26024 - Women's Movements in Italian Modern History

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2020/2021

Learning outcomes

The student acquires in-depth knowledge of the origines and development of women's movements in Italian Early Modern and Contemporary history, through methodological investigations which allow him to research autonomously.

Course contents

The title of the course is "FEMMINISMS." Women’s thinking and movements, in Europe, in the Americas, in the Arab context, in southern Africa and in the Asian context will be analysed in chronological order, but also showing the deep connections that were established between the various areas of the world. Alongside some thematic reconstructions, starting from the American Revolution and the French Revolution and the publication of the first "manifestos" of contemporary feminism, the lectures will analyse particularly important texts and experiences still hard to define within the scope of “classical” history (centred upon the West and its successive “waves”) of the feminisms. At the end, the students will have understood the complexity of the females thinking and movements in their peculiarity and in a transnational and global perspective.

The course will take place according to this schedule: First Semester, Second period


Lessons 1-3: The birth of Feminism in the West

Lessons 4-6: Feminisms and Suffragism in Europe 1860-IWW

Lessons 7-9: Biopolitics in a totalitarian State

Lessons 10-12: The new feminism in the West

Lessons 13-15: Feminisms and culture beyond the West


Students ATTENDING classes will bring three texts, chosen from the following list or agreed upon following a tutorial with the lecturer:

C. Frattini, Il primo Congresso delle donne italiane, Roma 1908: opinione pubblica e femminismo, Roma, Biblink, 2008

E. Saurer, Melancolia e Risveglio. Donne e religione nell’Europa romantica, Roma, Viella, 2013

R. Pepicelli, Il femminismo islamico: Corano diritti riforme, Roma, Carocci, 2010

E. Schiavon, Interventiste nella Grande Guerra, Firenze, Le Monnier, 2015

S. Bartoloni (a cura di), Attraversando il tempo: centovent'anni dell'Unione femminile nazionale, Roma, Viella, 2019

A. Rossi-Doria, La libertà delle donne: voci dalla tradizione politica suffragista, Torino, Rosenberg&Sellier, 1990

G. Bonacchi-C. Dau Novelli (a cura di), Culture politiche e dimensioni del femminile nell'Italia del Novecento, Soveria Mannelli, Rubbettino, 2010

Isabella Pera, "Camminare col proprio tempo": il femminismo cristiano di primo Novecento, Roma, Viella, 2016

E. Guerra, Il dilemma della pace. Femministe e pacifiste sulla scena internazionale 1914-1939, Roma, Viella, 2014
M. Miniati, Le "emancipate". Le donne ebree in Italia tra XIX e XX secolo, Roma, Viella, 2008

"Genesis", numero 1-2013: Femminismi nel Mediterraneo (parte monografica)

“Genesis”, numero 2-2011: Attraversare i confini: Pratiche culturali e politiche del femminismo italiano (parte monografica)

"Genesis" numero 2-2009: Femminismi senza frontiere (parte monografica)

"Genesis" numero 2-2005: Femminismi e culture: oltre l'Europa (parte monografica)

S. Benussi, Le donne afroamericane negli Stati Uniti: la lunga lotta per i diritti civili, Milano, FrancoAngeli, 2007

M. Bracke, La nuova politica delle donne, Roma, Edizioni di Storia e letteratura, 2018

P. Stelliferi, Il femminismo a Roma negli anni Settanta, Bologna, Bononia University Press, 2015

A. Frisone, Quando le lavoratrici si ripresero la cultura: femminismo sindacale e corsi 150 ore delle donne a Reggio Emilia, Bologna, Socialmente, 2014

Students NOT ATTENDING classes will bring, in addition to the three texts chosen from the list, the following essay:

JOAN W. SCOTT, Il genere: un'utile categoria di analisi storica, in P. DI CORI, Altre storie. La critica femminista alla storia, Bologna, Clueb, 1997, pp. 307-347

Teaching methods


Reading from the sources, which will give rise to frequent seminar discussions within the lessons themselves

Assessment methods

Students who attend at least 75% of the lessons are considered to be attending.

The assessment of the knowledge will take place for the students ATTENDING classes as well as those NOT ATTENDING by means of an oral test.

The completeness of the information drawn from the texts chosen from the Syllabus, along with the capacity to frame it within a critical context, the mastery of the specific language of the discipline, will be assessed.

Accurate knowledge and excellent expositions will be met with high marks. A knowledge that is at times incomplete, uncertain, with a poor critical framing of the questions, accompanied by an exposition that is not wholly relevant, will be met with grades ranging from fair to satisfactory. Lastly, albeit in the presence of some information, a very weak exposition, the absence of a critical framing and an approximate exposition, will be met with a fail mark.

This 6 CFU course can be chosen as a part of the 12 CFU Integrated Course “History of the Genres (C.I.) (LM)". If the student has the Integrated Course (12 CFU) in his/her study plan, the final grade will result from the arithmetic average of the marks obtained in the two parts (“History of genres and sexualities in early modern age (1) (LM)" and “History of Women and of Gender Identity (1) (LM) “).

Teaching tools

Power Point

Office hours

See the website of Maria Pia Casalena