Crises of capitalism, old and new
Famous for its banking role in the origins of the capitalist economic system in the 15th century, 100 years ago an important manufacturing location in Italy’s Industrial Triangle, now a city experiencing a major post-industrial transition—the Mediterranean port city of Genoa is an ideal place for contemplating some of capitalism’s many ups and down.
This program, planned for May-June 2010, offers students the opportunity to achieve a sociological and historical understanding of important dimensions of capitalism as a social and economic system, through studies carried out during a month-long stay in Genoa preceded by a month of preparation in Miami. The academic component of the program will focus primarily on the US and Italy during the period of the 1920s and 1930s, when major social upheavals and transformations rocked both societies. The characteristics of that boom and bust era can be seen to provide an enlightening comparative basis for comprehending contemporary aspects of capitalist expansion and crisis over the last two decades.
The program has been designed in cooperation with FIU’s Wolfsonian Museum, whose collections are highly relevant to the both the subject matter and the early 20th century time frame of the program. As a major part of their course requirements, student will complete a project that relates the content of diverse materials in the Wolfsonian collection to one or more of the important themes dealt with in the program curricula. Initial project work in the museum in Miami during the first part of the program will then be followed by work in the Wolfsonian’s sister institution in Italy, the Wolfsoniana, during the students’ stay in Genoa.
In Genoa students will have rich opportunities to explore the city’s unique and fascinating culture, including one of the largest historic districts (mainly composed of 13th through 16th century buildings) of any city in Europe. Group trips to the nearby cities of Milan and Turin will complement the academic program, while opportunities for independent weekend travel will let students explore other parts of Italy and
Students who are majoring in sociology and history are particularly encouraged to consider this program; it should also appeal to majors from geography, anthropology, and art history. In addition, it has the sponsorship of FIU’s European Studies Program; completion of this study abroad program will count for up to 50% of the requirements for completing the Certificate in European Studies.
SYO 4370 Work and Society (instructor: A. Douglas Kincaid)
Work, the process of producing something through physical or mental activity, is one of the most fundamental social institutions of any society. This course is primarily concerned with work in the context of society in the United States since 1900. It incorporates a comparative historical perspective, focusing on the 1920s-1930s vis-à
vis the 1990s2000s. It will examine the changes in industrial development and labor force characteristics as economies move from boom to bust cycles, and it will also cover the nature of relevant state policy responses to economic crisis. The comparison across historical periods will examine changes from an industrial to a post-industrial setting. Comparisons to the case of Italy will be drawn throughout the course and in students’ required projects.
EUH 4286 Topics in European History: Modern Italian Social History (instructor: Ferdinando Fasce)
Covers four historical periods in Italy: the creation of Italy (mid-19th century), Liberal Italy (late 19th century to 1920s, Fascist Italy (1920s to 1940s), and Republican Italy (1940s to present). Main emphasis will be in middle two periods, encompassing regional variations and with special attention to industrial triangle (Turin-Genoa-Milan). Coverage of Republican Italy will focus on transition to post-industrial society.
FOL 3955 Italian Language and Culture (instructor: TBA)
Provides Italian language instruction at appropriate level for program participants
May 2011: students receive classroom instruction for sociology course and begin work on program projects at Wolfsonian Museum
June 2011: students in residence in Genoa; take Italian history and languages courses and work on program projects at Wolfsoniana Museum
July 2011: students back in Miami, complete program projects and any remaining program requirements