Academic Year 2022/2023 - Teacher: Antonio DI SILVESTRO

Expected Learning Outcomes

The advent of digital technologies had a  great impact on consolidated areas of tradition while representing, after the typographic revolution, a new twist on the modalities of creating and using texts. The aim of this course is to discuss the possibilities that technological innovations offer in order to writing, reading and explaining texts. Through the proposal of various kinds and genres of texts (above all literary texts), the course aims at consolidating and enhancing skills in writing, reading and critical analysis, paying particular attention:

1) to the most used coding models for online publication of texts;

2) to the processing of the digital texts through quantitative analysis softwares;

3) to the identification of lexically and semantically relevant elements in order to decode and rewrite texts;

4) to the digital tools and techniques for learning and teaching humanities in school and university;

5) to the hermeneutic value related to lexicography and concordances, connected to other methods of reading texts by IT.

According to the Dublin descriptors, this theoretical platform will be applied to the texts in a laboratory context through some case studies, that students ill use as models for developing their own analyses, in which they will demonstrate autonomy of observation and judgment and the ability to communicate the results obtained.

Course Structure

Lectures; exercises and laboratory activities.

Required Prerequisites

Knowledge of the essentials of Italian grammar and text linguistics.

Attendance of Lessons

Attendance is mandatory, to the extent of 70 percent, subject to the provisions of Article 27 of the RDA and in the Regulations for the recognition of the status of student worker, student athlete, student with difficulty and student with disabilities (R.D. No. 1598 of 2/5/2018).

Detailed Course Content

A. Models for writing and reading texts. (3 ECTS)

From Gutenberg to the digital. The concept of author and authorship in times of the internet. Death of the author, the electronic word, and combinatorial literature. Models of text hermeneutics. From close reading to distant reading, up to computational hermeneutics. Epistemological issues, and modeling and representation problems. Go through the text: concordances, indexes and frequency lists. Search and query functions. Digital methods for teaching.

B. Applications. (3 ECTS)

a. Short stories to the test of the lexicographical and concordantial method.

b. Narration and storytelling. 'Short' writings and readings.

Textbook Information


- Teoria e forme del testo digitale, a cura di M. Zaccarello, Roma, Carocci, 2019, capp. 1-3 e 6, pp. 33-70 e 95-114.

- F. Tomasi, Metodologie informatiche e discipline umanistiche, Roma, Carocci, 2008, cap. 5 (Ipertesti e ipermedia: progettazione e sviluppo), pp. 143-167);

- P. Italia, Editing Duemila. Per una filologia dei testi digitali, Roma, Salerno, 2020, pp. 7-55 (Il lettore Google e Autore, curatore, lettore).

- G. Gigliozzi, Il testo e il computer. Manuale di informatica per gli studi letterari, Milano, Bruno Mondadori, 1997, cap. IV (Applicazioni per l’umanista. Come si fanno e come si usano), pp. 179-256;

- A. Lenci, S. Montemagni, V. Pirrelli, Testo e computer. Elementi di linguistica computazionale, Roma, Carocci, 2016, pp. 123-152.

- G. Savoca, Lessicografia letteraria e metodo concordanziale, Firenze, Olschki, 2000, pp. 39-52.

- A. Sichera, La lecture concordantielle. Fenomenologia ed ermeneutica, in Ermeneutiche. Punti di vista sul confine, Euno edizioni, 2017/2019, pp. 89-103.

- Franco Moretti, Falso movimento. La svolta quantitativa nello studio della letteratura, Nottetempo, 2022, pp. 160.


- Elisabetta Menetti, Generi e forme della narrativa breve italiana, in Le forme brevi della narrativa, a cura di E. Menetti, Carocci 2019, pp. 13-33 (disponibile su Studium).

- Massimiliano Tortora, La novella, in Il modernismo italiano, a cura di M. Tortora, Carocci 2018, pp. 39-64. (disponibile su Studium).

- G. Verga, Novelle rusticane e Vita dei campi, edizione a scelta.

- L. Pirandello, Scialle nero e La vita nuda, edizione a scelta.

- I. Svevo, I racconti, edizione a scelta.


Please remember that in compliance with art 171 L22.04.1941, n. 633 and its amendments, it is illegal to copy entire books or journals, only 15% of their content can be copied.

For further information on sanctions and regulations concerning photocopying please refer to the regulations on copyright (Linee Guida sulla Gestione dei Diritti d’Autore) provided by AIDRO - Associazione Italiana per i Diritti di Riproduzione delle opere dell’ingegno (the Italian Association on Copyright).

All the books listed in the programs can be consulted in the Library.

Course Planning

 SubjectsText References
1Introduction to the courseTeoria e forme del testo digitale, capp. 1-2; P. Italia, Editing Duemila,  pp. 7-55.
2Reading and coding textsF. Tomasi, Metodologie informatiche e discipline umanistiche, cap. 5; Teoria e forme del testo digitale, cap. 2.
3Authorship and digital textsP. Italia, Editing Duemila, pp. 7-55 
4Digital Hermeneutics and literary studiesG. Savoca, Lessicografia letteraria e metodo concordanziale, pp. 39-52; A. Sichera, La lecture concordantielle. Fenomenologia ed ermeneutica, pp. 89-103.
5Distant reading and data visualitazionF. Moretti, Falso movimento, pp. 160.
6Editions and knowledge sitesTeoria e forme del testo digitale, capp. 3 e 6.
7Lemmatization: definition, techniques, processesG. Savoca, Lessicografia letteraria e metodo concordanziale, pp. 39-52; A. Sichera, La lecture concordantielle. Fenomenologia ed ermeneutica, pp. 89-103.
8Genres and forms of Italian short fictionE. Menetti, Generi e forme della narrativa breve italiana; M. Tortora, La novella, in Il modernismo italiano,  pp. 39-64.
9Elements of lexical statistics and stylometryG. Gigliozzi, Il testo e il computer. cap. IV, pp. 179-256; A. Lenci, S. Montemagni, V. Pirrelli, Testo e computer. Elementi di linguistica computazionale, pp. 123-152.  
10How to make an author's vocabulary; concordancesG. Gigliozzi, Il testo e il computer. cap. IV, pp. 179-256.
11Creating frequency lists and lexicon intersections: examplesExercises based on the following texts: Verga, Novelle rusticane e Vita dei campi; Pirandello, Scialle nero e La vita nuda; Svevo, I racconti.  
12Exercises with online text analysis softwares: Lexicon; Skecth Engine; Voyant Tools.Esercizi sui seguenti testi: Verga, Novelle rusticane e Vita dei campi; Pirandello, Scialle nero e La vita nuda; Svevo, I racconti.

Learning Assessment

Learning Assessment Procedures

The in itinere test, in a written form, which will take place a few classes before the conclusion of the course, will consist of the analysis, conducted with the tools presented and used by the students, of a short story text from among those indicated in Module B. In the paper, students will be expected to demonstrate: 1) critical awareness of the tools used; 2) ability to use the analysis softwares most appropriate to the nature of the text; 3) ability to interpret the data obtained from the analysis; and 4) ability to present the results in a clear and concise form. The evaluation will be conducted in thirtieths.
The oral examination will consist of a discussion of the written test and a summary discussion on one of the texts and topics given in Module A.

The candidate's mastery of the content and skills acquired, linguistic accuracy and lexical property, and argumentative ability demonstrated will be taken into account in the overall assessment of the examination.

Examples of frequently asked questions and / or exercises

The processes of mass digitization.
The digital edition.
The Google reader.
The hypertext.
Vocabularies and concordances.
Statistical methods for text analysis.
Concordant reading.
Distant reading and close reading.