The Make-Up: Representations of Gender in Italy - ITAL5760

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Module delivery information

This module is not currently running in 2024 to 2025.


This module introduces students to key concepts in the analysis of social, cultural and artistic representation of gender within the contemporary Italian context. It does so by considering a selection of relevant works from a variety of media, such as, for instance, neorealist and fantastic literature of the post-war years; feminist writings of the 1970s (e.g. Dacia Maraini's novel Donna in Guerra, 1975); contemporary cinema (e.g. Ferzan Ozpetek’s Le fate ignoranti, 2001; Donatella Maiorca’s Viola di mare, 2009). The module takes as its focus the gendered basis of social and political control as evident in constructions of subjectivity and sexuality exercised – for instance – through the media, while also analysing works that present themselves as a reaction to such control.


Contact hours

Total Contact Hours: 20
Private Study Hours: 130
Total Study Hours: 150

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods

• Essay 1 (1,500 words) – 40%
• Essay 2 (1,500 words) – 40%
• Presentation (15 minutes) – 20%

Reassessment methods

• Reassessment Instrument: 100% Coursework

Indicative reading

Indicative Reading List

Bracke, M. (2014), Women and the Reinvention of the Political: Feminism in Italy, 1968-1983, London: Routledge.
Butler, J. (2004), Undoing Gender, London: Routledge.
Guerrina, R. (2014), "(Re)Presenting Women: Gender and the Politics of Sex in Contemporary Italy", Childs, S. and Celis, K. (eds.), Gender, Conservatism and Political Representation, Colchester, United Kingdom: ECPR Press, pp. 161-182.
Pickering-Iazzi, R. (1995), Mothers of Invention: Women, Italian Fascism, and Culture. London: University of Minnesota Press.
Tambo, M. (2014), The Lost Wave: Women and Democracy in Postwar Italy, New York: Oxford University Press.
Wilson, P. (2004), Gender, Family and Sexuality: The Private Sphere in Italy, 1860-1945, London: Palgrave Macmillan.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1 Demonstrate knowledge and critical understanding of Italian culture in relation to the representation of gender diversity and roles, and of the way in which aspects have
developed across the decades;
2 Demonstrate knowledge and critical understanding of Italian society today specifically with regards to gender roles and related issues, and how this is relevant to a critical
understanding of gender roles within the European context;
3 Deploy established Italian cultural studies concepts and techniques to undertake a critical analysis of Italian cultural history;
4 Demonstrate critical knowledge of the main methods of enquiry in gender studies and evaluate critically the appropriateness of different approaches to textual and visual
analysis within the context of Italian cultural studies.

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1 Critically analyse primary materials using established theoretical frameworks and critically relating works to the relevant socio-historical context;
2 Carry out independent and critical analysis on cultural topic presenting it to specialist and non-specialist audiences effectively in various form;
3 Develop critical thinking and collaborative problem-solving skills;
4 Demonstrate critical awareness of the importance of gender-related issues (e.g. gender inequality) as these apply to a variety of contexts;


  1. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  2. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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