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2021/22 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

ITAL1025 Exploring Italy: Introduction to Italian Culture and Society (Beginners)

20 creditsClass Size: 35

Module manager: Dr Gigliola Sulis

Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 (Sep to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2021/22

This module is mutually exclusive with

ITAL1020Exploring Italy: Introduction to Italian Culture and Society

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

Few countries can boast as rich and diversified a history, culture and society as Italy. Its heritage was built and consolidated over centuries of national fragmentation, which came to a close only with the Unification in the 19th century. Still today Italy is characterised by linguistic diversity, different artistic and cultural traditions, and by loyalties to regional languages and cultures. By attending this module, you will enter a journey of discovery of Italian culture and society from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance, and from modern to contemporary times. You will learn to analyse masterpieces of Italian art and literature, as well as popular texts. Thanks to a selective overview of key moments and texts, this module represents the essential foundation stage of your studies in Italian at Leeds: it allows you to have a broad understanding of the nation’s socio-historical and cultural dynamics, on the basis of which you will be able to build your independent studies in future years.


This module aims to:
- Introduce students to key approaches, themes and developments in Italian Studies
- Develop students’ awareness of Italian composite history, culture and society throughout the centuries (from the Middle Ages to our times, but with a focus on key periods)
- Present students with different objects of analysis and their respective methodologies (e.g. literature, arts, cinema, language, history);
- Encourage students to engage actively with scholarship in the field of Italian Studies and to develop an understanding of the key principles of academic research
- Develop students’ ability to create an argument and to present it professionally in oral and written form.

Learning outcomes
By the end this module, students should be able to demonstrate:
- Knowledge of key developments in Italian history, culture and society from the Middle Ages to the 21st century
- Understanding of key approaches, concepts and themes in Italian Studies
- An ability to identify, analyse and evaluate arguments in scholarly sources and develop their own position in response
- An ability to analyse diverse forms of discourse
- In-depth knowledge of a number of Italian cultural texts
- Ability to acquire quantities of complex information of diverse kinds in a structured and systematic way.

Skills outcomes
- to demonstrate knowledge of and engage critically with Italian culture, history and society
- to have an understanding of Italian Studies as a field of study
- to critically analyse a variety of different primary and secondary texts
- to communicate ideas effectively in speaking and writing


The module covers medieval and Renaissance Italy as well as modern and contemporary Italy. After a socio-historical introduction, for each period taught, selected a number of key texts will be presented (including literature, films, visual arts); they will be analysed with different methodologies, borrowed from historical and social studies, history of the language/sociolinguistics, art history, literary studies, film studies.

Teaching methods

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours170.00
Total Contact hours30.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

- Preparation for lectures (3.5 hours per taught week, 70 hours)
- Preparation for seminars (2 hours per week in alternate week, 20 hours)
- Completion of non-assessed formative assignments (= blog entries) (20 hours)
- Preparation for sem1 exam (30 hours)
- Preparation for sem2 essay (30 hours)

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Students’ progress will be monitored via the entries they will post in the module blog at regular intervals (before fortnightly seminars) and via class discussion, especially during seminars.

Methods of assessment

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay1500 words50.00
Assignment1000 word commentary50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Resit will be with another essay in August (a different title from the same list of options).

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 09/09/2021


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