Academic Year 2023/2024

  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Media, Public and Corporate Communication (cod. 5703)

Learning outcomes

The aim of the course is to understand and interpret some social transformations (inherent in the political, economic and cultural fields) through the critical contribution offered by the objects produced by the cultural industry (films, novels, TV series). At the end of the course the student is able to understand historically and culturally the complex relationship between representation and social reality, with particular reference to the ability to perfect the critique of the existing order and to identify in the literature and in the forms of representation the possibility of imagining alternative and unprecedented social scenarios. In this sense, the products of the cultural industry are not only an expression of the logic of commodification but also a set of objects to be interpreted in order to consider the changes that have taken place in society.

Course contents

Genesis and development of the cultural industry; transformations in representation and introduction of new forms of expression; change in the relationship between art and society; revival of social criticism.


One text among the following:


Horkheimer, M. e Adorno T.W. Dialettica dell’illuminismo (solo il capitolo sull’industria culturale), Torino, Einaudi, pp. 126-182.

Benjamin, W. L’opera d’arte nell’epoca della sua riproducibilità tecnica, Torino, Einaudi.

Eichhorn, K. L’industria culturale nell’era digitale, Torino, Einaudi.

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

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.

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.

Curti, R. 2006. Italia odia. Il cinema poliziesco italiano, Torino, Lindau.

Teaching methods

Lessons and seminars.

Assessment methods

Oral examination + brief essay.

Teaching tools


Office hours

See the website of Luca Martignani