of the course.

Reading List

Should Be Purchased
Shiffman, J.R.P., Bondanella et al. (1999) Cassell Dictionary of Italian Literature Continuum Publishing Group Primo search
Reference Text
Brand, Peter and Lino Pertile (1999) The Cambridge History of Italian Literature Cambridge University Press Primo search Donadoni, Eugenio (1969) A History of Italian Literature, 2 vols New York University Press Primo search Whitfield, J.H. (1980) A Short History of Italian Literature Manchester University Press Primo search Wilkins, E. H. (1974) A History of Italian Literature Havard University Press Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 4