Academic Year 2022/2023 - Teacher: Maria SORBELLO

Expected Learning Outcomes

Consistent with the Dublin descriptors, the objectives of the course are to develop:

• knowledge and understanding of the main issues inherent to human geography, such as, for example, the fundamental role of human work in the creation of different places, landscapes, cultural values ​​and political assets in the world;

• the ability to recognize and describe the different demographic processes taking place in the various areas of the world

• the ability to apply the method of analogies and between the current demographic dynamics and the consequent territorial arrangements in the various areas (inland-coast, rural and urban areas, Asia, the Americas, Africa, Europe, Oceania.

• the ability to develop independent judgment on the knowledge acquired and to make decisions in a responsible and conscious way;

• the ability to use the knowledge acquired to document, report and effectively communicate particular aspects relating to issues of environmental degradation and excessive pressure of the population in the poorest and most fragile areas of our planet.

The course aims to provide the students with the skills needed to interpret the ongoing demographic processes that are reshaping the planetary scale territorial features. Particular attention is paid to international migration, which is a powerful factor in transforming not only the global economic but also social and cultural context.

Course Structure

Frontal lessons and film screening about migrations.

Detailed Course Content

Demographic processes on a global scale. Relationships between demographic dynamics and development in some macro-regions of the world. International migration flows in the 20th century. Mobility and migration flows in Italy. Foreign immigration to Italy.

Textbook Information

A. Globalization of migration movements and development processes (4 ECTS)


- C. Wihtol de Wenden, Le nuove migrazioni. Luoghi, uomini, politiche, ed. A. Riggio and R.G. Maury Bologna, Pàtron, 2016, pp. 1- 150.

- M. Livi Bacci M., Il pianeta stretto, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2015, pp. 1-163.

- M. Sorbello, Spazio percepito, concepito e vissuto. L’identità ferita e il conseguente esodo dei cristiani palestinesi, Roma, Aracne, 2020, pp. 11-142.

B. The migration phenomenon in Italy and Sicily (2 CFU)


- C. Bonifazi, L’Italia delle migrazioni, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2013, pp. 39-206.

- Sicily and the Mediterranean. Migration, Exchange, Reinvention, ed. Claudia Karagoz and Giovanna Summerfield, New York, Palgrave Macmillan, 2015, pp.1-12, 61-76, 151-194.

Please remember that in compliance with art 171 L22.04.1941, n. 633 and its amendments, it is illegal to copy entire books or journals, only 15% of their content can be copied.

For further information on sanctions and regulations concerning photocopying please refer to the regulations on copyright (Linee Guida sulla Gestione dei Diritti d’Autore) provided by AIDRO - Associazione Italiana per i Diritti di Riproduzione delle opere dell’ingegno (the Italian Association on Copyright).

All the books listed in the programs can be consulted in the Library.

Course Planning

 SubjectsText References
1Crescita della popolazione mondialetesto 2, cap.I
2Distribuzione della popolazionetesto 2, cap.II
3Cambiamenti dei sistemi demograficitesto 2, cap. III
4Il rapporto popolazione/risorse e le politiche demografichetesto 2, capp. IV e VIII
5Geodemografia e geopolitica: Russia, India e Cinatesto 2. cap. VIII
6Cause del mutamento delle migrazioni internazionali.Globalizzazione, transizione demografica, crisi economiche, geopolitiche e ambientalitesto 1, pp.166
7Le dinamiche migratorie internazionali nei primi decenni dell'Ottocentotesto 3. cap. I
8La ''grande emigrazione italiana''testo 3, cap. II ( § 3.1 - § 3.2 - § 3.3)
9Dinamiche demografiche e migratorie in Italia Testo 3: cap. III (§ 3)
10L'Italia nuovo Paese di immigrazioneTesto 3. cap. V (§ 3.1)
11La Sicilia e il Mediterraneo. Popolazioni, culture e migrazionitesto 4. pp. 1-12; 61-76; 151-194
12 La Geografia della Terra Santa. Confini, frontiere e conflitti. Territori, paesaggi e città, SORBELLO (testo 5) , Spazio percepito, concepito e vissuto, Aracne 2020 pp.17-48 Cap. I
13I paesaggi divisi in Terra Santa. Spazio percepito e spazio concepitotesto 5: cap. II
14I pellegrini cristiani in Terra Santa dalla prima metà dell’’800 ai giorni nostritesto 5: cap. III
15I cristiani in Terra Santatesto 5: cap. IV
16Il ruolo del turismo culturale nella ricomposizione del conflittotesto 5: cap V
17Lo spazio percepitotesto 5: pp. 143-196
18Il concetto di Ebraismo di Baumantesto 5: pp. 211-216

Learning Assessment

Learning Assessment Procedures

Oral exam

The ongoing test will be carried out when at least 1/3 of the lessons have been reached and will focus on the topics of the texts: Livi Bacci M., The narrow planet, Il Mulino, Bologna, 2015; Sorbello M., Space perceived, conceived and lived. The wounded identity and the consequent exodus of Palestinian Christians, Canterano (RM), Aracne, 2020; Bonifazi C., Italy of migration, Il Mulino, Bologna, 2013.

The test will consist of group interviews, each of which consists of 4 students on the topics addressed.

The assessment of the exam will take into account the mastery of the contents and skills acquired, linguistic accuracy and lexical properties, as well as the argumentative ability demonstrated by the candidate.

Verification of learning can also be carried out electronically, should the conditions require it.

Examples of frequently asked questions and / or exercises

Why is our planet getting "narrower"?

What are the effects of human-environment interaction?

What are the basic concepts of demographic studies?

What is the gap between resources and population that Malthus was talking about?

What is the "carrying capacity" of a territory?

 What are the stages of the demographic transition?

What is the difference between voluntary migration and forced migration?

Who are the eco-refugees?

What is transnationalism?

When does the first globalization start?

European migrations in transoceanic lands.

What are the demographic dynamics and territorial structures in Italy from the Unification to the present day?

The situation of immigrants in the host countries (United States, Argentina, Brazil, Australia).

What is transnationalism?

What are the new international migratory flows?

What are the old and new immigrants in Sicily?

Talk about the landscapes of the Holy Land.

How could cultural tourism serve as an instrument for resolving the conflict between the two peoples of the three religions?

He speaks of Christians in the Holy Land before and after 1948.

Talk about Bauman's concept of "Judaism".

Talk about the problems of Palestinian Christians and their exodus.