IT3AF-After the Flood: Italy from 1945-1956

Module Provider: Modern Languages
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Level:6
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring term module
Pre-requisites:
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Co-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2014/5

Module Convenor: Dr Charles Leavitt

Email: c.l.leavitt@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:
This module aims to provide students with an understanding of Italian literature and film, as well as the cultural and political debates in which they were situated, from 1945 to 1956.

Aims:
This module aims to provide students with an understanding of Italian literature and film, as well as the cultural and political debates in which they were situated, from 1945 to 1956. Exploring this key period in modern Italian history – a period celebrated both for cinematic Neorealism, “the via maestra of Italian film,” and for the consummation of “the hegemony of the novel” – will allow students to engage with many of the most significant artistic and social developments of twentieth-century Italy. Students will pursue a critical analysis of Italian novels, short stories, poems, essays, and films, constructing (and challenging) narratives of Italian cultural history in the first decade after the Second World War.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module it is expected that students will be able to:
-discuss the cultural, political, and historical factors that shaped Italy after the Second World War;
-demonstrate a critical understanding of the cultural debates of the 1940s and 1950s;
-demonstrate an ability to bring those debates to bear on post-war Italian cinema and literature;
-analyse the treatment of key themes expressed in the works studied;
-analyse the key technical, stylistic, and linguistic developments of the post-war period;
-research, organize, and articulate a rigorous scholarly argument in written form.

Additional outcomes:
The module also aims to encourage students to:
-develop their oral and visual presentation and their effectiveness in individual and collaborative research;
-improve their grasp of the Italian language;
-make good use of appropriate reference materials in print and online

Outline content:
In the first teaching term we will explore reflections on Italy's war-time destruction and post-war reconstruction in the work of artists and intellectuals including Giorgio Bassani, Giacomo Debenedetti, Natalia Ginzburg, and Alberto Moravia. We will also consider their cinematic depictions in the work of such filmmakers as Vittorio De Sica, Alberto Lattuada, Carlo Lizzani, and Roberto Rossellini. Themes will include the cultural responses to the German and American occupations, Fascist racial persecution and its opposition, the anti-Fascist Resistance, and the attempt to create a "new culture" in Italy after the war. In the second teaching term, we will consider the ongoing challenges to Italy's cultural reconstruction as reflected in the work of authors including Cesare Pavese and Elio Vittorini. Alongside these texts, we will consider films by, among others, Giuseppe De Santis, Aldo Vergano, and Luchino Visconti. Themes will include the cultural legacies of Fascism and the Resistance, Italian colonialism and post-colonialism, and Italian nationalism and internationalism.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
The module will be taught through a combination of lectures and seminar discussions for which students will carry out preparatory reading. Students will also be invited to prepare presentations, which might take the form either of a student-led seminar or a poster (or other visual presentation).

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 14 14
Seminars 8 8
Guided independent study 78 78
       
Total hours by term 100.00 100.00
       
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 40
Written assignment including essay 40
Oral assessment and presentation 20

Other information on summative assessment:
Throughout the year, students will conduct investigations of the major post-war Italian cultural journals and will prepare a presentation of their findings (20% of final assessment). Students will also write one summative essay of 4,000 words on a topic chosen in consultation with the module convenor (40% of final assessment). At the completion of the module, students will take a final 2-hour examination (40% of final assessment).

Formative assessment methods:
Submission of one formative assignment is required.

Penalties for late submission:

10%
The Module Convener 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:
    2 hours

    Requirements for a pass:
    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.
    Students are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. Students 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).

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Reassessment in August, in the event of failure in this module and of failure in the degree as a whole. 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.

    Last updated: 8 October 2014

    Things to do now