92939 - Italian Culture (1) (LM)

Academic Year 2022/2023

  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Italian Studies, European Literary Cultures, Linguistics (cod. 9220)

Learning outcomes

At the end of the seminar students will have acquired awareness of specific dimensions of Italian culture. Students will be able to understand the relevance of research problems in a wide series of topic concerning Italian culture such as Italian Renaissance and the modern world, the birth of Italian Nation and landscapes studies. Students will evidence a sound theoretical framework within which specific research interests could be developed in an interdisciplinary perspective.

Course contents

The course is designed to introduce students to the Italian literary culture of the 16th and 20th century. It aims at providing a wide historical background on the issue, together with the basic tools for reading, analysing and contextualizing Italian works of the Renaissance, the 19th and 20th century.

Lectures will be organized in two modules, and will focus on a diverse range of literary topics:

Module 1 (Lara Michelacci )

Women, Female Characters and Gender between Renaissance and Post-Unification Italy

1) Women in the Renaissance 2) Angelica in Orlando furioso by Ludovico Ariosto. 3) Women and gender in post-Unification Italy . Each module will be complemented by critical insights on writers and focusing on excerpts from their main works, the course will address some issues concerning the history of the Italian culture.

Module 2 (Valentina Vetri)

Of Ladies, of Passions and of Wars: Representation of Women in the Italian Resistance

1) Introduction and background: the representation of women during Fascism; 2) “Fulvia, Splendore”: the representation of women in the works of Beppe Fenoglio (1922-1963); 3) Partigiane: women narrating women in the Italian Resistance


Module 1

Ludovico Ariosto, Orlando furioso (The Frenzy of Orlando): a new verse translation; translated by David R. Slavitt, Cambridge, Mass.; London: Belknap, 2009 (canti I, XIX, XXIII-XXIV). The text is available online at the following link: https://epdf.pub/orlando-furioso-a-new-verse-translation.html

Romance and History. Imagining Time from Medieval to the Early Modern Period, edited by J. Whitman, Cambridge, University Press, 2015 (the following chapter by Riccardo Bruscagli, pp. 151-167; by Marco Praloran, pp. 168-183; by Daniel Javitch, pp. 187-199).

Women and gender in post-unification Italy : between private and public spheres, Katharine Mitchell and Helena Sanson (eds), Oxford [etc.], Peter Lang, 2013, pp. 39-65; pp. 111-133; pp. 135-152.

Please take note: if it is possible, one class will be held at the Biblioteca Universitaria di Bologna or to The Biblioteca Comunale dell'Archiginnasio (TBC); another class at the Biblioteca Italiana delle Donne Bologna (TBC).

Module 2

Beppe Fenoglio, A private affair , Hesperus, London 2006 (excerpts)

Dan A. D’Amelio, Italian Women in the Resistance, World War II, Italian Americana, Vol. 19, No. 2 (Summer 2001), pp. 127-141

Victoria De Grazia, How Fascism ruled women, University of California press, 1992, pp. 1-18.

All bibliographical references will be made available to students in pdf or online

Teaching methods

Lectures and seminars involving text analysis and class discussion. A/V tools will be used during the lectures.

Assessment methods

Written exam or oral exam, that will be assessed on a pass/fail basis. Non attending students are required to do the same readings and to study the same course materials (on Virtuale) of attending students.

Teaching tools

Each module provides an introduction to the history and culture of the related period and on its main authors. Part of the lectures will be committed to reading and commenting on excerpts of Italian literary works (in English translation). Students will be invited to analyse, compare and discuss readings that will be assigned during lectures.

Office hours

See the website of Lara Michelacci


Gender equality Reduced inequalities Peace, justice and strong institutions

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