ITAL4102 - Nation, Culture and Society

Value: 0.5 course units
Prof John Dickie
Teaching structure:
one unseen three-hour written examination (100%).

Module Description:

The module’s central themes are national identity and nation-building in Italy between Unification and the First World War. The first seminars are taken up by a theoretical and historical discussion of nations and nationalism, and by preparatory study of the state of Italian society in 1860. The main body of the module comprises topics that may include the following: education and children’s literature; crime and criminal anthropology; political culture; feminism; opera; patriotic monuments; Italian cuisine; Futurism; the South; the Giolittian state. A representative work is studied for each topic, along with a wide range of historical and theoretical material. Students are therefore expected to know the set works in detail, to engage with new theoretical concepts, and to develop a good understanding of the central questions related to the issue of national identity in Liberal Italy.

Preparatory Reading and Set Texts:

  • C. Duggan, The Force of Destiny, London, 2007
  • A.M. Banti, Sublime madre nostra. La nazione italiana dal Risorgimento al fascismo, Rome, 2011
  • J. Dickie, ‘Imagined Italies’, in D. Forgacs and R. Lumley (eds), Italian Cultural Studies, Oxford, 1996
  • E. De Amicis, Cuore, (any edition)
  • S. Aleramo, Una donna, Milan, 1978
  • B. Tobia, L’Altare della patria, Bologna, 1998
  • P. Artusi, La scienza in cucina e l’arte di mangiar bene, Turin, 2007 (get the Einaudi edition with the introduction by Piero Camporesi).