28460 - Semiotics of Social Sciences (1) (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

At the end of the module, students will have acquired methods of analysis appropriate to the investigation of various fields of social communication, from politics to the news.

Course contents

During the first part of the course we will approach theoretical themes of central concern for a contemporary approach to a semiotic of culture, analysing in particular the current debate in the field.

Then the topic of cultural memory will be discussed, in all its aspects of construction, transmission and conservation, and in the relationships between collective and individual memory.

In particular the concept of trauma and traumatic memory in a semiotic perspective will be considered. Several different texts related to trauma will be analysed. A special attention will be dedicated to post memory and trans generational transmission and to the use of visual devices in family memories.



Mandatory texts for attending students of both Semiotica delle Scienze Sociali and Semiotica della Cultura.

- Lévi-Strauss, C., Antropologia strutturale, Milano, il Saggiatore, 1990 (cap. II, XI, XV)

- Lorusso, A.M., Semiotica della cultura , Roma-Bari, Laterza, 2010

- Lotman, J. e Uspenskij, B., Tipologia della cultura, Milano, Bompiani, 1975 (parte I e parte III)

- Lotman, J., La semiosfera. L'asimmetria e il dialogo nelle strutture pensanti,Venezia, Marsilio, 1985 (pagg. 1-145)

- Lotman, J., Tesi per una semiotica delle culture, Roma, Meltemi, 2006 (seconda parte + “Il decabrista nella vita”)

-Lorusso, A.M. “Pensando al futuro: memoria e posterità” inVersus-Quaderni di studi semiotici, n. 131, 2020

- Demaria, C., Semiotica e memoria, Roma, Carocci, 2006 (Prima parte: “Riflessioni sulla memoria)

- Demaria C., Il trauma, l'archivio, il testimone, Bologna, Bononia University Press, 2012 (Introduzione e prima parte)

-Violi, P. , Paesaggi della memoria, Milano, Bompiani, 2014 (parte I. “Ricordare il trauma: dalla coazione al patrimonio traumatico”)

The students that will not attend the course (neither in presence nor on line) will have to consult the two following texts in their entirety:

Demaria, C., Semiotica e memoria, Roma, Carocci, 2006

Violi, P. , Paesaggi della memoria, Milano, Bompiani, 2014

Moreover, students are requested to choose at least one book among the following list, depending on the topic of their papers. Other texts can be also discussed with the lecturers.

- Del Marco, Vincenza, Pezzini Isabella(ed), Passioni collettive. Cultura, politica e società, Roma, Edizioni Nuova Cultura [http://www.nuovacultura.it/] , 2012

-Demaria, C.; Violi, P., “The Act of Documenting: Joshua Oppenheimer’s The Act of Killing”, Media, War & Conflict, 2019, https://doi.org/10.1177/1750635219871910

-Demaria, C. Piluso, F., “Immaginari premediati. Futuro e consumo del presente nelle narrazioni seriali”, VS - Quaderni di studi semiotici, n. 131, 2020.

- Demuru, P., Essere in gioco, Bologna, BUP, 2014

- Geertz, C., Antropologia interpretativa, Bologna, il Mulino, 1988 (cap. 1, cap. 3 e cap. 4)

- Hammad M., “Il Museo della Centrale Montemarini a Roma”, in I. Pezzini, P. Cervelli eds. Scene del consumo: dallo shopping al museo, Meltemi, Roma, 2006, pp.203- 279.

- Marrone. G. Figure di città. Spazi urbani e discorsi sociali, Mimesis, 2013

- Marrone, G. Buono da pensare. Cultura e comunicazione del gusto, Carocci, 2014

- Marrone, G. Semiotica del gusto. Linguaggi del cibo, della cucina, della tavola, Mimesis "Insegne", 2016

- Mazzucchelli F., Urbicidio. Il senso dei luoghi tra distruzioni e ricostruzioni nella Ex Jugoslavia, BUP, Bologna, 2010

- Panosetti D., Pozzato M.P. (ed) Passione vintage. Il gusto per il passato nei consumi, nei film e nelle serie televisive, Roma, Carocci, 2013

- Pezzini, I. Semiotica dei nuovi musei, Roma-Bari, Laterza, 2011

- Pezzini, I. Spaziante, L. (eds) Corpi mediali. Semiotica e contemporaneità, ETS, 2014

- Pozzato M.P. (ed), Testi e memoria. Semiotica e costruzione politica dei fatti, Bologna, il Mulino, 2010

- Pozzato, MP, Visual and Linguistic Representations of Places of Origins. An Interdisciplinary Analysis, Cham, Switzerland, Springer International Publishing, 2018

- Salerno, D. Terrorismo, sicurezza, post-conflitto, Libreria Universitaria, 2012

Teaching methods

The course is designed to stimulate active participation on the part of students. They will be asked to read and present in class a selection of reading materials. Active participation in collective discussion of these presentations will be considered an essential component of the course evaluation.

Assessment methods

The final test for both Semiotica delle Scienze Sociali e Semiotica della Cultura is one paper whose topic has to be agreed upon with the professors.

The written paper has to be of 40.000 characters (20 pages of 2000 characters for page) to be presented at least 10 days before the date of the exam.

Students' ability to argue their positions and to apply correctly the analytical tools discussed during the course will be one of the main criteria of the final evaluation. In particular, the paper, aside from presenting a proper semiotic analysis and an adequate and appropriate use of the language, will have to provide:

-a clear description of the selected corpus along with the reasons for its selection

-an introduction framing its main research questions

-the clarification of its methodological approach (the main authors and works that have been used)

-clear and concise conclusions

Teaching tools

Lectures will be supported by the multimedia tools available in the classes of the Department of Philosophy and Communication Studies.

Office hours

See the website of Cristina Demaria