Italian Literature

Undergraduate course

Course description

Objectives and Content

The aim of the course is to provide an introduction to Italian literature and literary history from the beginning of the 20th century to the present. The course will develop students' ability to read and interpret fictional texts and practice literary analysis. While studying these texts, special emphasis will be put on literary and linguistic traits and the way in which the works are tied to Italian history and culture.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completing the course, the student is expected to:


  • have gained good knowledge of the syllabus texts and of their cultural context
  • can depict the main trends in Italian literary history from the beginning of the 20th century to the present
  • be familiar with a selection of central authors and literary epochs in modern Italian literature
  • be familiar with some key literary techniques and their usage in the various genres found in the different works


  • can depict, analyse, compare and interpret syllabus texts
  • can identify a selection of literary and linguistic traits in syllabus texts and depict them in Italian, both orally and in writing
  • be able to see connections between syllabus texts across genres, epochs and styles
  • be able to place and pinpoint the works in the syllabus according the broader trends and developments in Italian literature history
  • be able to use literary and linguistic traits and themes in independent analyses and discussions of syllabus texts

General competence

  • be equipped to execute a project over time
  • be capable of working independently on a research question related to the subject matter for the course
  • can use subject specific knowledge and skills gained in the course in a broader literary context
  • can communicate in Italian both orally and in writing beyond an elementary level

ECTS Credits


Level of Study


Semester of Instruction


Place of Instruction

Required Previous Knowledge
Recommended Previous Knowledge

Proficiency in Italian at least equivalent to that of students on the 100 level.

Students are advised to complete the following courses before taking ITAL122: ITAL 121, ITAL123 and ITAL125.

Credit Reduction due to Course Overlap
Due to certain academic overlaps, the credits awarded for taking ITAL122 are reduced by 10 ECTS if the course is combined with ITAL112 or ITAL102.
Access to the Course
The course is open to all students admitted to the University of Bergen.
Teaching and learning methods

Instruction normally amounts to a two-hour lecture and a two-hour seminar session on a weekly basis for a period of 10 weeks.

If less than 5 students sign up for the course, the teaching may be adjusted to the number of students enrolled. Should this be the case, students will be informed about the alternative teachings plan at the beginning of the semester and before the registration deadline 1 Feb/1 Sep.

Compulsory Assignments and Attendance

During the semester students must hold an oral presentation during class related to a topic from the curriculum. The presentation should last for approx. 10 minutes and the student may choose to present it orally using video or an other suitable genre of oral contribution.

The students must also hand in an exercise paper of approx. 500 words. The mandatory paper will be commented upon by the person with course responsibility.

The mandatory assignments are evaluated as pass/fail. Approved mandatory assignments are valid for one additional semester following the semester of instruction.

Forms of Assessment
The assessment in the course consists of a (approx.) 1800-word four-week take-home exam, running simultaneously with teaching in the last part of the semester. The exam paper is to be written in Italian.
Grading Scale
The grading scale is A-F, where F is a fail.
Assessment Semester
Fall. Students with valid approvals on their mandatory assignments may also be assessed early in the spring semester.
Reading List

The reading list provides information about what text are on the curriculum at any given time. The reading list will be ready by 1 July for the fall semester, and 1 December for the spring semester.

Students are also obliged to seek out additional in-depth information of the writers featured on the syllabus, available in literary histories, encyclopedia, as well as annotated editions of and companions to the works in question.

Course Evaluation
Evaluation of the course is carried out in accordance with the University of Bergen quality assurance system.
Programme Committee
The program committee is responsible for the academic content and structure of the study program, and for the quality of all the subjects therein.
Course Coordinator
The Program Board for Italian
Course Administrator
The Department of Foreign Languages at the Faculty of Humanities has administrative responsibility for the study program.