Second year modules 

Our programme for the second year will enable you to substantially improve your level of language, and will also allow you to begin to follow your own interests in Italian culture. See below for the list of options that we usually offer.

Intermediate Language (core, 20 credits)

This Intermediate level language course is designed to enable students who have followed the beginners’ course in Year 1 to enhance their language skills and develop their ability to speak and write fluently in Italian. The course is based on the most advanced pedagogical research and makes regular use of the excellent IT and e-learning facilities offered by the University. There are four contact hours per week. The course is assessed by a 50-minute written test, at the end of semester 1, counting 20% towards the modules mark; by an aural test held (20%), an oral examination (20%) and a two-hour written examination (40%) in May/June.

Advanced Language (core, 20 credits)

This advanced language course is designed to enable students, who have followed the advanced course in Year 1 to make further progress in their language skills and refine their ability to speak and write fluently in Italian. The course is based on the most advanced pedagogical research and makes regular use of the excellent IT and e-learning facilities offered by the University. There are three contact hours per week. The course is assessed by a 50-minute written test, at the end of semester 1, counting 20% towards the modules mark; by an aural test held ( 20%), an oral examination (20%) and a two-hour written examination (40%) in May/June.

Dante’s Comedy and its World (option, 10 credits)

This module will guide you through the fascination of Dante's own world, a world that encompasses personal experience, historical analysis, classical traditions and Christian faith in the highest synthesis ever attempted in Western Literature. This module is delivered through one lecture and one seminar every week, and assessed by oral presentations (for peer assessment only), one response paper, and two essays.

Introduction to Summarising and Translating (option, 20 credits)

In the first Semester this course will introduce students to the notion of text and to the idea that texts can be categorised according to purpose, content, style, etc. Students analyse and compare different types texts in English and Italian and learn to discriminate between essential and accessory elements and characteristics. In the light of this analysis, students will begin to practise the technique of summarising English texts into Italian. The texts chosen will be of a suitable level of difficulty and will offer the opportunity for further linguistic and stylistic improvement in Italian.

In the second Semester, students will be introduced to the notion of equivalence in translation, in its various aspects (at word level, at grammatical, lexical, syntactical, pragmatical level, etc.) This notion will be exemplified through the observation and analysis of suitable texts. Students will practise such notions in the translation into English of suitably challenging Italian texts. There are two contact hours per week. The course is assessed by a two-hour written examination at the end of semester 1 (50% of the module mark) and by a two-hour written examination at the end of semester 2 (50%).

The Italian Renaissance in Word and Image (option, 10 credits)

This module introduces life, literature and visual culture in three of the leading cities of Renaissance Italy: Urbino, Ferrara and Florence.* After a general introduction to these renowned centres of cultural achievement, we focus on texts and works of art by leading Renaissance protagonists like Botticelli, Machiavelli, Castiglione, Raphael and Ariosto. Through close reading and formal analysis, we examine them in their own right, looking at the intellectual, ideological and aesthetic contexts that informed them and paying particular attention to their treatment of the themes of love, friendship, beauty and power. We also view them in relation to each other in an attempt to engage with the interdisciplinary dialogue that characterised the period as one of powerful friendships and rivalry.

The Twentieth Century in Italian Film (option, 10 credits)

This module, link to Giallo e Nero: Twentieth-Century Italian Crime Fiction, explores Twentith-century Italian cinema within a socio-political context, taking account of major events and developments, like the First World War, Fascism, Italian terrorism and Berlusconi’s government. You will explore developments in filmic medium, style and genre, touching on major highpoints for the cinema industry: the golden age of silent cinema (Cabiria); neorealism (Rossellini; De Santis); international auteur cinema of the 60s and 70s (Fellini, Antonioni, Bertolucci); contemporary filmmakers (Nanni Moretti, Bellocchio). There are two contact hours per week. You will be asked to contribute to seminars by making presentations (for formative assessment), and you will write an assessed essay.

Giallo e Nero: Twentieth-Century Italian Crime Fiction (option, 10 credits)

This 10-credit module, linked to ‘The Twentieth Century in Italian Film’ will explore the development of Italian detective and crime fiction in the twentieth century, focusing on the characteristics of the Italian ‘giallo’ and ‘romanzo nero’ or noir. We will analyse in detail three novels which engage with questions of mafia corruption in Sicily, violence against women in Rome, and Bologna’s postpunk subculture. The module will set these novels in their literary, socio-cultural and political contexts, making reference to the history of mafia activity, the feminist movement, and to questions of ethics and political commitment in postwar and contemporary literature and society. We will consider what role detective and crime fiction has played, and can play in denouncing crime and injustice. The assessment for this module is an essay.

Studies in Contemporary Italy

This module looks back at Italy’s recent history, in order to understand some of the contradictions that face the country today.  The principal topics to be covered through lectures, videos, guided reading and tutorial discussion include:

  1. Italian unification and the period leading to WWI;
  2. WWI, the emergence of Fascism and its fall;
  3. The role of Christian Democracy,  the Communist Party and the Catholic Church in Italy after 1945;
  4. The post-war history of the Italian political system;
  5. Social opposition in the 1960s and 1970s and the challenge of militants groups to the state;
  6. The emergence of new parties after 1989 and the crisis of the so-called ‘First Republic’;
  7. The populist right in government at the beginning of the new century.

The course is assessed via a 2000-word essay (60%) and an oral presentation (40%).