Please read our student and staff community guidance on COVID-19
Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Course Outline


Teaching and learning for this module consists of one lecture and one seminar per week. Beginners in Italian must attend an extra reading group. There will also be film showings, essay writing and research skills sessions and individual tutorials for guidance and feedback on essay writing. You are expected to read the set texts and prepare the seminar questions in advance of the seminar. Film showings and skills sessions will normally be scheduled for Thursday afternoons in the Library or the Transnational Resource Centre. If you are unable to make this session, you can borrow the film and view it in your own time.

Term 1

Weeks 2-5

Lectures: Italy at the beginning of the twentieth century; Modernism, Futurism, Hermeticism; Ungaretti’s links to intellectual movements of his time; the background of Fascism.

Seminars

Week 2: Marinetti's Futurist poetry

Week 3: Ungaretti’s ‘Fratelli’, ‘Soldati’, ‘Veglia’,

Week 4: Ungaretti’s ‘In dormiveglia’,‘Girovago’,‘Italia’

Week 5:Rossellini, Roma città aperta

Week 6 is reading week. Start reading Il sentiero.

Weeks 7-10

Lectures: Fascism, World War II; the Holocaust; the Resistance, Neorealism in literature and film, the role of intellectuals.

Seminars

Week 7: Rossellini, Roma città aperta

Week 8: Calvino, Il sentiero dei nidi di ragno

Week 9: Calvino, Il sentiero dei nidi di ragno

Week 10: Calvino, Il sentiero dei nidi di ragno

Term 2

Weeks 11-14

Lectures: The aftermath of World War II; rebuilding; the ‘Economic Miracle’; mobility and urbanisation; the family and gender relations.

Seminars

Week 11: Visconti, Rocco e i suoi fratelli

Week 12: Visconti, Rocco e i suoi fratelli

Week 13: Natalia Ginzburg, Caro Michele

Week 14: Natalia Ginzburg, Caro Michele

Weeks 15-20

Lectures: Political extremism and terrorism; organised crime, the quest for truth, regional concerns. Lectures: Tangentopoli; political reorganisation; the rise of Berlusconi and Forza Italia, the mass media, economic affluence; the changing Italian family; immigration.

Seminars

Week 15: Tabucchi, Sostiene Pereira

Week 16 is reading week.

Week 17: Tabucchi, Sostiene Pereira

Week 18: Tabucchi, Sostiene Pereira

Week 19: Giordana, Quando sei nato non puoi più nasconderti

Week 20: Amelio, Lamerica

Term 3: Revision and Exam Practice