PSIT 352: History and Politics of Modern Italy: From the Risorgimento to the Present

Instructor: Ph.D., Simon Young
Credits: 4
Course/Lab Fee: Course reader fee announced by the Print Shop
Prerequisite: None
Cross-Listing: History, Italian Studies-Interdisciplinary, Political Science

Course Description

Italy has perhaps the most interesting modern history and politics of any European nation. After the struggles for nationhood and a prolonged and bitter phase of class conflict in the nineteenth century, Italy experimented with totalitarianism and an unusually maverick democratic system in the twentieth century – a democratic system that had to deal with terrorism, regionalism and organized crime. Students will be expected to examine Italian history through contemporary films, poems, novels, and state documents and deploy their knowledge of these works to present their own analysis and interpretation of historical events.


Course Objectives

By the end of the course the student should:

  • Have come into intimate contact with primary historical sources;
  • Have an idea of the general sweep of modern Italian history;
  • Be able to relate modern Italian history to wider themes in western history;
  • Have acquired a sophisticated and nuanced understanding of the different political systems with which Italy has experimented in the modern period.

Course Materials 

Mandatory course reader.