Student guide International Program A.Y. 2006/07

Italian society
Luca Pes
Aim of the course
The seminar is an introduction to modern Italian politics, society and culture in a historical and comparative perspective. The aim is two-fold: 1) provide students with knowledge of events and issues related to the period 1796-2007, i.e. from the process of Nation-Building to the Present; 2) offer participants the opportunity to develop a theme of personal interest defined in agreement with the Professor.
Knowledge of the period shall be achieved through two means:
(1) a course-pack which students are expected to read. The pack includes articles by John Davis, Adrian Lyttelton, Paul Corner, Gianfranco Pasquino, Percy Allum and Perry Anderson. They provide a synthesis of XIXth and XXth Century Italian Social and Political History. Four of these articles should be object of a summary of at least a page each (a summary plus personal notes consisting of opinions, associations and/or questions)
Deadline for submission of summaries and comments: Sunday, March 18th.
(2) three lectures in which the Professor shall provide the main points of Italian Modern History. The program is as follows:
Monday, February 12th, 14:00-18:00
Tuesday, February 13th, 14:00-18:00
Wednesday, February 14th, 14:00-18:00
Students are expected to submit a proposal for a theme of interest by Sunday, March 18th. The theme can range from Literature to Economics, from Religion to Law etc., even though obviously must remain related to issues raised in class or in the readings, and referred to the period of Italian History considered by the Seminar.
Such theme will be developed in two ways:
- producing an oral presentation of 15-20 minutes, on Friday, April 13th (participants will be divided into two groups, one will be 9:00-13:00, the other will be 14:00-18:00; the idea is to listen and participate in the discussion of presentations of fellow students; attendance to the whole session is compulsory);
- writing a final research paper. Papers should be based on multiple sources and contain footnotes, making the process of research transparent. Deadline for the submission of final papers: Sunday, May 6th
Topics may include, among others:
-          geographic diversity and historical processes (mountains, countryside and cities – ideas of "Nature" in Italy – cities as organizing principles of Italian life – the North/South divide);
-          the Catholic Church and education of sentiments (the relationship between mother and son – Protestant versus Catholic Societies – the Catholic Church and the late formation of a Modern State in Italy);
-          the Risorgimento (Italy as the "Land of Art and Beauty" – the idea of "Italy" throughout the Centuries – the role of Literature in the process of Unification);
-          building the Nation-State, 1860-1914 (Parliamentary Monarchy – Liberals, Socialists and Catholics – State and Church relations – the debate on the creation of a national language);
-          the Southern Question, emigration and industrial take-off, 1860-1914 (the "Civil War" in the South - the origins of the Mafia - Italy as a second comer: economy and ideology);
-          First World War, the origins and development of Fascism, 1914-1929 (interventionism and neutralism – D'Annunzio and Fiume – how does a dictatorship rise to power?);
-          structures and Policies of the "Totalitarian State", 1929-1940 (Italy compared to Germany and Spain – Cultural policies of the Regime – the role of women under Fascism);
-          Second World War, 1940-1945 (Italo-German Relations – Italian Racialism and anti-Semitism – the Resistance – the War in Italian Literature and Collective Memory);
-          the Italian Republic and the Cold War, 1945-1994 (Communists and Christian Democrats – 1968 and after – Political Terrorism - Craxi);
-          the Great Transformation, since 1958 (Economic Miracle – Industrial Districts – changes in society and the physical landscape);
-          Recent trends, since 1994 (further changes in economy and society – Politicians on trial - European Union - debate on Constitutional Reform – Northern Secessionism - Berlusconi).
Evaluation:  30% final paper; 30% summaries and comments to articles; 30% oral presentation; 10% participation in discussion of oral presentations.
Reading list
-           Best general book:- Holmes George (ed.), The Illustrated Oxford History of Italy, Oxford University Press, Oxford-New York 1997.
Suggested readings on specific periods:
-           Davis John (ed.), Italy in the Nineteenth Century, Oxford University Press, Oxford-New York 2000
-           Lyttelton Adrian (ed.), Liberal and Fascist Italy, 1900-1945, Oxford University Press, xford-New York 2002
-           Paul Ginsborg, A History of Contemporary Italy. Society and Politics 1943-1988, Penguin, Londo etc. 1990
-           McCarthy Patrick (ed.), Italy since 1945, Oxford University Press, Oxford-New York 2000