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Unit information: Italian Cinema: Genre and Social Change in 2015/16

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Unit name Italian Cinema: Genre and Social Change
Unit code ITAL29007
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Professor. O'Rawe
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of Italian
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

The module aims to introduce students to the study of Italian cinema through the study of the genres which compose it; genre will be used as a tool to discuss and understand processes of social change in twentieth-century Italy. Through study of particular genres, including comedy, realism and the western, the module will address issues of gender representation, the construction of the nation, and the relationship of the spectator to popular genres. Attention will also be paid to the workings of the Italian film industry, in both its national and transnational contexts.


  • To introduce students to a significant body of knowledge of a complexity appropriate to second year level. The content matter will normally include one or more of the following: literature; social, cultural or political history; linguistics; cultural studies; film, television or other media.
  • To facilitate students' engagement with a body of literature, including secondary literature, texts, including in non-print media, primary sources and ideas as a basis for their own analysis and development. Normally many or most of these sources will be in a language other than English and will enhance the development of their linguistic skills.
  • To develop further skills of synthesis, analysis and independent research, building on the skills acquired in units at level C.
  • Some options may prepare students for the experience of the Year Abroad.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Successful students will:

  • be knowledgeable about a significant cultural, historical or linguistic subject related to the language they are studying;
  • be skilled in the selection and synthesis of relevant material;
  • be able to evaluate and analyse relevant material from a significant body of source materials, usually in a foreign language, at a high level;
  • be able to respond to questions or problems by presenting their independent judgements in an appropriate style and at an high level of complexity;
  • be able to transfer these skills to other working environments, including study at a foreign university and on work placements during the year abroad.

Teaching Information

2 x 1hr slots weekly.

Assessment Information

Essay 75%, short essay 25%

Reading and References

Indicative Basic Reading List:

  • Mary Wood, Italian Cinema (Berg, 2005)
  • Maggie Günsberg, Italian Cinema: Gender and Genre (Palgrave, 2005)
  • Marcia Landy, Stardom Italian Style (Indiana University Press, 2008)