Learning outcomes of the course unit
Expected learning outcomes: critical knowledge of the disciplinary main notions and aspects.
Knowledge and comprehension: oriented towards a critical analysis of the information discussed in class; contextualization of the discussed topics within the interdisciplinary field of social sciences and understanding of the interdisciplinary crossings.
Ability to apply knowledge and comprehension: authonomous and critical use of the research instruments and of the geographical-historical notions discussed in class and explained in the texts.
Authonomy in judgment: this is the overall main objective of the course, with a particular reference to the acquisition of a critical consciousness of the spatial and territorial aspects related to food.
Communicative abilities: acquisition of a critical, though not necessarily technical, language, which allows to distinguish and discuss the characteristics of a phenomenon beyond the simplifications and the generalizations produced by mediascapes.
Learning capacity: proportional to individual abilities.
Course contents summary
The course will be devoted to artistic representations of the middle stretch of the river Po during the twentieth century. Through this specific case study, the course will focus on the relationships among place representations (literary narrations, photographies, paintings), sense of belonging to places, territorial identities. The course offers thus an itinerary in cultural geography, which will provide the students the interpretative tools in order to perform a critical reading of the territorial images produced by artistic creativity
Davide Papotti, "Geografie della scrittura. Paesaggi letterari del medio Po", Pavia, La Goliardica pavese, 1996;
"La memoria del Po. Pittura e fotografia tra Piacenza, Parma e Reggio Emilia", Milano, Skira, 2002
Lectures will present the general interpretative critical coordinates of cultural geography, through both quantitative and qualitative data and approaches.
Class discussion will be stimulated by the proposition of questions aimed at sharing personal opinions and knowledge related to specific topics. This will allow to develop critical attitudes and the autonomy of judgement. Besides lectures, there will be seminar-oriented sessions, with the help and contribution, also in preparing and leading these meetings, of the students.
Guest lecturers will presente lectures through the course.
In the presentation of both quantitative and qualitative data, the teacher will use Power Point presentations, movie and documentary screenings, visits to specialized web sites, and examples of computer cartography.
Assessment methods and criteria
The final exam will be a oral one. During the exam we will test:
- the ability to illustrate in a clear way, with a proper language, the main critical and contextual notions discussed in class and explained in the written texts; a specific importance will be given to logical and communicative abilities
- the knowledge of the geo-historical contexts of the phenomena that were analysed and discussed in class (through questions during the student's presentation)
The pass/fail divide is defined by the presence of both these parameters: a. demonstration of having carefully read the textbooks
b. development of a critical research itinerary on the discussed topics, with the related ability in creating and proposing personal contributions and critiques
To complete the exam the student has to submit a brief paper (between 8,000 and 12,000 characters spaces included) dedicated to a literary account (short novel, collection of short stories, novel, poem), a painting or a photograph (or a collection of photographs) portraying the river Po and its immediate surroundings. The student will offer of this artistic work chosen by him/her a reading based on a geographical approach (narrative inspiration tied to specific places, portrayed or evoked landscapes, emotional value of certain places, role of territorial images in the artistic creation, typologies of represented landscapes, ties between the population and the territories, etc.). The paper must follow the normal rule of academic writing: foonotes, reference bibliography (only the titles directly used in the composition of the paper), direct quotes from other sources in brackets, clear and explicit mention of every source used, etc. Every use of external texts taken form books or from websites on the internet without the required bibliographic information will be considered plagiarism, and will result in a lower grade for the course. The paper must be submitted to the teacher by email as an attachment (in Word or PDF format) in advance, at least ten days before the scheduled date for the exam (firstname.lastname@example.org)