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IT330 Risorgimento

Module Code: IT330
Module Name: Risorgimento
Module Coordinator: Dr Alessandra Aloisi
Not Running 2019-20
Module Credits: 15

Module Description

Taking as its chronological confines the years 1796 (the year of Napoleon’s entrance in Milan) and 1870 (the year of the capture of Rome), this module will introduce students to the history and culture of the Italian Risorgimento. By moving between history, literature, and culture in a broader sense, the module aims at introducing students to the historical and cultural construction of Italian identity, and at enabling them to understand the long-term impact of Risorgimento on Italian contemporary culture, also in relation to the myth of Risorgimento in the 20th century (particularly in cinema). Students will work with a varied typology of materials, including historical documents, literary texts, and visual sources, allowing them to build on their skills in mediating between text and context and to put into dialogue and critically contextualize a varied typology of materials.

Week 1: Introduction: the concept of Risorgimento

Week 2: Identity and deterritorialization: Italy in the Eighteenth century, the Napoleonic wars, and the French model

Readings for week 2: Nievo, Le confessioni di un italiano, ch. XI; Foscolo, Ultime lettere di Jacopo Ortis, Da’ colli Euganei 11 ottobre 1797, Milano 4 dicembre; Stendhal, La chartreuse de Parme, ch.I; Foscolo, Dei sepolcri, vv. 1-90

Week 3: 1816, the Bourbon Restoration, and Italian Romanticism

Readings for week 3: Staël, 'Sulla maniera e la utilità delle traduzioni', BIblioteca italiana, 1 (January 1816), 9-18

Week 4: From Carboneria to Giovine Italia: Conspiracy, Sacrifice, and Ideals of Masculinity

Readings for week 4: Manifesto of Young Italy

Week 5: The European Revolutions of 1848

Reading for week 5: A. Manzoni, Marzo 1821

Week 6: Reading Week

Week 7: The Accomplishment of Political Unification and the Creation of a Shared Memory

Week 8: Class, Race, and Gender in the Risorgimento

Week 9: The Myth of Risorgimento 1: A Failed Revolution?

Week 10: The Myth of Risorgimento 2: The Birth of Contemporary Italy

Reading for week 10: Gramsci on rivoluzione passiva

Primary sources (notably texts by Foscolo, Leopardi, Manzoni, Mameli, Mazzini, D’Azeglio; visual and musical sources, including Hayez and Verdi) will be provided as study packs and uploaded on the module’s webpage. Students will also be requested to watch the following films:

- Luigi Magni, Nell’anno del Signore (1969)

- Mario Martone, Noi credevamo (2010)

- Paolo e Vittorio Taviani, Allonsanfàn (1974)

- Luchino Visconti, Senso (1954)

- Luchino Visconti, Il Gattopardo (1963)

Principal secondary sources and reference texts will be:

- Alberto Maria Banti, La nazione del Risorgimento. Parentela, santità ed onore alle origini dell'Italia unita (Einaudi, 2000)

- Alberto Maria Banti, L'onore della nazione. Identità sessuale e violenza nel nazionalismo europeo dal XVIII secolo alla grande guerra (Eidaudi, 2005)

- Alberto Maria Banti, Il Risorgimento italiano (Laterza, 2004)

- Alberto Maria Banti and Paul Ginsborg (eds.), Storia d'Italia. Annali. 22, Il Risorgimento (Einaudi, 2007)

- Norma Bouchard (ed.), Risorgimento in Modern Italian Culture. Revisiting the Nineteenth Century Past in History, Narrative, and Cinema (Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2005)

- John A. Davis and Paul Ginsborg (eds.), Society and Politics in the Age of the Risorgimento (Cambridge University Press, 1991)

- Harry Header, Italy in the Age of the Risorgimento (Longman, 1983)

- Silvana Patriarca and Lucy Riall (eds), The Risorgimento Revisited. Nationalism and Culture in Nineteenth-Century Italy (Palgrave, 2012)

- Gilles Pécout, Il lungo Risorgimento. La nascita dell'Italia contemporanea (1770-1922) (Bruno Mondadori, 2011)

- Amedeo Quondam, Risorgimento a memoria: le poesie degli italiani (Donzelli, 2011)

- Lucy Riall, The Italian Risorgimento. State, Society and National Unification (Routledge, 1994)

- Lucy Riall, Risorgimento: The History of Italy from Napoleon to Nation-State (Palgrave, 2009)

- Lucio Villari, Bella e perduta. L'Italia del Risorgimento (Laterza, 2009)


Student presentation and class discussion (15%)


either one 4000-4500 word essay (85%)


2000-2500 word essay (45%) and 1 hour exam (40%)

Dr Alessandra Aloisi

A dot Aloisi at warwick dot ac dot uk

Reading Group

Dr Martina Piperno

Monday, 9-10 am, room 401

The exam paper code for this module is IT3P1Y