Italian Society and Culture under Fascism

Module code: IT2016

This module examines the origins, development and fall of Italian Fascism between 1919 and 1945. There will be a special focus on society and culture, and on the way in which Mussolini's dictatorship used modern means of communication to draw the population into its authoritarian social model. We will also explore the tensions and contradictions in the Fascist project. At the end of the module you will have developed an understanding of the birth and development of Italian Fascism and of Fascism's impact on Italian society and culture. You will acquire familiarity with some of the major interpretations of the Fascist experience in Italy and be able to evaluate them. You will also be able to explain Fascism's successes and its failures.

Topics covered

  • The First World War and the birth of Fascism
  • The cult of the Duce
  • Fascism and the media
  • Women under Fascism
  • Art and architecture under Fascism


  • 10 hours of lectures
  • 10 hours of seminars
  • 130 hours of guided independent study


  • Essay, 2,000 words (80%)
  • Presentation (20%)