9 credits during the 1st year of 8459 History (L-42) GENOVA
GENOVA (History)
2° Semester
Teaching materials


The course provides a critical introduction to the study of modern and contemporary history, from the 18th-century revolutions to today. Its main focus is on the history of Europe, with particular attention to issues of gender, class, "race", as well as to the history of intimacy and family.



The course aims to offer basic knowledge, methodological tools and elements of historiographical debate fundamental to approach modern and contemporary history from a gender, class and "race" perspective. From the methodological point of view, the course aims to highlight how such socio-cultural constructs are historical and changeable and have been constantly subject to conflicts and disputes between historical subjects in different space-time contexts. The outcome of this conflictual dynamic has affected social relations over time as well as chronologies and hierarchies of themes and problems that have been placed at the basis of the analysis of sources and historiographic writing. In particular, the course aims to bring out the centrality of the family and intimate relationships (sexual, affective, etc.) as crucial areas of daily life, public debate and state intervention in contemporary Europe.

At the end of the course, students will have:

- acquired basic knowledge on some central themes of the contemporary age from a gender, class and “race” perspective;

- become aware on how gender, at the intersection with other categories structuring identities and inequalities, has been constitutive of the practices and social relations of men and women in different contexts;

- understood how the family and intimate relationships are one of the crucial sites where the historical processes of building, challenging, negotiating identities and social roles are developed;

- become aware of how gender, in its interweaving with other socio-cultural constructs, has affected the same practices of production, archiving, use over time of historical sources;

- They will have, therefore, acquired the ability to discuss autonomously and with appropriate language some key epistemological and methodological questions concerning contemporary history.



For information support, I recommend consulting Alberto Banti, L'età contemporanea, vol. I (Dalle rivoluzioni settecentesche all'imperialismo), and vol. II (From the Great War to Today), Laterza 2012.


Lectures (via TEAMS).


The course will mainly have a thematic structure, although it will follow, for many of the issues addressed, a chronological order in the exposition.

After having explained the birth of women's history, the further passage, between the 1980s and 1990s, to gender history and the more recent contribution of the intersectional perspective, the course will examine a set of fundamental themes and issues of the contemporary age, with particular reference to Europe: the processes of state-building, nineteenth and twentieth century nationalism and the contemporary characteristics of citizenship, with all its dilemmas, paradoxes, exclusions; the birth of "sexual dimorphism" in medical, legal, anthropological discourse, and the stigmatization of deviances in sexual orientations, in gender belonging, in the sexual configuration of bodies; the genesis between the 18th and 19th centuries of the first feminist movements and their issues (including the vote); the birth and development of industrial capitalism and the restructuring of the work-family relationship, production-reproduction nexus, together with the genesis of "modern" consumer cultures; the transformation of family, affective, sexual relationships and the affirmation of the model of the "intimate conjugal family" between the 19th and 20th centuries; European colonialism and imperialism and the various phases and strategies of sexual policy making at the heart of colonial rule; the experience of the Great War and the October Revolution, their impact and implications from the point of view of gender relations, the discipline of sexuality and policies of state intervention on the family, in the interwar period and in particular in dictatorial regimes; the anti-Jewish persecutions, the Second World War and the interweaving of sex/gender/race; the season of well-being, consumer cultures and the new centrality of family intimacy in the first thirty years after the Second World War; feminism, movements linked to sexual identities in the second half of the 20th century and the conflicting definitions of family and intimacy in the public discourse of contemporary democracies; gender, mobility, migration in a long-term perspective; intersectional conflicts in contemporary democracies.


  1. A (mandatory)

Joan W. Scott, Il “genere”: un’utile categoria di analisi storica, pp. 31-63.

  • Gisela Bock, Le donne nella storia europea, Laterza, Roma-Bari 2003.

2. Materials uploaded on aulaweb.


C) Choose one book from the list below:

Angiolina Arru, Daniela Luigia Caglioti, Franco Ramella (a cura di), Donne e uomini migranti. Storie e geografie tra breve e lunga distanza, Donzelli, Roma 2008;

Enrica Asquer et al. (a cura di), Famiglie del Novecento. Conflitti, culture e relazioni, Carocci, Roma 2010;

Alberto Banti, L’onore della nazione. Identità sessuali e violenza nel nazionalismo europeo dal XVIII secolo alla Grande Guerra, Einaudi, Torino 2005;

Robert Beachy, Gay Berlin. L’invenzione tedesca dell’omosessualità, Bompiani, Milano 2016;

Stefania Bernini, Marrying and Divorcing in Post-war Europe. Politics and Societies Accross the Iron Curtain, Edizioni Ca’ Foscari, Venezia 2020 (open access);

Elena Biagini, L’emersione imprevista. Il movimento delle lesbiche in Italia negli anni ’70 e ’80, ETS, Pisa 2018;

Joanna Bourke, Stupro. Storia della violenza sessuale dal 1860 a oggi, Laterza, Roma-Bari 2009;

Maud Bracke, La nuova politica delle donne. Il femminismo in Italia 1968-1983, Edizioni di storia e letteratura, Roma 2019;

Niamh Cullen, Love, Honour and Jealousy. An Intimate History of the Italian Economic Miracle, Oxford U.P., Oxford 2019;

Marina D’Amelia (a cura di), Storia della maternità, Laterza, Roma-Bari 1997;

Leonore Davidoff, Catherine Hall, Men and Women of the English Middle-Class 1780-1850, Routledge, London-New York 2018 (terza edizione);

Sabina Donati, A Political History of National Citizenship and Identity in Italy, 1861-1950, Stanford U.P., Stanford 2013;

Simona Feci e Laura Schettini (a cura di), La violenza contro le donne nella storia. Contesti, linguaggi, politiche del diritto (secoli XV-XXI), Viella, Roma 2017;

Nadia Filippini, Generare, partorire, nascere. Una storia dall’antichità alla provetta, Viella, Roma 2017;

Paul Ginsborg, Famiglia Novecento. Vita familiare, rivoluzione e dittature. 1900-1950, Einaudi 2013;

Gaia Giuliani, Cristina Lombardi Diop, Bianco e nero. Storia dell’identità razziale degli italiani, Le Monnier (Mondadori Education), Firenze 2013;

Thomas Laqueur, L’identità sessuale dai Greci a Freud, Laterza, Roma-Bari 1992;

Sabrina Marchetti, Le ragazze di Asmara. Lavoro domestico e migrazione post-coloniale, Ediesse, Roma 2011;

Alessandra Pescarolo, Il lavoro delle donne nell’Italia contemporanea, Viella, Roma 2019;

Erika Rappaport, Shopping for Pleasure. Women in the Making of London’s West-End, Princeton University Press, Princeton 2000.

Domenico Rizzo, Gli spazi della morale. Buon costume e ordine delle famiglie nell’Italia liberale, Biblink 2004;

Sonya O. Rose, Limited Livelihoods. Gender and Class in Nineteenth-Century England, University of California Press, Berkeley-Los Angeles 1991;

Laura Schettini, Il gioco delle parti. Travestimenti e paure sociali tra Otto e Novecento, Le Monnier (Mondadori Education) 2011;

Joan Scott, The Politics of the Veil, Princeton U.P., Princeton 2007;

Barbara Sorgoni, Parole e corpi. Antropologia, discorso giuridico e politiche sessuali interraziali nella colonia Eritrea (1890-1941), Liguori, Napoli 1998;

Giulietta Stefani, Colonia per maschi. Italiani in Africa Orientale, una storia di genere, Ombre Corte, Verona 2007;

Lisa Tiersten, Marianne in the Market. Envisioning Consumer Society in Fin-de-Siècle France, University of California Press, 2001;

John Tosh, A Man’s Place: Masculinity and the Middle-Class Home in Victorian England, Yale University Press, New Haven (Conn) 1999;


Non-attending students should add two chapters from the books listed below:

Anna Rossi-Doria, Dar forma al silenzio. Scritti di storia politica delle donne, Viella, Roma 2007;

Joan W. Scott, Genere, politica, storia, a cura di Ida Fazio, Viella, Roma 2013.




Office hours: Due to the emergency related to covid-19, please write to in order to make an on line appointment.

Exam Board





Lectures (via TEAMS).


September 28, 2020.




Oral exam.



Students will be asked to show their knowledge and critical awaeness of the issues treated in the course.

Exam schedule

Date Time Location Type Notes
13/12/2021 15:00 GENOVA Orale
17/01/2022 15:00 GENOVA Orale
07/02/2022 15:00 GENOVA Orale
07/02/2022 15:00 GENOVA Orale
09/05/2022 15:00 GENOVA Orale
07/06/2022 15:00 GENOVA Orale
20/06/2022 15:00 GENOVA Orale
04/07/2022 15:00 GENOVA Orale
12/09/2022 15:00 GENOVA Orale