IT1GEN-The Genius of Italy: Italian Medieval and Renaissance Culture (in translation)

Module Provider: Modern Languages
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Dr Paola Nasti


Summary module description:

The course aims at providing an overview of the original contribution of Italy to Medieval and Renaissance literature and civilization. Topics include history of art and architecture, political discourse, travel, magic and invention. This module is addressed both to students intending to carry on with a degree in Italian Studies and to students who wish to broaden their understanding of European culture as part of their University education.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module it is expected that students will have acquired:

A general knowledge of some aspects of Italian history 1200-1550
A general knowledge of some core issues related to Italian culture and society of the same period
A detailed knowledge of some cultural products of that same period in literature, art and criticism

Additional outcomes:
Students will be introduced to the basic methodologies related to the study of history and of literary works (poetry, prose writing, or theoretical works). The module will help students to develop their ideas into well argued points of view, to express their point of view clearly, both orally and in writing; to make good use of appropriate reference materials (e.g. dictionaries, works of criticism, etc); to carry out group discussions and, where appropriate, to improve their team-working skills.

Outline content:

During each term students will be introduced to specific issues relating to Medieval and Renaissance Italian history and culture. In the first term they will attend a series of lectures on Italian history and society in the period 1200-1375 and on its literature. They will study a selection of texts which might Dante Alighieri's poetry and various short stories from Boccaccio's 'Decameron' in small group tutorials. During the second term, the course will focus on the civilization of Renaissance Italy (1375-1550): students will follow lectures on history, culture and society in Italy from the period and in tutorials they will study a variety of texts wich might include Machiavelli's 'The Prince' as well as a selection of excerpts from Vasari's 'Lives of the Artists' and Renaissance artwork. All written works will be studied in translation, although students also taking the Italian Advanced Language module will be encouraged to look at some elements of the texts in the original.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
The course will be taught through a combination of formal lectures and small-group tutorials in which students are expected to participate actively by providing presentations and contributing to group discussion. Students are required to engage with the dedicated social media for this module. One hour per week will be devoted to lectures, and one hour to tutorials. Students will write one assessed essay per term on one of the topics studied either through lectures or in tutorials.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 10 10 2
Seminars 10 10
Guided independent study 80 78
Total hours by term 100.00 98.00 2.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 50
Written assignment including essay 50

Other information on summative assessment:

Students will write a 2000-word essay. Alternative modes of assessment involving media and technology are possible and by agreement. They will also sit an exam in the Summer Term. All students will be asked to contribute to class discussion and deliver short individual or group presentations.

Formative assessment methods:
In the Autumn Term students will have the chance to submit non-assessed work on which they will receive formative feedback.

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:
    Two hours

    Requirements for a pass:
    40% overall

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Reassessment in August, in the event of failure in this module and of failure in Part 1 as a whole, or (for compulsory modules only) of failure to qualify in Part 1.

    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: 31 March 2017

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