Italian Short Story - ITAL5520

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Module delivery information

This module is not currently running in 2024 to 2025.


This module provides a general overview of literature in modern Italy, focusing on works by a number of the most important Italian authors of the 20th century, such as Italo Calvino, Alberto Moravia, Leonardo Sciascia and Natalia Ginzburg, as well as emerging contemporary authors. It will explore the characteristics of the short story as a specific literary genre and the various ways in which it has been used to depict and reflect upon the social, political and cultural upheavals Italy has experienced during this period.


Contact hours

Total Contact Hours: 20

Method of assessment

Essay 1 (1,500 words) – 40%
Essay 2 (1,500 words) – 40%
Presentation (15 minutes) – 20%

Indicative reading

Indicative Reading List

Lahiri, J. (2019). The Penguin Book of Italian Short Stories. London/New York/Victoria/Toronto: Penguin Classics.
March, Russell (2009). The Short Story: An Introduction. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press
Roberts, N. (1999). Short Stories in Italian: Racconti in Italiano. London/New York/Victoria/Toronto: Penguin Classics.
Shaw, V. (1983). The Short Story: A Critical Introduction. Abingdon/New York: Routledge.
Winther, P., J. Lothe and H. Skei (2004). The Art of Brevity: Excursions in Short Fiction Theory and Analysis. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

Demonstrate knowledge and critical understanding of key works of some of the most important Italian writers of the second half of the 20th century and early 21st century;
Display skills of close critical readings of selected Italian short stories;
Show knowledge of the literary and cultural movements that influenced the authors being studied;
Relate the set short stories to their particular historical background and the radical social transformations that took place in Italy during the second half of the 20th century, and to apply this knowledge in various scholarly contexts.


  1. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  2. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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