Making of the Italian Nation
Run by School of Languages, Literatures and Linguistics.
20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits
Semester 1 & 2
Organiser: Dr Silvia Bergamini
Overall aims and purpose
- Provide students with an introduction to the study of Modern Italian History and Culture.
- Introduce students to the key historical events that lead to the Unification of Italy, to the rise and fall of Fascism, and to the birth of the Republic.
- Introduce students to the key issues surrounding the question of an Italian national identity, also in relation to the 'North/South' debate, the political and ideological cultures of Italy, and the mafia.
- Introduce students to Italian literature and cinema.
- Foster analytical skills through the study of various texts and films.
This course aims to provide an introduction to the history and culture of Modern Italy from the early nineteenth century to the birth of the Italian Republic in the post-war era. Students will be introduced to the major political, social and cultural factors that contributed to the unification and the birth of Italy as a nation through an analysis of contemporary literary works and films set during the Risorgimento. A strong emphasis will then be placed on how narratives of an Italian national identity were used in literature and cinema in post-unification Italy, and how they continued to shape the political debate in the fascist regime under Benito Mussolini, and in the Republic. Through the study of a variety of primary sources, students will be encouraged to reflect not only on particular social and historical movements, but also on issues relating to the development of an Italian national identity, with the aim of gaining a better understanding of contemporary Italy. This will entail a focus on issues related to the 'Southern Question' debate, women rights, emigration, education, and organised crime.
D- - D+: A grasp of key issues pertaining to the relevant aspect of Italian fiction, cinema, history and culture. At least partly-successful attempts to frame an argument utilising secondary materials.
C- - B+:Good grasp of key issues pertaining to the relevant aspect of Italian fiction, cinema, history and culture. Solid analysis of topic area, making good use of relevant secondary sources to support argument.
A- - A*: Excellent grasp of key issues pertaining to the relevant aspect of Italian fiction, cinema, history and culture. Clear appreciation of topic making good use of relevant secondary material and an impressive depth of knowledge and/or subtlety of analysis.
Demonstrate a mastery of basic study skills, such as the ability to follow a course of reading, make effective use of notes and secondary sources, and benefit from class discussions.
Demonstrate an understanding of the key historical events that led to the unification of Italy in 1861, to the rise and fall of Fascism, and to the birth of the Italian Republic.
Show a good knowledge of the works studied and of their authors, contextualizing them within the wider framework of Italian socio-historical background.
Show awareness of the key issues surrounding the question of an Italian national identity, and how these narratives continued to inform political debates and popular culture in the years after Unification.
Teaching and Learning Strategy
One 1 hour lecture (or seminar) per week for 11 weeks per semester
- Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
- Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
- Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
- Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
- Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
- Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
- Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
- Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
- Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others