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Unit information: Institutions and Anti-Institutions in Italy in the 1960s and 1970s in 2015/16

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Unit name Institutions and Anti-Institutions in Italy in the 1960s and 1970s
Unit code ITAL30050
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Professor. John Foot
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of Italian
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

This course looks at the history of Italian institutions in the post-war period, and at the struggle to reform and abolish those institutions that developed in the 1960s and 1970s. The course will examine four kinds of institution (the asylum, the family, the school/university, the prison) and then try and understand why they became discredited in the eyes of many by the end of the 1960s, and how reform and more radical activists tried to change them, or get rid of them altogether. The course will cover theoretical material but will also use historical and sociological studies, film, photography, art and fiction.

Aims: • to introduce students to the study of the 1960s and 1970s in Italy through the examination of key institutions and the struggles to reform those institutions • To familiarise students with debates in the fields of memory and history, with particular reference to the 1960s and 1970s. • To develop further skills of textual analysis, historical interpretation, and independent research, building on the skills acquired in units at level I. • To equip students with the skills to undertake postgraduate study in a relevant field. • To familiarise students with the workings of a series of key institutions in Italy in historical contexts.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Students will, at the end of the unit:

1. Be able to demonstrate an understanding of specific institutions in Italy in the period and the history of movements that attempted to reform or abolish those institutions.

2. Be able to contextualise and analyse written, filmic and photographic texts

3. Communicate their findings effectively, both orally and in writing;

4. Develop broader skills of cultural inquiry, analysis and criticism.

Teaching Information

The unit will be taught in a combination of tutor- and student-led teaching, predominantly in seminar format but with a small number of introductory lectures.

Assessment Information

One 15-minute oral presentation (25%) plus one written assignment of 1500 words (25%) plus one written assignment of 3000 words (50%). The short essay is normally a piece of textual analysis (of a literary, filmic or photographic text) and focuses on developing specific skills of close analysis, testing ILOs 2 and 3. The long essay allows students to show their detailed knowledge of the texts and events, the historical context, and to display their understanding of the institutions of the period as well as their representation, testing ILOs 1-4. The oral presentation will build on the presentation skills developed in units at Level I and will allow students to engage closely with a discrete area of the course, testing ILOS 2 and 3 in particular.

Reading and References

Franco Basaglia ed., L’istituzione negata, Einaudi, 1968, Baldini & Castoldi, 1998. Don Milani, Lettera a una professoressa, 1967. Luisa Passerini, Autoritratto di Gruppo, 2008. M. Flores and A. De Bernardi, Il sessantotto, Il Mulino, 2003. David Cooper, The Death of the Family, Penguin, 1974. Eleanor Chiari, Undoing Time: the Cultural Memory of an Italian Prison, Peter Lang, 2012.