Futurism and Fascist Art in Italy

Subject AHIS40008 (2011)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2011.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 4 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2011:

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

On Campus

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 2
Total Time Commitment: 10
Prerequisites: Admission to the postgraduate diploma or fourth-year honours in art history.
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.

The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website: http://www.services.unimelb.edu.au/disability/


Dr Anthony White


Anthony White


Subject Overview:

This subject introduces students to the principal artists and art movements in Italy from the beginning of Futurism in 1909 to the end of Fascism in 1943. Students will engage with a variety of artistic strategies for transforming the relationship between art and the broader social sphere. The subject begins with the Futurist movement's violent polemic against traditional art and their various attempts to connect art and everyday life through painting, sculpture, music, fashion and the decorative arts around the time of WWI. Students will examine the connections between the futurist movement and the emergence of fascism in the early 1920s. The relationship between fascism and culture more generally will analysed through the response of artists and architects to Mussolini's regime from the 1920s through to the 1940s. Fascist propaganda and political spectacle will be considered alongside the work of Italian artists and architects who subscribed to fascist ideology. On completion of the subject students should have an understanding of selected artists and movements in Italy between 1909 - 1943 and be able to apply a range of art historical approaches to the study of art in relationship to its political context.

  • have an understanding of the major art practices and theories in Italy from the beginning of Futurism in 1909 to the end of Italian Facism in 1943;
  • be able to recognise the work of specific artists and artistic movements of the period and explain them in relation to their social and political context;
  • have developed their ability to think creatively and express their ideas clearly in written communication;
  • have developed an appreciation for a range of art historical approaches to studying the relationship between art and politics in Italian modern art;
  • be able to conduct independent research using catalogued sources and bibliographical; and
  • have developed their skills in verbal communication and oral presentation.
Assessment: A 1000 word paper, based on in-class presentation 20% (due during the semester), and a 4000 word research essay 80% (due during the examination period). Students are required to attend a minimum of 75% of classes in order to qualify to have their written work assessed. All required written work must be submitted in order to pass the subject.
Prescribed Texts:

A subject reader will be available.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • be able to research through the competent use of the library and other information sources, and be able to define areas of inquiry and methods of research in the preparation of essays;
  • be able to conceptualise theoretical problems, form judgements and arguments and communicate critically, creatively and theoretically through essay writing, tutorial discussion and presentations;
  • be able to communicate knowledge intelligibly and economically through essay writing and tutorial discussion;
  • be able to manage and organise workloads for recommended reading, the completion of essays and assignments and examination revision; and
  • be able to participate in team work through involvement in syndicate groups and group discussions.
Related Course(s): Master of Art Curatorship (Coursework and Minor Thesis)
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Art History
Art History
Art History
Art History

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