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ITALIAN 3X03 ItalyToday(InEngl)

Academic Year: Winter 2017

Term: Winter

Day/Evening: E

Instructor: Dr. Wendy D'Angelo


Office: Togo Salmon Hall 504

Phone: 905-525-9140 x 24780

Office Hours: After class or email for appointment.

Course Objectives:

This course provides students with an overview of recent Italian history (largely post-1945) from a cultural studies perspective. Particular attention will be given to the understanding of Italy as a plural culture, the North/South relationship, regional differences and inequalities, the development of consumption after the economic boom, gender relations and the family, immigration/emigration, the mafia and political corruption. 

Students will learn about topics through: lectures, academic articles, news articles, documentaries, film and music. Each class will consist of: a) lecture; b) film viewing; c) short pair presentations (presentations will begin on Monday February 6th). Guided study questions are provided to students in each lecture and students are expected to read articles indicated on the syllabus before each class. All films and music studied are in the Italian language but are subtitled in/translated into English. Knowledge of the Italian language is not required.

Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

Forgacs, David & Robert Lumley Italian Cultural Studies: An Introduction. London: Oxford UP, 1996.

Italy Today [Custom Courseware] (available through Titles Bookstore)

NB: Films shown in lecture will be placed on reserve in Mills after viewing

Method of Assessment:

Midterm Exam: 40% (online through Avenue: Monday February 27th)

Final Exam: 40% (online through Avenue: Monday April 3rd)

Group Presentation and Reflection Paper: 20% (In class/ Students will sign up for a presentation date)

Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:

Time extensions are provided only to students with documentation from SAS. This documentation must be presented to the instructor from SAS at the start of term. To avoid penalties, there will be one cumulative make up exam (a two hour written and supervised exam) given at year end (date and location: TBA) to count toward any missed/late assignments (midterm exam/presentation). Appropriate documentation must be submitted to and approved by your faculty (MSAF/advanced notice of religious observance) in order to write the make up exam and have it count towards any missed/late work.

Please Note the Following Policies and Statements:

Academic Integrity

You are expected to exhibit honesty and use ethical behaviour in all aspects of the learning process. Academic credentials you earn are rooted in principles of honesty and academic integrity. It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty.

Academic dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic credit or advantage. This behaviour can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: "Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty"), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university. For information on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at

The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:

  • plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
  • improper collaboration in group work.
  • copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.

Authenticity / Plagiarism Detection

Some courses may use a web-based service ( to reveal authenticity and ownership of student submitted work. For courses using such software, students will be expected to submit their work electronically either directly to or via Avenue to Learn (A2L) plagiarism detection (a service supported by so it can be checked for academic dishonesty.

Students who do not wish to submit their work through A2L and/or must still submit an electronic and/or hardcopy to the instructor. No penalty will be assigned to a student who does not submit work to or A2L. All submitted work is subject to normal verification that standards of academic integrity have been upheld (e.g., on-line search, other software, etc.). To see the Policy, please go to

Courses with an On-Line Element

Some courses use on-line elements (e.g. e-mail, Avenue to Learn (A2L), LearnLink, web pages, capa, Moodle, ThinkingCap, etc.). Students should be aware that, when they access the electronic components of a course using these elements, private information such as first and last names, user names for the McMaster e-mail accounts, and program affiliation may become apparent to all other students in the same course. The available information is dependent on the technology used. Continuation in a course that uses on-line elements will be deemed consent to this disclosure. If you have any questions or concerns about such disclosure please discuss this with the course instructor.

Online Proctoring

Some courses may use online proctoring software for tests and exams. This software may require students to turn on their video camera, present identification, monitor and record their computer activities, and/or lockdown their browser during tests or exams. This software may be required to be installed before the exam begins.

Conduct Expectations

As a McMaster student, you have the right to experience, and the responsibility to demonstrate, respectful and dignified interactions within all of our living, learning and working communities. These expectations are described in the Code of Student Rights & Responsibilities (the "Code"). All students share the responsibility of maintaining a positive environment for the academic and personal growth of all McMaster community members, whether in person or online.

It is essential that students be mindful of their interactions online, as the Code remains in effect in virtual learning environments. The Code applies to any interactions that adversely affect, disrupt, or interfere with reasonable participation in University activities. Student disruptions or behaviours that interfere with university functions on online platforms (e.g. use of Avenue 2 Learn, WebEx or Zoom for delivery), will be taken very seriously and will be investigated. Outcomes may include restriction or removal of the involved students' access to these platforms.

Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities

Students with disabilities who require academic accommodation must contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) at 905-525-9140 ext. 28652 or e-mail to make arrangements with a Program Coordinator. For further information, consult McMaster University’s Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities policy.

Email correspondence policy

It is the policy of the Faculty of Humanities that all email communication sent from students to instructors (including TAs), and from students to staff, must originate from each student’s own McMaster University email account. This policy protects confidentiality and confirms the identity of the student.  Instructors will delete emails that do not originate from a McMaster email account.

Modification of course outlines

The University reserves the right to change dates and/or deadlines etc. for any or all courses in the case of an emergency situation or labour disruption or civil unrest/disobedience, etc. If a modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with an explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. Any significant changes should be made in consultation with the Department Chair.

Request for Relief for Missed Academic Term Work
McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF)

In the event of an absence for medical or other reasons, students should review and follow the Academic Regulation in the Undergraduate Calendar "Requests for Relief for Missed Academic Term Work".

Academic Accommodation for Religious, Indigenous and Spiritual Observances (RISO)

Students requiring academic accommodation based on religious, indigenous or spiritual observances should follow the procedures set out in the RISO policy. Students should submit their request to their Faculty Office normally within 10 working days of the beginning of term in which they anticipate a need for accommodation or to the Registrar's Office prior to their examinations. Students should also contact their instructors as soon as possible to make alternative arrangements for classes, assignments, and tests.

Copyright and Recording

Students are advised that lectures, demonstrations, performances, and any other course material provided by an instructor include copyright protected works. The Copyright Act and copyright law protect every original literary, dramatic, musical and artistic work, including lectures by University instructors.

The recording of lectures, tutorials, or other methods of instruction may occur during a course. Recording may be done by either the instructor for the purpose of authorized distribution, or by a student for the purpose of personal study. Students should be aware that their voice and/or image may be recorded by others during the class. Please speak with the instructor if this is a concern for you.

Extreme Circumstances

The University reserves the right to change the dates and deadlines for any or all courses in extreme circumstances (e.g., severe weather, labour disruptions, etc.). Changes will be communicated through regular McMaster communication channels, such as McMaster Daily News, A2L and/or McMaster email.

Topics and Readings:

WEEK 1 -  Monday January 9

Divided Italies and Post-war Italy (WWII) 

READINGS: p. 88 Linguistic Variety and Linguistic Minorities (Text: Forgacs and Lumley eds.);  p. 19 Imagined Italies (Text: Forgacs and Lumley eds.); p. 72  Images of     the South (Text: Forgacs and Lumley eds.); p.72-75 The Republic (Courseware); p. 248  Postwar Narrative: An Alternate Account (Text: Forgacs and Lumley eds.);  p. 261 Analysis: Ladri di biciclette (Text: Forgacs and Lumley eds.)

FILM VIEWING: Ladri di biciclette


WEEK 2  - Monday January 16

The Economic Miracle and Social Class

READINGS: p.13-23 Italian Society Transformed (Courseware); Catch up on readings from Week One

FILM VIEWING: La dolce vita


WEEK 3 -  Monday January 23

Consumption and Mass Culture/ The Rural Exodus

READINGS: p. 273 Cultural Consumption, 1940s to 1990s (Text: Forgacs and  Lumley eds.); p. 291 Cultural Policy (Text: Forgacs and Lumley eds.); p. 233 Television and Its Critics (Text: Forgacs and Lumley eds.)

FILM VIEWING: Pane e cioccolata        


WEEK 4 -  Monday January 30

Gender Relations and Family

READINGS: p. 144 Gender Relations (Text: Forgacs and Lumley eds.);

 p.1 Women, Families, Feminism and Youth (Courseware) p. 29-35 (Courseware); p.23-26 Italian Society Transformed (Courseware)

FILM VIEWING: Divorzio all’italiana    

PRESENTATIONS (Ladri di biciclette)


WEEK 5  - Monday February 6

The Student Revolt/The Years of Lead 

READINGS: p.75-92 The Republic (Courseware) p.107 Political Identities (Text: Forgacs and Lumley eds.); Refer to: p.21-27 Italian Society Transformed (Courseware)                                                           

FILM VIEWING: I cento passi            

PRESENTATIONS (La dolce vita)


WEEK 6 -  Monday February 13

Mafia and Corruption

READINGS: p.29 Così fan tutti or Everyone’s on the Take (Courseware); p.47 Corruption and The Mafia (Courseware); Characters and Events in ‘Il Divo” (Avenue to Learn)

FILM VIEWING: Il Divo            

PRESENTATIONS (Pane e cioccolata and Divorzio all’italiana)    


WEEK  7 -  Monday February 20  READING WEEK


WEEK 8 -   Monday February 27  



WEEK 9 -  Monday March 6  

The Birth of the Second Republic (1992)/ The Berlusconi Years

READINGS: p.93 Epilogue: From the First to the Second Republic: Italy 1980-2001 (Courseware)

FILM VIEWING:  Il Caimano          

PRESENTATIONS (I cento passi)


WEEK 10  - Monday March 13 

The Politics of Corruption and EcoMafia

READINGS: p. 34 Comparing Italy: The Case of Corruption (Text: Forgacs and Lumley eds.); Ecomafia (Articles provided on Avenue)

FILM VIEWING: Gomorra         



WEEK 11 - Monday March 20 

Otherness in Italy

READINGS: p. 160 Immigration and Social Identities (Text: Forgacs and Lumley eds.)

FILM VIEWING: Lacreme Napulitane/Mare Nostro (links provided to short films)



WEEK 12 -  Monday March 27

Song as Social Protest/San Remo Music Festival

READINGS: p. 327 Popular Song and Musical Cultures (Text: Forgacs and Lumley eds.); Various musical scores in translation (available on Avenue to Learn)

NO FILM  VIEWING (We will listen to and discuss some popular music.)            

PRESENTATIONS  (Il Caimano and Gomorra)


WEEK 13 -  Monday April 3  FINAL EXAM: ONLINE


Other Course Information:

The instructor reserves the right to alter the contents of this document.