92939 - ITALIAN CULTURE (1) (LM)

Anno Accademico 2023/2024

  • Docente: Lara Michelacci
  • Crediti formativi: 6
  • Lingua di insegnamento: Inglese
  • Modalità didattica: Convenzionale - Lezioni in presenza
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: Laurea Magistrale in Italianistica, culture letterarie europee, scienze linguistiche (cod. 9220)

Conoscenze e abilità da conseguire

At the end of the seminar students will have acquired awareness of specific dimensions of Italian culture. Students will be able to understand the relevance of research problems in a wide series of topic concerning Italian culture such as Italian Renaissance and the modern world, the birth of Italian Nation and landscapes studies. Students will evidence a sound theoretical framework within which specific research interests could be developed in an interdisciplinary perspective.


Women in Italy between the Renaissance and the Post-Unification: Education, Language, Culture

The course is designed to introduce students to the Italian literary culture of the 16th and 20th century. It aims at providing a wide historical background on the issue, together with the basic tools for reading, analysing and contextualizing Italian works of the Renaissance, the 19th and 20th century.

Lectures will be organized in modules of three sessions, and will focus on a diverse range of literary topics:

Module 1 Women, Female Characters and Gender in Post-Unification Italy

1) Women and gender in post-Unification Italy.  Each module will be complemented by critical insights on writers and focusing on excerpts from their main works, the course will address some issues concerning the history of the Italian culture.

Module 2 Women’s Education in Early Modern Italy: Theory and Actuality

The three sessions of the module will focus on three main topics: 1) Introduction and background; women’s education across the centuries; 2) women and linguistic knowledge in the Italian tradition; 3) women translators

Module 3 Women and society in the Italian peninsula (c. XIX)

This module examines women's status during pre- and post-unification Italy.  Through the analysis of works of literature, this module looks at how women were seen, and how they saw and described themselves and how they deployed their subjectivities inside and outside marriage, which, yet at the end of the nineteenth century, was considered the primary goal and the destiny of every woman.

Module 4 Of Ladies, of Passions and of Wars: Representation of Women in the Italian Resistance

1) Introduction and background: the representation of women during Fascism; 2) “Fulvia, Splendore”: the representation of women in the works of Beppe Fenoglio (1922-1963); 3) Partigiane: women narrating women in the Italian Resistance.

The sessions, chaired by Lara Michelacci , will also be held by visiting professors (Prof. Helena Sanson-Cambridge University; Sara Delmedico UCD, Dublino) and guest professor (V. Vetri Graziosi).


Module 1

Women and gender in post-unification Italy : between private and public spheres, Katharine Mitchell and Helena Sanson (eds), Oxford [etc.], Peter Lang, 2013, pp. 39-65; pp. 111-133; pp. 135-152.

Module 2

Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, The Leopard (1958) [Extracts from the novel will be provided by the lecturer]

● Antonio Fogazzaro, Old-Fashioned World (1895) [Extracts from the novel will be provided by the lecturer]

For a general introduction to the topic, see:

● Delmedico, S., Opposing Patriarchy. Women and the Law in Action in Pre-Unification Italy (1815-1865) (London: IMLR, 2021) [pp. 32-43 and 101-116 only. (Extracts from the novel will be provided by the lecturer)]

● Kertzer, D.I., and R.P. Saller, The Family in Italy: From Antiquity to the Present (New Haven; London: Yale University Press, 1991), relevant chapters.

● Special Issue of The Italianist, 38:3 (2018), edited by S. Delmedico, M. Di Franco, H. Sanson (see in particular the essays by Sara Delmedico, Annick Paternoster, Elena Musiani, Gabriella Alfieri).

Module 3

1. Sanson, Helena, ‘Women and Conduct in the Italian Tradition, 1470-1900: An Overview’, in Conduct Literature for and about Women in Italy, 1470-1900: Prescribing and Describing Life, eds Helena Sanson and Francesco Lucioli (Paris: Classiques Garnier, 2016), pp. 9-38

2. Guasco, Annibale, Discourse to Lady Lavinia, his Daughter: Concerning the Manner in which She Should Conduct Herself When Going to Court (1586) ed. and trans. by Peggy Osborn (Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 2003), pp. 76-139.

Specific syllabus of this module will be given to all students at the beginning of the course. All bibliographical references will be made available to students in pdf or online

Module 4

Beppe Fenoglio, A private affair , Hesperus, London 2006 (excerpts)

Dan A. D’Amelio, Italian Women in the Resistance, World War II, Italian Americana, Vol. 19, No. 2 (Summer 2001), pp. 127-141

Victoria De Grazia, How Fascism ruled women, University of California press, 1992, pp. 1-18.

All bibliographical references are available to students on Virtuale.


Metodi didattici

Lectures and seminars involving text analysis and class discussion. A/V tools will be used during the lectures

Modalità di verifica e valutazione dell'apprendimento

Written exam or oral exam, that will be assessed on a pass/fail basis. Non attending students are required to do the same readings and to study the same course materials (on Virtuale) of attending students.

Strumenti a supporto della didattica

Each module provides an introduction to the history and culture of the related period and on its main authors. Part of the lectures will be committed to reading and commenting on excerpts of Italian literary works (in English translation). Students will be invited to analyse, compare and discuss readings that will be assigned during lectures.

Orario di ricevimento

Consulta il sito web di Lara Michelacci


Parità di genere Ridurre le disuguaglianze Pace, giustizia e istituzioni forti

L'insegnamento contribuisce al perseguimento degli Obiettivi di Sviluppo Sostenibile dell'Agenda 2030 dell'ONU.