Insegnamento a.a. 2015-2016



Department of Social and Political Sciences

Course taught in English

Go to class group/s: 31
CLEACC (6 credits - I sem. - OBS  |  L-ART/06)
Course Director:

Classes: 31 (I sem.)

Course Objectives

"Democracy is so overrated."
Frank Underwood
The course primary objective is to provide students with the basic tools for reading the complex spectrum of television communication, from themes to languages to visual semiotics, and therefore guide their usage as a function towards a precise understanding of the relations which tie up the television product conceived and realized in any form and the historical, social, cultural, economic and political context.
The secondary objective is to explore, in particular, the contribution generated by some series with a political theme or background to the perception shaped by the viewers about issues and circumstances narrated. In the processes of synthesis and filter acted by them between reality and fiction, they allow to best appreciate the relation between the res publica and its representation in the popular culture, and to analyze in a very specific way the storytelling mechanisms applied in the narration of politics, power, public institutions.

Course Content Summary

The course, based on a theoretical/critical basis, often connected to cultural studies sociology, is divided in two parts.
The first and shortest one - focuses on the most important genres, languages and styles that distinguish the television universe, and have contributed in the course of time to vest the medium with a symbolic function, capable of amplifying reality and directing its perception.
Under the theoretical umbrella of the most important medium scholars, from McLuhan to Beaudrillard, from Kellner to Iyengar, the second part of the course proportionally more relevant - is about the specific of some of the most significant series with a political background ever broadcasted: from All in the Family to Dallas, from Scandal to The Newsroom, from The West Wing to House of Cards. The in-depth analysis of these and other series, and the exploration of the relation between reality and its fictional representations, will allow the identification and the study of those elements which make them effective representations of the ideological and political texture of contemporary societies.
The course features frequently screenings of audio-visual media, a continuous and active exchange students / professor, several guest-lecturers and some in-course workshops.

Detailed Description of Assessment Methods

The exam program is different for attending and non attending students. Detailed information about exams and assignments is communicated at the beginning of the course.


The bibliography is communicated at the beginning of the course.

Exam textbooks & Online Articles (check availability at the Library)


The course does not require proficiency in communication, mass media, contemporary history or politics, but it does require a genuine interest in all these subjects.

Last change 06/05/2015 12:26