Gwybodaeth Modiwlau

Module Identifier
Module Title
The Making of Italy
Academic Year
Semester 2
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminar 2 x 1 Hour Seminars
Lecture 10 x 1 Hour Lectures


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Continuous Assessment: 2 x Assessed essays (1500 words each)  100%
Supplementary Assessment Resubmit failed elements and/or make good any missing elements  100%

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module successful students will be able to outline and critically analyse:

1. the dynamic forces that shaped Italy during the reconstruction years immediately after World War II, including the impact of regionalism in its widest sense.

2. the cultural context and main themes of Dante's Inferno and Machiavelli's The Prince and their contribution to the cultural heritage of Italy including these authors' critique of factionalism and regionalism.

3. the basic principles behind Renaissance art 1300 - 1550, its humanist characteristics and the part visual culture played in the creation of regional identity.

4. the relationships between the earlier fragmentation and divisions and their impact on contemporary Italy.

The module aims to introduce the students to contemporary Italy and in particular the historical and cultural roots of fragmentation, division and regionalism. These themes are addressed through selected cultural topics including Dante, Machiavelli and Italian Late Medieval and Renaissance art.

The module offers students opportunities to develop critical reading skills, and an overview of socio-political issues relevant to contemporary Italy.


The aim of this module is to offer Part 1 students an introduction to the social and cultural history of Italy and to provide a framework for further study. The case studies are drawn from Italian literature, art and politics and focus on figures who have had a major impact on European culture. Italian continues to be part of the R900 European Languages and Q990 Romance Languages degree schemes and to attract first-year students (in particular) who wish to take it as a 'third' language. For recruitment as well as academic reasons, the Department wishes to offer this module in addition to the strictly language work at Part One. It also provides a further 10-credit module which students not studying Italian (but interested in Italy) could follow (within but also outside the Department).

Brief description

Unity and fragmentation, vitality and stagnation, individualism and conformism, these are some of the forces that explain Italy's chequered history through the ages. The course will consider these aspects of the cultural heritage of Italy highlighting the significant contribution of the regions, selected individuals and events to modern society. The course may be taken by both Beginners and Advanced students of Italian.


Week 1 - Introduction - History and Geography
Week 2 - Italy post 1945: political and social fragmentation
Week 3 - Italy on the road to Mammon
Week 4 - The case of Dante Alighieri
Week 5 - Dante: Hell and Paradise
Week 6 - Florence v Siena (competition in early Renaissance art)
Week 7 - Machiavelli: the individual and the State
Week 8 - Machiavelli's dreams of unity
Week 9 - Visual culture in Renaissance courts and city states
Week 10 - A heritage of disunity?

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number To a smaller extent evaluation of statistical data
Communication Oral communication in class discussion and written communication in assessed work
Improving own Learning and Performance Assessment of own progress week by week through increased understanding of the issues raised and skills developed
Information Technology Use of on-line journals and source collection; delivery of course material via Blackboard
Personal Development and Career planning Acquisition of transferable skills through independent learning
Problem solving Analysis and critical skills developed in class discussion and written assessment
Research skills Preparation of written assessment and for seminars and lectures
Subject Specific Skills Critical analysis and its application to a range of different disciplines and fields of study
Team work Class discussion in lectures and seminars


This module is at CQFW Level 4