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Unit information: Destination Italy: Cultural Responses to Migration in 2021/22

Unit name Destination Italy: Cultural Responses to Migration
Unit code ITAL20032
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Professor. Glynn
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of Italian
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

This unit explores cultural representations of migration and migrants to Italy, from the 1980s to the present. It situates those representations in relation to Italy’s rapid transition from a country of emigration to a net receiver of migrants, and to the ways in which the experience of migration to Italy has compelled the country to recognise and tackle its colonial past. It further addresses the role of migration in shaping and reshaping Italian identity over time.

The unit will be structured around the analysis of representations in three different media: news reports focussing on distinct migration ‘crises’; cinematic texts addressing the encounter between Italians and migrants; and literary texts by migrants and ‘new’ Italians, which ‘talk back’ to Italian understandings of migrants and migration.

The unit aims to:

  • acquaint students with the history of migration to Italy and with dominant tendencies in the representation of migrants and migration.
  • equip students with the appropriate tools (theoretical and linguistic) to understand and to articulate their interpretation of such representations.
  • expand students’ knowledge of Italian culture and to refine their critical and communication skills.

This unit carries a piece of Formative assessment:

1 x 15-minute group presentation

Intended Learning Outcomes

By the end of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. demonstrate knowledge of migration to Italy and its varied representation in cultural production across Italian prose and film;
  2. develop an understanding of the context in which cultural representations of migration to Italy occur and with which they engage;
  3. select and synthesise relevant material to establish a conceptual framework for the interpretation of representations of migration;
  4. formulate sophisticated critical arguments in writing.
  5. develop and enhance clear oral communication skills.

Teaching Information

Teaching will be delivered through a combination of synchronous sessions and asynchronous activities, including seminars, lectures, and collaborative as well as self-directed learning opportunities supported by tutor consultation

Assessment Information

1 x group presentation (30%). Testing ILOs 1,2, 3, and 5

1 x 2500-word essay (70%). Testing ILOs 1-5

1 x formative group news review (required to pass). Testing ILOs 1-4.


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. ITAL20032).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.