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Unit information: Modern Italy in 2014/15

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Unit name Modern Italy
Unit code ITAL10029
Credit points 20
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Professor. John Foot
Open unit status Open




School/department Department of Italian
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

This course will provide an introduction to the history, politics and culture of Modern from 1848 to the present. It will analyse a series of key moments in Italian history, such as the unification of Italy, World War One, Fascism and World War two, the economic boom of the 1960s, the years of violence of the 1970s (the anni di piombo) and Berlusconismo, through a series of background lectures; seminar work will focus on different kinds of cultural texts - autobiographies, diaries, novels, historical work and films. Through their study of these selected texts, students will get a sense of how Italian writers and filmmakers have responded to major historical events and to social change in Italy over the last 150 years.

Aims: to introduce students to the history of Italy in the designated period to provide them with skills relating to the reading and analysis of various kinds of texts to provide them with essay-writing skills and skills of critical and historical analysis

Intended Learning Outcomes

Students will have:

1. Demonstrated a detailed knowledge of specific historical events studied and their relation to concepts of Italian national identity; 2. Demonstrated a good knowledge of the theoretical debates over Italian unification, fascism, and liberalism; 3. Evaluated and analyse relevant material from a significant body of primary and secondary source materials and relate it to historical context; 4. Responded to questions or problems by presenting their independent judgements in conjunction with appropriate use of secondary literature. 5. Developed substantial essay writing skills.

Teaching Information

The unit will be taught in a combination of tutor- and student-led teaching, with one weekly lecture and one weekly seminar.

Assessment Information

Two essays of 2000 words each (50% each)testing ILOs 1-5

Reading and References

John Foot, Modern Italy, Palgrave, 2014. Paul Ginsborg, A History of Contemporary Italy 1943-1988, Penguin, London, 1990. Paul Ginsborg, Italy and its Discontents: 1980-2001, Penguin, London, 2001. Italian Cultural Studies: An Introduction, ed. David Forgacs and Robert Lumley, OUP, Oxford, 1996 Mary Wood, Italian Cinema, Bloomsbury, London, 2005.

Paul Ginsborg, Silvio Berlusconi: Television, Power and Patrimony, London : Verso, 2005.