05962 - Sociology of Art and Literature

Academic Year 2022/2023

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course the student is able to understand historically and culturally the complex relationship between the artistic sphere and sociological research, with particular reference to the ability to perfect the critique of the existing order and to identify the possibility of imagine alternative and unprecedented social scenarios.

Course contents

The stages of development of the sociology of art and literature (aesthetics and social criticism, social history of art and empirical sociology). The subjects and the logics that make up art as a system (cultural production, reception, mediation). Modern and contemporary art. Recent trends in contemporary art and relationship with the other spheres that make up society.


Mandatory texts for everyone:

Heinich, N.
2001 La sociologie de l’art, Paris, Éditions La Découverte; trad. it. La sociologia dell’arte, Bologna, il Mulino, 2002.

Heinich, N.
2021 La sociologia alla prova dell'arte, Milano-Udine, Mimesis (capitolo 2 e capitolo 6).

A text chosen from the following:

Adam, G.
2017 Dark Side of the Boom. The Excesses of the Art Market in the 21th Century; trad. it. Dark Side of the Boom. Controversie, intrighi, scandali nel mercato dell’arte; Johan & Levi Editore, 2019.

Bonami, F.
2019 Lo potevo fare anch’io! Perché l’arte contemporanea è davvero arte, Milano, Mondadori.

Martignani, L.
2022 Estetica sovversiva, Verona, Ombre corte.

Danto, A.
1981 The Transfiguration of the Commonplace. A Philosophy of Art; Cambridge Mass.-London, Harvard University Press; trad. it. La trasfigurazione del banale. Una filosofia dell’arte, Roma-Bari, Laterza, 2021.

Danto, A.
2013 What Art is, Cambridge Mass.-London, Harvard University Press; trad. it. Che cos’è l’arte, Johan & Levi Editore, 2019.

Thompson, D.
2008 The $12 Million Stuffed Shark; trad. it. Lo squalo da 12 milioni di dollari. La bizzarra e sorprendente economia dell’arte contemporanea, Milano, Mondadori, 2017.

Teaching methods

Lessons and seminars.

Assessment methods

Oral exam + writing of a written essay to be delivered to the teacher by e-mail five days before the exam.

Teaching tools

Slides and PPT presentations.

Office hours

See the website of Luca Martignani