cod. 1006156

Academic year 2018/19
2° year of course - Second semester
Academic discipline
Storia moderna (M-STO/02)
Attività formative affini o integrative
Type of training activity
30 hours
of face-to-face activities
6 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit

Learning objectives

The aim of the seminar is to develop critical thinking and reading. By the end of the course, students will have learned how to assess source material and use it to construct historical arguments. Through the development of critical reading skills, students will learn to take positions on the broad historical issues addressed in the class.
More particularly, during the course, the students learn to:
a) know the recent scientific literature about history of reading and censorship in early modern period
b) understand and analyze essays and sources characterized by stratified levels of meaning and complexity in terms of both formal and cultural/ideological elements
c) research autonomously for further information on the covered topics using both printed and digital bibliography, together with iconographical sources.
d) make informed judgements, based on an accurate decoding of the texts and on the understanding of the historical and cultural context in which they were conceived
e) communicate and discuss contents, analysis and judgments using the appropriate registry and the specific language and terminology of the historical disciplines
f) making the best use of the time available for their presentation


Sound Knowledge of early modern History, critical analysis of the sources, consciousness of the difference between History and Historiography, use of footnotes. Students lacking these knowledge and skills may individually contact the teacher in order to receive guidance on preparatory readings.

Course unit content

This course offers a broad survey on the history of book, including production, circulation and reading. It will take into consideration the cultural impact of the Counter-reformation on reading practices in early modern Italy, focusing on the repressive censorial politics implemented by different ecclesiastical mediators, and its impact on literacy, books' circulation, reading practices, readers's self-representation. In relevant seminars wil be investigated the debate about censorship on the basis of writings by R. Darnton, G. Fragnito, A. Prosperi, E. Tortarolo.

Full programme

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a) Storia della lettura nel mondo occidentale, a cura di G. Cavallo e R. Chartier, Roma-Bari, Laterza
b) Marina Roggero, Le carte piene di sogni. Testi e lettori in età moderna, Bologna, il Mulino

Teaching methods

The course will be structured as a seminar. After some introductory lectures, students will undertake reading and study assignments. The students are required to read and study essays and texts chosen from those presented in class by the teacher. During the initial lectures, the teacher will introduce the historiography and the main elements of the historical and cultural context, and will outline the historical problems involved. In the second part of the course, the students will autonomously read and analyze essays and texts provided by the teacher, which will be presented and discussed in class r. Each student is required to deepen his subject, but all the students attending to the seminar are required to read the essay that wil be discussed. Depending on their number, students will work individually or, preferably, in pairs.

Assessment methods and criteria

Oral by examination in Italian and performances given during the seminars.
Students are required to attend seminars, to participate in class activities, to complete assigned tasks, and to make class presentations. A negative evaluation of the presentation can be improved during the final oral prove. The knowledge and skills verified by the final prove are the successful acquisition of the appropriate register and the specific language of historical studies; an adequate ability to study independently, to process information learned during the course; the attitude to propose individual insights beyond the topics covered in the course the ability to deal with problems related to information retrieval and interpretation of complex texts, the ability to make independent judgments. In order to verify the achievement of such knowledge and skills, oral test questions are designed to assess the knowledge acquired during the course, the ability of independent and original processing of such knowledge, and the ability to apply the acquired skills to the analysis of a wide spectrum of sources and texts. Failure is determined by lack of knowledge and understanding of the basic contents of the course, by the inability of the student to express himself/herself in correct Italian, by the lack of self-preparation and the inability to solve problems related to information retrieval and decoding of complex texts.

Other information

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