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Study information

Multicultural Italy

Module titleMulticultural Italy
Module codeMLI3033
Academic year2024/5
Module staff

Professor Francesco Goglia (Convenor)

Dr Alessia Risi (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Module description

This module will explore the richly multicultural nature of contemporary Italian life and culture. Through focussed case studies on language, literature, music, and visual media, you will become familiar with a diversity of lived experiences, and explore a broad plurality of Italian identities, in keeping with the multicultural and multi-ethnic make up of modern-day Italy. These case studies will be put in dialogue with wider socio-political debates pertaining to migration, belonging, and nationhood in the twenty first century, while also allowing for the historical instability of Italianness as a concept.

Module aims - intentions of the module

Since the 1980s, mass migration has made Italy a multicultural society. This module will encourage you to trace links between Italian (colonial) history and many of the largest immigrant communities in contemporary Italy (main socio-demographic information, languages and cultures); and their contributions to Italian society. You will also critically engage with interdisciplinary and intersectional theoretical approaches to ‘Multicultural Italy’, through media (including films, TV series, literary texts, pop music) and the political and cultural discourses on immigration and multiculturalism.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Demonstrate a complex understanding of how social and historical facts have shaped multicultural Italy
  • 2. Demonstrate a detailed understanding of the presence of different languages and cultures in contemporary Italy

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 3. With some guidance from the course tutors, evaluate and apply a range of critical approaches to the material covered
  • 4. Understand subject-specific concepts and apply them to the analysis of media representations of multiculturalism
  • 5. Following broad guidelines, locate and identify library and electronic resources on a given topic

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 6. Conduct independent study, including preparing material for group discussion
  • 7. Digest, select and organise material to produce, to a deadline, a coherent and cogent argument, developed through the mode of assessment
  • 8. Work as a team to produce a group presentation

Syllabus plan

Whilst the content may vary from year to year, it is projected that it will cover some or all of the following topics:

  • Socio-demographic background of immigration and multicultural Italy
  • Italian colonialism
  • Italian law and the multicultural society
  • The sociolinguistics of multicultural Italy
  • Decolonising processes in language and culture
  • Multiculturalism across media (e.g. film, TV series, web-based narratives, rap music, and literature)
  • ‘Talking about the other’ and the discourse on multiculturalism
  • A focus on gender politics
  • A focus on discourses of power imbalances
  • Social conflict
  • A focus on class issues
  • Urban spaces, visibility of cultures and languages

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching1510 x 1.5 hour lectures and seminars
Scheduled Learning and Teaching1Conclusion
Guided Independent Study134Private study and preparation for the seminars through reading and research

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Essay plan600 words1-7Written and oral comments
Group presentation plan300 words1-8Oral and Written

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Essay752500 words1-7Oral and Written
Group Presentation2510-15 minutes (4-5 minutes per student)1-8Oral and Written

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Essay (2500 words)Essay (2500 words)1-7Referral/Deferral period
Group presentation (10-15 minutes, 4-5 minutes per student)Group or individual presentation1-8Referral/Deferral period

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 40%) you will be required to submit a further assessment as necessary. If you are successful on referral, your overall module mark will be capped at 40%.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Primary sources:

  • Ben Mohamed, Takoua Sotto il velo (Beccogiallo, 2016)
  • Distefano, Antonio Dikele, Non ho mai avuto la mia età (Mondadori, 2018).
  • 18 IUS SOLI (Fred Kudjo Kuwornu, 2016)
  • Blaxploitalian: 100 years of blackness in the Italian cinema (Fred Kudjo Kuwornu, 2017)
  • Mothers & Daughters: Stories of women from Latin America in Italy (Laila Petrone, 2020)
  • Bangla The Series (Phaim Bhuiyan, 2022)
  • Io sono Li (Andrea Segre, 2011)
  • Il vegetariano (Roberto San Pietro, 2019)

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

  • ELE – Faculty to provide hyperlink to appropriate pages
  • Summertime (Netflix Series, 2020)

Indicative learning resources - Other resources

  • Ardizzoni, Michela, “Imag(in)Ing Blackness in Italy: Redactions, Presence, and Media in Antonio Dikele Distefano's Work.” Italian Culture, 2021, Vol. 39 Issue 2, pp. 223-239.
  • Bagna C, Carbonara V, Salvati L, Perez M, and Dota F. “Le lingue dei cittadini stranieri. In Istat, Vita e percorsi di integrazione degli immigrati in Italia”, ISTAT, 2018, 219-247
  • Burns, Jennifer and Derek Duncan, Transnational Modern Languages. A Handbook (Liverpool University Press, 2021).
  • Giuliani, Gaia, Race, Nation and Gender in Modern Italy: Intersectional Representations in Visual Culture (Palgrave, 2018), pp.1-23.
  • Greene, Shelleen, “Zero, Antonio Dikele Distefano, Menotti, Stefano Voltaggio, Massimo Vavassori, Carolina Cavalli and Lisandro Monaco (2021), Italy: Fabula Pictures and Red Joint Film.” Journal of Italian Cinema & Media Studies, Volume 10 Number 3, 2022, pp. 527-529.
  • Machetti, Sabrina, Monica Barni, and Carla Bagna. “Language Policies for Migrants in Italy: The Tension Between Democracy, Decision-Making, and Linguistic Diversity.” Language Policy and Linguistic Justice (2018): 477–498. Web.
  • O'Healy, Aine, ‘Postcolonial Theory and Italy's Multicultural Cinema’ in Peter Bondanella (ed.), The Italian Cinema Book (BFI, 2014), pp. 295-302.
  • Spadaro, Barbara, “The transcultural comics of Takoua Ben Mohamed: memory and translation a fumetti.Modern Italy, 2020, 25:2, pp.177-197.

Key words search

Multiculturalism, Italy, Immigration, Gender, Film

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites

MLI2051 or MLI2001

Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date