Modern and Contemporary Italian Civilization and Culture: WLIT.3000 – 201


PROFESSOR: Dr. Fabiana Viglione
OFFICE: Coburn 102 South Campus

OFFICE HOURS: Mon and Wed 2:30-4:30pm or by appointment


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image contemp italian

recruitng poster in Italian
Italian text of the propaganda leaflet written by Ugo Ojetti that Italian poet Gabriele d'Annunzio threw from his airplane during his flight above Vienna. The leaflet, scanned by Emiliano Burzagli, belongs to the private archive of the Burzaghi family, Italy.

Welcome text contemp Italian

Welcome to Professor Viglione's Course,
Modern and Contemporary Italian Culture

The course will provide a comprehensive view of Italian civilization from the Unification to the present. Through readings, films, documentaries, pictures, and paintings, students will gain a critical understanding of many key events that have shaped Italian history, politics, and economy, and will be guided to discover, among others, questions of national identity, language, ethnicity, immigration. 

Links to the films required in this course can be found on the "Films, Images" page of this guide.


We will focus on the transformation of the Italian civilization and culture from the Risorgimento to its present days. By introducing the process of Unification, the Fascist experience, the Second World War and the Resistance, the birth of the Italian Republic, the economic boom, the changes of the Italian society from the eighties to the our present, students will discover the impact that historical and political events have had and have on people’s attitudes and values. The course is not designed to simply provide chronological summaries of main historical and political events, but to offer a variety of approaches to understand modern Italy and its culture. The course aims to examine the following aspects:

• The notion of Italy: geographical spaces; questions of national identity and language;
• The Southern question; North and South; old and new stereotypes;

• Catholic culture and political identities;

• Gender relations;

• Immigrations and Ethnicity;

• The Media: cinema, television, newspaper;

• Design and Fashion.