Summary module description:

The aim of the module is to provide a clear historical overview of the main conflicts between the intellectual class and the state in twentieth-century Italy, focussing specifically on the Fascist period and the Republican years. Through carefully selected case studies, the students will learn about the always dynamic and sometimes openly conflictual relationship between some key Italian intellectuals and institutions such as the State, the Universities and the media. At the end of the module, the students will be able to give cogent, structured, and informed answers to the following questions: what is an intellectual? Who may become a public intellectual and how does one acquire that status? What are intellectuals' responsibilities towards society?

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module students are expected to have acquired:

Skills in analysing documents of different kinds, such as letters, diaries, newspaper articles, essays and fiction.

A sound understanding of the historical evolution of the role of the intellectual in Italy especially in its relationship to different state organizations (dictatorship and democratic state).

A critical approach towards published primary and secondary sources.

Additional outcomes:
The module encourages the development of independent research skills and the presentation of soundly based arguments through oral discussion and in writing. Students will also improve their IT proficiency by conducting Web searches for materials relevant to the module and by being required to submit word-processed essays.

The specially designed classes on presentation skills will equip students with the necessary awareness on standards of presentation and communication.

The group presentation project will help students to acquire time-management and interpersonal skills and to understand how to manage a group to meet deadlines and achieve the standards expected for the completion of the task.

Outline content:
We will study select case studies related to the main typologies of the public intellectual (political activist, literary intellectual, the engaged journalist, etc). A historical overview of the periods under scrutiny will be provided as well as detailed biographical information on the intellectuals to be studied each term. The first term will typically concentrate on the ways in which Italian intellectuals confronted the Fascist regime and will feature (but not exclusively) Benedetto Croa, Giovanni Gentile, Antonio Gramsci, and Piero Gobetti. In the second term, students will address how and why intellectuals voiced concerns on the way in which the Republican state had evolved from the fascist one and how it dealt with several pressing issues. Attention may be paid to some of the following themes: social inclusion and mobility, widening access to University education, women's, gay's and minorities' rights, and the strategies used to eradicate the Mafia and terrorism. Amongst the case studies that may be selected for this part of the course are: Paolo Volponi, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Mauro Mieli, Rossana Rossanda, Leonardo Sciascia, Walter Tobagi, Roberto Saviano.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
This module will be taught with a mixture of lectures and student-led seminars. A couple of sessions will be devoted to presentational skills, including a session on how to make presentation posters. Depending on availability, a small series of lectures will be held by internationally renowned experts on topics relevant to the course.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 15 15
Guided independent study 85 85
Total hours by term 100.00 100.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 80
Oral assessment and presentation 20

Other information on summative assessment:
2 written assignments (of 2500 words each): the average mark of these will contribute 80% of the module mark. Students will be required to give a structured presentation in the first week of the Summer term which will count for 20% of the module mark. A list of topics for presentation and assignments will be made available for week 5 of the Spring term. Coaching for presentation skills will be made available throughout the course.

Formative assessment methods:
Students will be required to submit in week 5 of each term a critical evaluation of an academic article on a topic studied during the term.

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at:
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:

    Requirements for a pass:

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Reassessment in August in the event of failure in this module and in Part 2 as a whole. Coursework may be resubmitted by 1.00 pm on the third Friday of August or, if the University is closed on the third Friday of August, the first working day thereafter; otherwise the mark from the first attempt will be carried forward.

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
    1) Required text books:
    2) Specialist equipment or materials:
    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
    4) Printing and binding:
    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

    Last updated: 21 December 2016

    Things to do now