28390 - Media Semiotics (1) (2nd cycle)

Academic Year 2021/2022

  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Semiotics (cod. 8886)

Learning outcomes

At the end of the module, students will have the expertise and will have learned the semiotic tools to analyze the mass media products.

Course contents

The module introduces the semiotic study of an area, such as that of media contents, which in recent decades has undergone a radical transformation: from a traditional system consisting of separate elements (radio, television, cinema, press), to a process of digitization that it has led to forms of convergence between the media themselves, and the breaking down of the division between production and audiences, while the Internet and social media have definitely changed our daily life into a whole media ecosystem. Traditional models of text analysis developed by semiotic disciplines must therefore be confronted with a new mediascape, in which television "shows" have become one of the many digital contents that proliferates without limits of time and place, in post-broadcast TV. From YouTube to Spotify, from Netflix to Prime Video, media content fruition is distributed across countries in a widespread and fragmented way, including cinema. Audiovisual texts must therefore be currently framed in a sociosemiotic dimension, and conceived as a momentary photograph of a complex and interconnected process.

After having outlined main elements of the contemporary mediascape, the module will provide a critical introduction to audiovisual media texts, fiction (cinema, TV series) and non-fiction (documentaries, news, entertainment, reality shows, advertising, music videos, fashion films), identifying : genres, narrative procedures, identity politics, enunciative dynamics. The syncretic peculiarities of the audiovisual text (e.g. the relationship between sound and image) and its potential as a reality and cultural processes producer, will also be studied in depth.



Grignaffini, G. (2021). I generi televisivi (brand new edition), Carocci editore.

Malavasi, L. (2019). Il linguaggio del cinema. Pearson (chapters 1 and 4).

Peverini, P. (2012). I media: strumenti di analisi semiotica, Carocci, (except chapter 3).

Spaziante, L. (2021). Handouts.



Bertetto, P. (a cura di). (2006). Metodologie di analisi del film. Laterza.

Brembilla, P. (2018). It's all connected: l'evoluzione delle serie TV statunitensi. Franco Angeli.

Eco, U. (2018). Sulla televisione: Scritti 1956–2015. La Nave di Teseo Editore.

Eugeni, R. (2015). La condizione postmediale. Media, linguaggi e narrazioni. La Scuola.

Dusi, N. (a cura di). (2019) Confini di genere. Sociosemiotica delle serie tv. Morlacchi editore.

Dusi, N. (2014). Dal cinema ai media digitali. Logiche del sensibile tra corpi, oggetti, passioni. Mimesis edizioni.

Grignaffini, G., & Bernardelli, A. (2017). Che cos' è una serie televisiva. Carocci editore.

Hill, A. (2019) Esperienze mediali: dalle serie tv al reality. Minimum Fax edizioni.

Innocenti, V., & Perrotta, M. (Eds.). (2013). Factual, reality, makeover: lo spettacolo della trasformazione nella televisione contemporanea. Bulzoni editore.

Lotz, A.D. (2017). Post Network: La rivoluzione della tv. Minimum Fax edizioni.

Marrone, G. (1998). Estetica del telegiornale: identità di testata e stili comunicativi. Meltemi Editore.

Migliore, T. (2016). Rimediazioni: immagini interattive. Aracne editrice.

Montani, P. (2010). L'immaginazione intermediale: perlustrare, rifigurare, testimoniare il mondo visibile. GLF editori Laterza.

Montani, P. (2014). Tecnologie della sensibilità: estetica e immaginazione interattiva. R. Cortina editore.

Odin, R. (2004). Della finzione. Edizioni Vita e Pensiero.

Pezzini, I. & Spaziante, L. (a cura di) (2014). Corpi mediali: semiotica e contemporaneità. ETS edizioni.

Serra, M., & Miconi, A. (2018). "Di che cosa parliamo quando parliamo di medium? Una via empirica alla definizione operativa del concetto". Studi culturali, 15(1), 3-20.

Stam R., Burgoyne R., Flitterman-Lewis S. (1999). Semiologia del cinema e dell'audiovisivo: parole chiave nell'analisi del film. Bompiani.

Tirino, M., & Tramontana, A. (a cura di). (2018). I riflessi di Black Mirror: glossario su immaginari, culture e media della società distopica. Rogas edizioni.


Teaching methods

Lectures will introduce themes and problems, suggesting pathways for analysis. They will therefore be enriched by collective and individual works with semiotic analysis practices carried out together with the students.

The module includes lectures which, depending on the health situation, may be held:

  • online through Microsoft Teams
  • or in presence (possibly in blended mode, i.e. in the classroom but with remote streaming).


Presence or in any case participation of students is encouraged, as audiovisuals will be shown during the lessons, and collective or group analyzes will be carried out.



Assessment methods


This course does not distinguish between attending and non-attending students.


The exam can be carried out in different ways, alternatively between them:

  • a written test with open questions in the presence (or online via EOL + Zoom, depending on the health situation).
    an essay, individual or in small groups (from 2 to 4 people), on specific themes or case-studies.
  • an essay, individually or in small groups (from 2 to 4 people), on specific topics or case-studies. The work should take advantage of the ideas provided in class, applying the categories and perspectives of analysis discussed throughout the course. The length of the final paper must be around 20,000 characters, and must be delivered in advance (maximum 7 days before the appeal) to be then discussed during the oral interview.
  • an oral interview, in the presence or by Teams, depending on the health situation).




The ability to argue in a critical, in-depth and original way - reporting citations of names and definitions - together with the possession of an expressive mastery, which also demonstrates the learning of a specific language, will be evaluated with votes of excellence (28 / 30L).
The mechanical and / or mnemonic knowledge of the subject, combined with poorly developed synthesis and analysis skills, and / or an incorrect use of the specific language, will lead to discrete evaluations (24/27).
Obvious training gaps and / or inappropriate language - while showing a minimal set of knowledge of the exam material - will lead to grades that, depending on the case, will exceed the sufficiency, or slightly more (18/24).
Training gaps, inappropriate language, lack of orientation within the bibliographic materials offered during the course, inability to argue, will be evaluated below the sufficiency.


Teaching tools

During the course, the IT supports and multimedia tools used in the classrooms of the Department of Philosophy and Communication will be used:

  • pc and audiovisuals
  • online by Microsoft Teams
  • blended mode, i.e. streaming classroom

Office hours

See the website of Lucio Spaziante


Quality education Gender equality

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.