29883 - History of Mentality and Cultural Changes in the Contemporary Age (LM)

Course Unit Page


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

Quality education Gender equality Peace, justice and strong institutions

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

The student knows the sources and methodologies of social history with specific reference to the political and cultural transformations of contemporary society and develops autonomous research skills

Course contents

The course will focus on themes peculiar to contemporary history through the analysis of cultural and mental processes of men and women considered as historical protagonists.
This is a kind of history based not on singular events but on the study of transformations that help to better understand modern society. At the end of the course, the student possesses the ability of critical and multidimensional analysis of historical contexts related to the evolution of mentalities in relation to different cultural contexts and their transformations.



R. Vinen, L’Europa del Novecento. Una storia sociale, Carocci, 2004 (parts: I, II, III)

and one book to chose in these 3 sections:

War and violence (section A):

A. Gibelli, L’officina della guerra. La grande guerra e le trasformazioni del mondo mentale

C. Browning, Uomini comuni. Polizia tedesca e «soluzione finale» in Polonia

B. Bruneteau, Il secolo dei genocidi

Media and public opinion (section B):

L. Gorman, D. McLean, Media and society into the 21st Century

S. Salustri, Orientare l’opinione pubblica. Mezzi di comunicazione e propaganda politica nell'Italia fascista

A. Briggs, P. Burke, Storia sociale dei media. Da Gutenberg a Internet

Young people and generations (section C):

P. Sorcinelli, A. Varni (a cura), Il secolo dei giovani. Le nuove generazioni e la storia del Novecento

J. Savage, L'invenzione dei giovani

S. Salustri, La nuova guardia. Gli universitari bolognesi tra le due guerre (1919-1943) (2022 new edition, ONLY that edition)

Assessment methods

An oral exam on the text of Viven and on one of the books in section A or B or C.


It will be possible to take a written test on Viven's book at the end of the course.

The test includes three open questions (from 1 or to 10). Those who pass the test with a minimum grade of 18 will be able to access the oral exam where they can answer questions only on the chosen text.

Teaching tools

Traditional and Multimedia tools.

Office hours

See the website of Simona Salustri