Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Voci al femminile: Protagoniste dell’industria culturale italiana dall’Ottocento ai giorni nostri

LEVEL 01 - Year 1 in Modular Undergraduate Course



DESCRIPTION In the introductory part of the study-unit, the theoretical precepts of mass society, culture industry, gender and women’s studies will be examined within the broader framework of literary, sociological and also film-related criticism. This will be followed by an analysis of a selected number of literary works (novels, short stories, journalism, poetry) by some of the most influential Italian women writers between the 19th Century and the present day. The authors that will be studied may include Marchesa Colombi, Carolina Invernizio, Matilde Serao, Sibilla Aleramo, Dacia Maraini, Oriana Fallaci, Nicoletta Vallorani, Alda Merini and Maria Corti. Reference will be made to female screenwriters and documentarists such as Suso Cecchi D’Amico, Cecilia Mangini, Cristina Comencini, Francesca Archibugi, and Costanza Quatriglio. The cultural production under consideration will be analysed in the light of the key historical, social and political events which exerted a strong influence on its reception and evolution. Throughout the approach will be comparative and interdisciplinary in nature. The study-unit will also survey the social and political militancy of counterculture-oriented activist women and the impact of non-profit feminist organisations on Italian culture and media.

Study-Unit Aims:

- To introduce students to the basic notions of mass society, culture industry, gender and women’s studies through a theoretical overview, ranging from their inception to their development in contemporary culture (not only the Italian one);
- To introduce students to some of the most influential women writers of Italian literary fiction;
- To discuss the ongoing debate on the social role of women’s writing and activism in Italian culture from the late 19th century till the present.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding
By the end of the study-unit the student will:

- be able to discuss the notions of culture industry, gender and feminism in relation to literature, documentaries, and scriptwriting in general;
- be able to critically appraise literary works by female authors;
- be able to discuss women’s writing as a cultural phenomenon but also in relationship with broader historical and political events;
- have an in-depth knowledge of the tools and techniques of the language used in literary works by women writers.

2. Skills
By the end of the study-unit the student will:

- enhance his/her skills in textual analysis via an understanding of the key concepts and the terminology of literary criticism related to women’s writing;
- be capable of appraising filmic products by female directors and scriptwriters in connection with their peculiar sociocultural and political context;
- be able to develop the skills which are necessary for the analysis of literary texts by female writers;
- be able to transfer the ability of analysing the cultural and ideological ramifications in short stories, novels, poetry and journalism written by women to the analysis of language and style in literature in general.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

- Bianca R. Gelli (a cura di), Voci di donne. Discorsi sul genere, Lecce, Piero Manni, 2002.
- Maria Serena Sapegno (a cura di), Identità e differenze. Introduzione agli studi delle donne e di genere, Milano-Roma, Mondadori Università-Sapienza Università, 2011.
- Virginia Cox e Chiara Ferrari (a cura di), Verso una storia di genere della letteratura italiana. Percorsi critici e gender studies, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2012.
- Valeria Ribeiro Corossacz e Alessandra Gribaldo (a cura di), La produzione del genere. Ricerche etnografiche sul femminile e sul maschile, Verona, Ombre Corte, 2010.
- Matteo Guarnaccia, Underground italiana. Gli anni gioiosamente ribelli della controcultura, Milano, ShaKe, 2011.
- Silvia Casilio, Una generazione d’emergenza. L’Italia della controcultura (1965-1969), Firenze, Le Monnier, 2013.
- Antonia Arslan, Dame, galline e regine. La scrittura femminile italiana fra ‘800 e ‘900, Milano, Guerini Studio, 1998.
- Gisella Padovani e Rita Verdirame (a cura di), Tra letti e salotti. Norma e trasgressione nella narrativa femminile tra Otto e Novecento, Palermo, Sellerio, 2001.
- Riccardo Reim (a cura di), Donna in breve. Storie e destini femminili in 150 anni di novellistica italiana d’autrice, Roma, Castelvecchi, 2012.

A reading pack with a selection of short stories, novel excerpts, poems, leading articles as well as a series of theoretical and critical readings will be made available.

ADDITIONAL NOTES Pre-requisite Qualifications: At least an Intermediate Level in Italian or permission from lecturer holding the study-unit.


Assessment Component/s Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment Yes 50%
Assignment Yes 50%

LECTURER/S Irene Incarico

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the study-unit description above applies to the academic year 2017/8, if study-unit is available during this academic year, and may be subject to change in subsequent years.