IT2INT-'Apocalittici e integrati': Intellectuals and Society in Twentieth Century Italy

Module Provider: Modern Languages
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Level:5
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring term module
Pre-requisites: IT1002 Twentieth Century Italian Culture or IT10MI Making Italians: A Journey in the History and Culture of Modern Italy or IT1004 Italian Medieval and Renaissance Culture (in translation)
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Co-requisites:
Modules excluded: HS2INT Intellectuals and Society in Twentieth Century Italy
Module version for: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Dr Daniela La Penna

Email: d.lapenna@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:
The public intellectual is usually a person who has an established reputation which gives him/her the authority to move beyond the boundaries of his/her specialist field and to intervene in wider cultural and political debates. This module explores the role played by intellectuals in contemporary Italian culture and evaluates the impact that intellectuals have had in the political and socio-cultural history of twentieth-century Italy. This module will look at the ways in which historical circumstances unique to Italy have shaped the role of the intellectuals into two broadly defined categories: those who strike alliances with the establishment (‘integrati’) and the heretics - those who, instead, challenge the dominant discourse and exert pressure to foster social change (‘apocalittici’). Lecturers and students will address the various motivations that led some many gifted young Italians to criticize the Italian political system in significant historical periods (e.g. the Fascist dictatorship and the post-war period), to be ready to pay the highest price for their independence of mind (and some actually did), and to feel that literature and culture in general has to have an ethical and socially committed dimension in order to mean something.

Aims:
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 complicated relationships between the Fascist regime and Italian intellectuals, and will feature (but not exclusively) Benedetto Croce, Giovanni Gentile, Antonio Gramsci, Piero Gobetti and Elio Vittorini. In the second term, students will address the role of intellectuals in the transition away from Fascism and the creation of the Italian Republic. 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: Elio Vittorini, Cesare Pavese, 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 by 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:

Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy.
The following penalties will be applied to coursework which is submitted after the deadline for submission:

• 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;
• where the piece of work is submitted more than one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

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.
(Please refer to the Undergraduate Guide to Assessment for further information:
http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guideUG.aspx)
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: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    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:
    40%

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Reassessment in August, in the event of failure in this module and of failure in Part 2 as a whole, or (for compulsory modules only) of failure to qualify in Part 2.
    Coursework for reassessment must be resubmitted by 1PM on the third Friday of August or, if the University is closed on the third Friday of August, at 1PM on the next working day thereafter.

    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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