English Literature for Publishing (2018/2019)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Silvia Bigliazzi
Silvia Bigliazzi
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Sem. 1A dal Sep 24, 2018 al Nov 10, 2018.

Lesson timetable

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Learning outcomes

The module aims at providing specific knowledge about the history of English publishing, compared to the Italian one, with regard to the production of complex texts, such as Renaissance play texts, in relation to the transmission of their printed sources, as well as their own later circulation and re-elaboration in diverse genres and according to different printing practices. The module will offer advanced tools for textual analysis and for the interpretation of literary and dramatic genres within their historical and cultural contexts and in relation to their editorial traditions. It will also introduce students to critical approaches aimed at strengthening their argumentative skills. On successful completion of the module, students will be able to re-elaborate critically the acquired knowledge and to discuss topics employing appropriate linguistic and stylistic registers.


“Publishing Shakespeare in Italy and in the anglophone world: the cases of Rome and Juliet and the Sonnets.”
The module concentrates on Romeo and Juliet and the Sonnets as examplary cases of complex editorial pratices within both the British and the Italian contexts, starting from the transmission of the Italian sources of the play and the European lyrical models behind the sonnets to the nature of late sixteenth- and early-seventeenth-century editions (the so-called good and bad quartos, followed by the in-folio), to modern and contemporary editions. During the module, publishing pratices will be examined through a comparison of different approaches adopted by various publishing houses, taking into account, within the Italian context, translative choices specifically aimed for the page.

The module will be held in English. Attending students will take one self-assessment test at the end of the module. A written calendar of the topics that will be dealt with will be circulated in class at the beginning of the course.
Further teaching material will be available for download from the MOODLE repository. This material is not mandatory.

Attending and non-attending students are required to do all the readings indicated below:
• William Shakespeare, The First Quarto of “Romeo and Juliet”, ed. Lukas Erne, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2007;
• William Shakespeare, Romeo e Giulietta (parallel text), ed. S. Bigliazzi, Torino, Einaudi, 2012;
• William Shakespeare, Sonetti, ed. Alessandro Serpieri, Milano, Rizzoli, 1996: “Introduzione” and sonnets 1, 18, 19, 20, 27, 39, 40, 43, 55, 60, 61, 104, 124, 130, 144;
• Stephen Orgel, Authentic Shakespeare, London and New York, Routledge, 2002, chapters 1-4 (pp. 1-47);
• Catherine Belsey, Romeo and Juliet: Language and Writing. Arden Shakespeare, London, New Delhi, New York, Sidney, Bloomsbury, 2014.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Stephen Orgel Authentic Shakespeare London and New York, Routledge 2002 Chapters 1-4 (pp. 1-47)
Catherine Belsey Romeo and Juliet: Language and Writing (Arden Shakespeare) London, New Delhi, New York, Sidney, Bloomsbury 2014
William Shakespeare Romeo e Giulietta (testo inglese a fronte), a cura di S. Bigliazzi Torino, Einaudi 2012
William Shakespearea Sonetti, a cura di Alessandro Serpieri Rizzoli 1996
William Shakespeare The First Quarto of “Romeo and Juliet”, ed. Lukas Erne Cambridge, Cambridge University Press 2007 “Introduzione” and sonnets 1, 18, 19, 20, 27, 39, 40, 43, 55, 60, 61, 104, 123, 124, 130, 144.

Assessment methods and criteria

The exam will consist in an oral discussion in English of the topics dealt with during the module. Alternatively, students may submit an essay in English of approximately 5,000 words. The essay should be on one or more topics of their own choice among those dealt with in class. Before writing the essay, students are invited to discuss their project with the teacher. The essay must be submitted at least two weeks before the exam and will be discussed orally on the day of the exam.
The acquired abilities will be evaluated in terms of:
1) knowledge of the primary texts within their historical and cultural contexts and in relation to the editorial practices relevant to the periods under scrutiny;
2) ability to use critical approaches appropriate to textual analysis with special attention to linguistic and stylistic features and in relation to the cultural contexts;
3) argumentative skills and use of academic English.