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German and Italian Fascism: History, Culture and Memory (Level 5)


Module description

In this comparative module we introduce you to Fascism as an ideological phenomenon and the actual structures of these regimes in Germany and Italy. You will also explore cultural responses to these regimes before and after 1945 in German and Italian film and literature.

The module will be taught in English and all course material will be available in English.

Indicative syllabus

  • Introduction: comparing German and Italian Fascism
  • Fascism and propaganda
    • Thomas Mann, Mario the Magician, and Thomas Mann’s BBC broadcasts
    • Fellini (film) and film footage of Mussolini
  • Victims of Fascism
    • W.G. Sebald, The Emigrants, and Ruth Klüger, Landscapes of Memory
    • Primo Levi and The Garden of… (film)
  • Resistance against and complicity with Fascism
    • Marc Rothemund, Sophie Scholl (film), and Cate Shortland, Lore (film)
    • Carlo Levi, Christ Stopped at Eboli, and Rossellini film
  • Fascism and gender
    • Ingeborg Bachmann, Short Stories, and Julia Franck, Blindness of the Heart
    • Natalia Ginzburg, Family Lexicon, and Alberto Moravia, The Conformist

Learning objectives

By the end of this module, you will be able to:

  • interpret and articulate issues arising from the history of Germany and Italy under Fascism
  • appreciate some important literary texts and films set in Fascist Germany or Italy before and after 1945
  • understand the specificities of the two regimes and cultural production under Fascist rule
  • understand how the German and Italian societies coped with the experience of Fascism after 1945
  • critically engage with historical sources, literary texts and films.