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English and Italian Literature

Degree co-ordinators - David Lines (Italian) and Michael Hulse (English and Comparative Literary Studies). For administrative purposes, this degree is housed in Italian Studies.


English and Italian Literature (50% English, 50% Italian) has a strong and distinctive comparative approach and has been specially designed for those who wish to begin or pursue a study of Italian language and literature whilst continuing to study the English tradition, as well as exploring interactions between the two. Throughout your degree you will study Italian language at an appropriate level (as with other Italian degrees, entrants are not required to have previous knowledge of Italian). Other modules range from medieval and renaissance Italy or England (for instance, Dante, Boccaccio, Chaucer and Shakespeare) to contemporary literature, culture and film. The Italian and English Short Fiction module (IT309) is co-taught by the two departments and bridges the English and Italian traditions very effectively, while laying down the foundations for comparative study. A challenging but exhilarating degree course, this often attracts some of our strongest students, who wish to join linguistic proficiency with sophisticated literary and cultural analysis.

Year one

Students are required to take four year-long modules, two in Italian Studies and two in English and Comparative Literary Studies:

1. Modern Italian Language I (at beginners', intermediate or advanced level).

2. Either Representations of Modern Italy (IT110) or Forms and Fashions in Italian Intellectual Culture (IT113).

3. The Epic Tradition (EN101).

4. Either Medieval to Renaissance English Literature (EN121) or Literature in the Modern World (EN123).

Year two

Year abroad in Italy.

Year three

Students are required to take 120 credits:

1. Modern Italian Language II (IT301).

2. An option (either 30 credits or 2 x 15 credits) from the Italian Studies offerings.

3. Comparative Literature: Italian and English Short Fiction (IT309), ranging from Boccaccio and Chaucer to contemporary short-fiction writing (30 credits).

4. An option (either 30 credits or 2 x 15 credits) from the English offerings, e.g. The European Novel (EN201).

Year four

Students are required to take 120 credits, half in Italian and half in English:

1. Modern Italian Language III (IT401).

2. One or more options (either 30 credits or 2 x 15 credits) from the Italian Studies offerings; this could include a year-long dissertation.

3. Two options (totalling 60 credits) from the English offerings, e.g., Shakespeare and Selected Dramatists of his TIme (EN301) or European Theatre (EN302).


Information on English modules