06396 - History of Contemporary Society

Academic Year 2022/2023

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course the student will have the required knowledge of historical research methodology in order to relate the history of the Italian welfare state with general features of Italy's institutional, political and educational systems. At the exam, the student will be able to put forward his/her assessments and conclusions regarding historical studies and analyses. In addition, the student will be able to use the means and methods acquired in the historical field to widen his/her knowledge and apply effective critical thinking.

Course contents

The course will address the history of contemporary society, in particular from the Second World War, identifying long-term and comparative thematic paths, with a focus on social and cultural history and with particular attention to a gender perspective, starting from some questions that are addressed to us by the present.

The aim is to clarify, with specific reference to the Italian case, the extent of the transformations and persistences; to understand the historical depth of the issues that appear to us today the most relevant to the collective existence and life of each of us; to reflect, finally, on how you can make history. We will deal with some thematic issues that we feel are relevant today: modernity and progress, the great social struggles, the relationship between memory and history, access to wider forms of citizenship, the processes of participation, decision and reform, the historic issue of the Republican Constitution up to the hairpin turn represented by the 1970s, the complex relationship between state and civil society and the issue of political violence and terrorism.

For students  "Erasmus": students are invited to contact the teacher to specify the program and study the texts.

The exam will take place in Italian.


Students will cure their preparation for the exame on the following texts:

Obligatory texts

  • Umberto Gentiloni Silveri, Storia dell'Italia contemporanea. 1943-2019, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2019, chapters 1 to 6 inclusive.

  • •Marilisa D’Amico, Una parità ambigua. Costituzione e diritti delle donne, Milano, Raffaello Cortina Editore, 2020, chapters capitoli 1 to 6 and 8 to 9 inclusive.

A text of your choice between the following:

  • S. Salvatici (a cura di), Storia delle donne nell'Italia contemporanea, Roma, Carocci, 2022. Capitoli dal,'1 al 6 compresi.,
  • Santo Peli, La Resistenza italiana. Storie e critica, Torino, Einaudi, 2004.
  • Simona Colarizi, Un paese in movimento. L'Italia negli anni Sessanta e Settanta, Bari-Roma, Laterza, 2019.
  • Paolo Pombeni, L'apertura, L'Italia e il centrosinistra (1953-1963), Bologna, il Mulino, 2022.
  • Cinzia Venturoli, Storia di una bomba. Bologna 2 agosto 1980: la strage, i processi, la memoria, Roma, Castelvecchi, 2020.
  • Simona Colarizi, Passatopresente. Alle origini dell'oggi 1989-1994, Bari-Roma, Laterza, 2022.


Teaching methods

Lectures with discussion and source presentations. During the course seminars may be promoted on topics and texts related to the course contents.

Assessment methods

The examination consists of an oral test (evaluated in thirtieth) on the subjects of the texts indicated in the programme.

What will be particularly assessed is the student's ability to orient him/herself within texts in order to identify the information that will enable him/her to illustrate aspects strictly related to the discipline. The achievement by the student of an organic vision of the topics discussed during the course, together with their critical use, and the possession of a mastery of expression and specific language, will be assessed and awarded a grade of ‘excellence'. A mechanical and/or mnemonic knowledge of the topics, a limited skill of synthesis and analysis and/or the correct but not always appropriate use of language will lead to ‘a discrete' assessment. Gaps in learning and/or inappropriate language – although within the context of minimal knowledge in the exam subject – will lead to a grade no higher than ‘sufficient'. In cases of the presence of significant gaps in knowledge, inappropriate language, lack of orientation within the texts, the exam will not be passed. A negative assessment for one of the two texts included inthe program will not allow the student to pass the exam successfully.

Teaching tools

Videoprojector, Interactive whiteboards, PC The lectures will take advantage of a PowerPoint presentation that is uploaded and made available to students in the " Teaching materials " of the course

Office hours

See the website of Cinzia Venturoli

See the website of Manuela Ghizzoni


Quality education Gender equality Decent work and economic growth Reduced inequalities

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