The American University of Rome
Area of Study
Taught In English
Recommended U.S. Semester Credits3
Recommended U.S. Quarter Units4
Hours & Credits
This course examines the history of Italy’s fashion industry in order to understand how it gained strength and importance in Italian culture. The course will analyze how fashion has been effective historically as a communication system that has represented the development of Italian national identity and in turn has had a considerable impact on Italian society and culture. Interdisciplinary in nature, the course makes use of novels, periodicals, and films from the late 19th century post‐unification period to the present and will highlight the close connection between the massive presence of art in Italy and its influence on the development of a collective sense of aesthetics that finds confirmation in fashion. The course will also address contemporary issues relating to the fashion industry, such as black market fashion production and the search for humanitarian and ethically responsible fashion practices.
Required Textbook (subject to change)
• Craick, Jennifer. Fashion: the key concepts. Berg Publishers, 2009.
• Gnoli, Sofia. The Origins of Italian Fashion: 1900‐1945. V&A Publishing, 2014.
• Steele, Valerie. Fashion, Italian Style. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2003.
Recommended Readings (subject to change)
A list of readings will be provided early in the course.
‐ Barnard, Malcom. Fashion as Communication. Second Edition. Routledge, 2007.
‐ David, Fred. Fashion, Culture and Identity. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1992.
‐ Gundle, Stephen. Glamour: A History. New York: Oxford University Press, 2008.
‐ Polhemus, Ted. Street Style. Thames‐Hudson, 1994.
‐ Clark, Judith, De La Haye, Amy and Jeffrey Horsley. Exhibiting Fashion: Before and After 1971. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2014.
‐ Stanfill, Sonnet, (ed.). The Glamour of Italian Fashion Since 1945. V&A Publishing, 2014.
Course Learning Objectives.
At the end of the course, students will be able to:
1. Demonstrate historical knowledge of the Italian fashion industry
2. Analyze Italian fashion as an integral part of Italian culture and society
3. Demonstrate proficiency in research skills and oral and written communication
Course Learning Activities.
Participation in class discussions, and debating alternative perspectives, is a crucial element in developing theoretical knowledge and analytical skills (CLO 1, 2, 3)
Oral Presentation ‐ Students will present their analysis and research of a topic assigned in class relating to Italian fashion. Students must incorporate into their presentation findings from at least two quality academic secondary sources. (CLO 1, 2, 3)
Students will carry out an individual research project (2,500 words) on a topic of their interest pertaining to Italian Fashion, applying the analytical approaches learned and drawing from academic resources ‐ minimum of 3 secondary quality academic sources required (CLO 1,2,3). Students will be required to submit an outline (including thesis statement, point by point outline and annotated bibliography)
before the research paper deadline for approval and in order for the instructor to provide feedback. (CLO 1,2,3)
Class outings to places relevant to the study of Italian Fashion (CLO 1, 2)
Midterm and final exams: Students will complete written exams to test their knowledge of the topics studied in class. Students will complete written exercises totaling 750 words on each exam.
On‐site activities may include:
1) A visit to a television studio that produces programs linked with the world of fashion
2) A visit to Koefia Italian Fashion Academy
3) A visit to Boncompagni Ludovisi Museum for the Decorative Arts, Costume and Fashion
4) A guided tour of the streets of fashion in Rome
Participation in class 10%
Oral presentations 20%
Mid‐term exam 20%
Research Paper (outline 5%) 25%
Final Exam 25%
Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.
Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.
Some courses may require additional fees.
Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations