Neapolitan Novels: Elena Ferrante's Southern Italy

Florence University of the Arts - The American University of Florence

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Neapolitan Novels: Elena Ferrante's Southern Italy

  • Host University

    Florence University of the Arts - The American University of Florence

  • Location

    Florence, Italy

  • Area of Study

    History, Literature

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Credits

    3 - 4
  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    3 - 4
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    4 - 6
  • Overview

    This course is centered around Ferrante's four-volume work known as The Neapolitan Novels: My Brilliant Friend (2011), The Story of a New Name (2012), Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay (2013), The Story of the Lost Child (2015). Lectures will investigate the multifaceted universe of a friendship between two women, Lila and Lenu, from their childhood to adulthood. It also aims to shed light on the connections between their experiences and Southern Italy's complex history and culture from the post-WWII war years to the present. Through an interdisciplinary approach, the course will examine the protagonists' effort to break out of the circle of extreme poverty, illiteracy, and male violence. Amongst the themes addressed by this course through the study The Neapolitan Novels, students will explore issues such as post-war settlement in Italy and in the South, Italy's Southern Question, the Neapolitan Camorra and its influence on the poor, the changing role of women during the Seventies, the "Economic Miracle," terrorism during the "anni di piombo," student movements in the late Sixties, Italian factory strikes throughout the Seventies, and technological advancements for computing machines.

    Optional to make class worth 4 credits (LAHSNN351): This class includes field learning hours. Field learning is a method of educating through first-hand experience. Skills, knowledge, and experience are acquired outside of the traditional academic classroom setting and may include field activities, field research, and service learning projects. The field learning experience is cultural; because it is intended to be wide-reaching, field-related content is not limited to the course subject but seeks to supplement and enrich academic topics. Students will have the opportunity to integrate theory and practice while experiencing Italian culture, art, and community within the Italian territory. Faculty will lead students in experiencing Italian culture through guided projects and field experiences as planned for the course. Field learning will be developed through classroom preparation, follow up projects, and guided learning outcomes. Field learning will provide students with the opportunity to develop skills and appreciate the multifold components of Italian Culture through direct experience. Field education will advance student learning as a relationship-centered process.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Some courses may require additional fees.


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