This is most recent syllabus. Your final syllabus will be given during your first day of class
Important Note: This course is cross-listed as PSCI 410. This course was formerly HSAR 410.
During the fascist period (1922-1943) the use of art as a means of political propaganda reached its peak. This course explores visual manifestations of Fascist propaganda and how they have shaped Italian culture throughout 20th century. We will explore the topic in two ways: first, through the analysis of Fascist original productions in the field of art and visual communication (architecture, visual arts, design) and second, through the examination of how famous periods or artists of the past were promoted and glorified (for example, the Roman age and the Renaissance, Michelangelo, Raphael, etc.). Common to both is the celebration of the Italian Genius, defined by a combination of intellectual ability and physical beauty. The course will include class lectures, field trips and onsite visits. We will study original documents along with documentaries, films and photographs. The last part of the course will be devoted to the present. How is the Italian Genius promoted today and does it still play a role in political identity and propaganda?
Classroom lectures will focus on:
- Historical overview about early 20th century Italy and Europe;
- History of the Fascist Italy in all its social implications;
- Study of peculiar social aspects: sense of belonging, national identity.
Field visits will focus on understanding sites and specific buildings as results of social changes and interpreting the images on the basis of ideology, politics, and sociology.
Any lecture or field visit will always be structured as an interdisciplinary analysis. The major disciplines involved will be: history, art, archaeology, architecture, music, cinema, and photography.
The major purpose of the course is to provide you with the ability to unveil the hidden layers of ideology, present in any expression of a mass communication, be it totalitarian or democratic.
You will be able to:
- Articulate a sophisticated and in-depth understanding of Fascist history, society, and culture;
- Demonstrate knowledge of the main visual, cultural, and artistic expressions of Fascist propaganda;
- Analyze different types of documents: paintings, sculptures, architectures, movies.
Mandatory course reader