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Introduction to Italian Culture (Level 4)


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On our Introduction to Italian Culture (Level 4) short course, we will explore a wide range of Italian writers and film-makers. We will journey through Dante’s 'Inferno' and meet the most seductive sinners from medieval Italy and mythology. We will then study Petrarca, whose love poetry shaped the poetry of the Renaissance. In Term 2 we will examine the modern period in Italian culture. First, we will explore the theatre of the absurd, Pirandello, followed by three pivotal Italian novels, Moravia’s Gli Indifferenti, Di Lampedusa’s Il Gattopardo and Bassani’s Il Giardino dei Finzi-Contini, each of which relates to, and emerges out of, a specific historical context.

We will then examine three famous Italian films by innovative Italian film-makers: De Sica’s Ladri di Biciclette, Fellini’s La Strada and Tornatore’s Cinema Paradiso. Each of these films represents an important strand in Italian film-making and will be studied in relation to its cultural and political context. Our aim will be to engage with and enjoy the rich variety of Italian literary texts and films and to understand how they have shaped Italian culture.

Assessment is via two 500-word essays (20% each) and two 1500-word essays (30% each).

This can be taken as a standalone short course or as a part of:

30 credits at level 4

  • Entry requirements

    Entry requirements

    Most of our short courses have no formal entry requirements and are open to all students.

    This short course has no prerequisites.

    As part of the enrolment process, you may be required to submit a copy of a suitable form of ID.

    International students who wish to come to the UK to study a short course can apply for a Visitor visa. Please note that it is not possible to obtain a Student visa to study a short course.

  • How to apply

    How to apply

    You register directly onto the classes you would like to take. Classes are filled on a first-come, first-served basis - so apply early. If you wish to take more than one short course, you can select each one separately and then register onto them together via our online application portal. There is usually no formal selection process, although some modules may have prerequisites and/or other requirements, which will be specified where relevant.