English Literature for Publishing (2019/2020)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Silvia Bigliazzi
Silvia Bigliazzi
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Sem 1A, Sem 1B

Lesson timetable

Go to lesson schedule

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.


“Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar: Editions, Translations, and Adaptations Between England and Italy”
The module explores Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar as an exemplary case study of Renaissance editorial practices with regard to drama texts intersecting ancient narrative sources, but also offering possibilities for ever new adaptations and remediations. In particular, it examines the play’s first edition in relation to the late sixteenth-century publication of its historical sources – Plutarch and Appian especially. It then moves on to a discussion of the play’s Italian translations in the first half of the twentieth century, with a focus on textual adaptations.

The module will be held in English. Attending students will have the opportunity to take a self-assessment test at the end of the module. A 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.

Attending and non-attending students are required to do all the readings indicated below:
• William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar, ed. by David Daniell, London, Bloomsbury, The Arden Shakespeare Third Series, (1998) 2014.
• Geoffrey Bullough, Narrative and Dramatic Sources of Shakespeare, vol. 5 (Julius Caesar), London and New York, Routledge – Columbia University Press, 1964.
• Stephen Orgel, Authentic Shakespeare, London and New York, Routledge, 2002, chapters 1-4 (pp. 1-47).
• Nancy Isenberg, “‘Caesar’s Word against the World’: Caesarism and the Discourses of Empire”, in Shakespeare and the Second World War. Memory, Culture, Identity, ed. by Irena R. Makaryk and Marissa Mchugh, Toronto, Buffalo, London, University of Toronto Press, 2012, pp. 83-105.
• Linda Hutcheon, A Theory of Adaptation, New York and London, Routledge, 2006.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Linda Hutcheon A Theory of Adaptation Routledge 2006
Stephen Orgel Authentic Shakespeare London and New York, Routledge 2002 pp. 1-47
Nancy Isenberg “‘Caesar’s Word against the World’: Caesarism and the Discourses of Empire”, in Shakespeare and the Second World War. Memory, Culture, Identity, ed. by Irena R. Makaryk and Marissa Mchugh, pp. 83-105 University of Toronto Press 2010
William Shakespeare Julius Caesar, ed. by David Daniell Bloomsbury 2014
Geoffrey Bullough Narrative and Dramatic Sources of Shakespeare Columbia University Press 1964 vol. 5 (Julius Caesar)

Assessment methods and criteria

Knowledge acquisition will be evaluated through an oral exam, which will consist in a discussion of the topics dealt with during the module. The oral exam will be held in English.
Alternatively, students may submit an essay in English of approximately 5,000 words at least a week before the exam. The essay will then be presented and discussed orally. For essay-writing guidelines please refer to the following text: Richard Marggraf Turley, Writing Essays, London and New York, Routledge, 2016 (2nd edition). Before submitting their essay, students are required to discuss their project with the teacher.

The acquired abilities will be evaluated in terms of:
1) use of critical approaches appropriate to textual and contextual analysis, with special regard to the history of the book;
2) textual comprehension of the primary texts;
3) argumentative skills in academic discussion.

Examination rules and procedures is the same for both attending and non-attending students.