History and film

Degree course: 
Corso di First cycle degree in Communication Sciences
Academic year when starting the degree: 
Academic year in which the course will be held: 
Course type: 
Supplementary compulsory subjects
Second semester
Standard lectures hours: 
Detail of lecture’s hours: 
Lesson (72 hours)


Final Examination: 

The final learning exam involves a written test and an oral exam as follows:
• In the written test (2 hours, without the help of notes or books), the student is asked to compose an historical analysis of one of the films scheduled. In addition to the plot of the film, the student will have to demonstrate how to contextualize and interpret the contents of the film historically. The test will be evaluated in 30/30. To be admitted to the oral exam, the student must have reached at least the score of 18/30.
• In the oral exam (after the written exam), the student will be required to demonstrate knowledge and arguments about the texts being planned and to know how to relate these contents to those of the films critically. The test will be evaluated in 30/30.
• The final vote will result from the average between the written test and the oral test. If the average of the two grades does not reach 18/30, the student will be required to repeat both written and oral tests, regardless of the grade obtained in the first.

Voto Finale

Course description and learning objectives

The course aims at investigating the relationship between “traditional” history, film and historical vision.
Through the study of a monographic theme – The Atlantic World from slavery to segregation (sec. XVI-XX) – the course wants to trace the potential of film to narrate the historical past in an effective and meaningful way.
The course is divided into two modules tightly integrated: in the first module historical and historiographical arguments are developed. The second module is focused on the integral vision of the films and their historical and historiographical analysis.
The course aims therefore at making the students able to analyze and evaluate the proposed historical themes and, above all, to compare the different way of making and spreading History.
The expected learning outcomes are:
• Knowledge and understanding of the historical period;
• Ability of arguing the historical and historiographical themes;
• Ability of interpreting the historical and historiographical themes.

Final assessment
The students’ knowledge will be assessed through a final written test followed by an oral talk. Students are required to pass the written test to access the oral part.

The written test lasts 2 hours and consists of writing an historical reviews of one of the films.
The written test mark is calculated in 30ies. Pass mark is 18. If it is less than 18, the test is not passed and students will have to take the written exam again.
For the oral exam students are required to argue and analyse the texts and to critically compare the “traditional History” with the one reconstructed in the movies.
The final mark is calculated in 30ies and it is the average of the written exam mark and the oral exam mar. Pass mark is 18.

• Europe and the Atlantic World: conquest and domination systems.
• The formation of the mercantile empires.
• The American plantations
• The role of Africa and the Atlantic trade.
• The New Europe in the northern hemisphere and the first white decolonization: the case of the United States.
• The New Europe in the southern hemisphere and the second white decolonization: the case of South Africa
• The struggle for the conquest and affirmation of civil rights in the United States
• From the racial segregation to the end of Apartheid

Required texts.
Students are expected to have read and studied the following books:
- Lisa A. Lindsay, ll commercio degli schiavi, Il Mulino 2011
- Giovanni Borgognone, Storia degli Stati Uniti. La democrazia americana dalla fondazione all’era globale, Feltrinelli 2013
- Bruno Cartosio, I lunghi anni Sessanta. Movimenti sociali e cultura politica negli Stati Uniti, Feltrinelli 2012

Required films.
Students are expected to have wachted and studied the following films:
- "Amazing Grace", Micheal Apted, 2006
- Amistad, Steven Spielberg, 1997
- Queimada, Gillo Pontecorvo, 1969
- Glory, di Eward ZWick, 1989
- Mississippi burning, Alan Parker, 1988
- The Help, Tate Taylor, 2012
- Selma, Ava DuVernay, 2014
- Milk, Gus Van Sant, 2015

Further material
Students are expected to have read and studied material (notes, reviews, newspaper articles etc.) will be uploaded on the lecturer’s e-learning webpage (Storia e cinema > Visconti)

The learning objectives of the course will be achieved essentially through frontal lessons (for a total of 72 hours), which include:
• Presentation and discussion of specific historical issues;
• classroom vision and film analysis;
• Composition in the classroom of written texts related to the topics proposed and filmed.

Every Friday from 4:30 pm to 7:30 pm, Department DiSTA, Via Mazzini 5, Varese.
Please contact the teacher by e-mail