cod. 13003

Academic year 2023/24
2° year of course - First semester
Academic discipline
Storia contemporanea (M-STO/04)
Formazione interdisciplinare
Type of training activity
60 hours
of face-to-face activities
10 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit

Learning objectives

Knowledge and understanding
The student will develop basic knowledge in the notions and fundamental questions of contemporary history, in particular in the link of political, social, cultural and economic aspects. Furthermore, specific attention will be on the history of Republican Italy, to understand the role of political parties and the response of civil society.

Applying knowledge and understanding.
The student should be able to support and espose clearly, through appropriate arguments, the knowledge developed in the course on complex issues of contemporary history.

Making judgements
The student should be able to acquire the critical knowledge necessary to interpret the main and most relevant issues. During the exam, they will present with a correct argument.

Communication skills
The student is expected to communicate their own thoughts, through appropriate language, on issues of contemporary history analyzed in the course.

Learning skills
The student should be able to acquire skills, through an appropriate method of study, to undertake complex issues of contemporary history, in the link of political, social, cultural and economic aspects.



Course unit content

After an introduction of a historiographic and methodological nature, the course intends to present a summary of the main problems and the most relevant processes of the contemporary age, from 1848 revolutions to the end of the Cold War. The reconstruction of the history of republican Italy will follow. It will be interpreted in political and institutional aspects with links on a social, cultural and economic level. Aldo Moro, as a mongraphic part, will be the prism to read the history of republican Italy.

Full programme

The course will be divided into four parts.
In the first part, focused on the nineteenth century, the following topics will be addressed:
- The Concert of Europe and the crises after Congress of Vienna
- The revolutionary movements of 1848
- The Italian and German unification
- The age of imperialisms
- The Second industrial revolution and the Mass Society

In the second part, focused on the twentieth century, the following topics will be addressed:
- Europe in the early 1900s
- The Great War
- The age of totalitarianisms
- The Second World War and the Shoah
- The Cold War
- The european integration
- The Sixties and the Seventies
- The end of the bipolar system

In the third part, focused on the history of Republican Italy, the following topics will be addressed:
- The origins of the Italian Republic
- The age of centrismo
- The centro-sinistra
- The Seventies
- The Pentapartito
- The crisis of the Republic

In the fourth part monographic, focused on Aldo Moro as a prism to read the history of Republican Italy, the following topics will be addressed:
- From war to democracy building
- In the new State
- The maker of “centro-sinistra”
- The “solidarietà nazionale”
- The death of Moro: epitaph of the Republic?


1) Alfredo Canavero, Storia contemporanea, Pearson, Milano 2019 (except chapters 1, 2, 23, 27 e 28);
2) G. Vecchio - P. Trionfini, Storia dell’Italia repubblicana (1946-2018), Monduzzi, Milano 2019 (capitoli 1, 2, 3, 4);
3) A volume of your choice: Guido Formigoni, Aldo Moro. Lo statista e il suo dramma, Il Mulino, Bologna 2016 or Massimo Mastrogregori, Moro, Salerno Editrice, Roma 2016.

Teaching methods

The teaching consists of lectures, presented with Power Point slides. Slides presented in class will be posted online at the end of each part. Slides do not replace the study of the recommended readings. Students will be involved in the activities through questions and discussions.

Assessment methods and criteria

The oral exam consists of a verification of the basic knowledge of the contemporary history. The questions (at least three, one for each volume in the bibliography) will be both general and specific in order to respond to the training objectives indicated. An insufficiency assessment is determined by the lack of knowledge of the minimum contents of the course; the inability to express themselves adequately to the topic; from the lack of autonomous preparation; moreover, by the inadequacy to formulate judgments independently.
A sufficient evaluation (18-23 / 30) is determined by an acceptable level of performance by the student of the evaluation indicators listed above.
The average scores (24-27 / 30) are assigned to the student who proves to have a more than sufficient (24-25 / 30) or good (26-27 / 30) level of the assessment indicators listed above.
The highest scores (from 28/30 to 30/30 with honors) are awarded on the basis of the demonstration of an excellent to excellent level of the evaluation indicators listed above.

Other information

The exam program is the same for all students, without difference between attending and non-attending students. The Erasmus students have to contact the professor at the beginning of the course. Students of previous academic years, with the excepition of agreements with the teacher, must take the program of their year.