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
will be devoted to the perspectives that cultural geography can offer to the analyis of the local cultures developed during the twentieth century in the area surrounding the river Po. The spatial turn that characterized social sciences and humanities during the last two decades had among its consequences a renewed interest by geographers for the sense of belonging of the inhabitants to their everyday environments, the cultural perceptions of the regions and the processes of production and circulation of territorial images. The course offers an overview of the geographical tradition of studies about the river Po, analyzing different aspects and using different approaches: the description of the regions that the river crosses, the different typolgies of human actions performed in the areas surrounding the river, the material and immaterial traditions that developed within the different cultures of the river Po. A specific focus will be given to the production of territorial images in four fields of artistic creativity that widely and continuously paid their attention to the river Po: literature, music, photography and cinema.
- Guido BORELLI, Tracce di Governance. Comunità e sviluppo locale nella Media Valle del Po, Milan, Franco Angeli, 2008
- Davide PAPOTTI, Geografie della scrittura. Paesaggi letterari del medio Po, Pavia, La Goliardica Pavese, 1996 (out of print; available in xeroxes at the copy center “Giovanni Paolo II”, located near the university premises in Borgo delle Colonne, 9)
- La memoria del Po. Pittura e fotografia tra Piacenza, Parma e Reggio Emilia, Milan, Skira, 2000
- Paolo MICALIZZI, Là dove scende il fiume. Il Po e il cinema, Florence, Aska, 2010
Lectures will present the general interpretative critical coordinates of geography of the river Po, 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 authonomy 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 lectures will present 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
The exam will also involve the writing of a short paper, following the directions provided at the entry ""Other information" on this web page
To complete the exam, the student has to prepare a short paper (8,000 to 12,000 characters spaces included) related to a literary work, a musical piece, a photograph (or a portfolio of photographs), a movie portraying the river Po. The paper will approach a geographical reading of this artistic expression (inspiration linked to specific places, depiction of landscapes, role of the artistic representations of the river in territorial images, typologies of human landscapes, relationship between the inhabitants and the river, etc.). The paper has to be written following the usual rules of academic writing: endnotes (or footnotes), reference bibliography (only the titles that are used in the preparation of the text), quotes in brackets when directly taken from other sources, clear indication of every source used in the preparation of the text. Every use of texts by other authors taken from printed or online sources and not adequately quoted will be considered plagiarism, and will involve a lower grade. The paper will have to be sent by email to the teacher (email@example.com) at leats ten days before the date scheduled for the exam.