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The Ethics of narratives: between old and new media

Explore how the old and new major forces of enjoyment and knowledge deeply influence modern culture

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CIVIS focus area
Society, culture, heritage
Open to
  • Bachelor's
  • Master's
Field of studies
  • Art, Design and Media
  • Social Science and humanities
  • Blended Intensive Programmes (BIP)
Course dates
20 January - 7 February 2025

The Blended Intensive Program in "The Ethics of narratives: between old and new media"" analyses how the old and these new major forces of enjoyment and knowledge deeply influence modern culture from a moral and ethical point of view.

The new media have shown to be able to tell very long stories, allowing the characters to evolve over a particularly long period of time and, since instead of forcing audience to leave their house the new media entered the home of the user, creating a bond with them based on a greater intimacy: all this has made contemporary narratives particularly complex and, at the same time, has allowed the narrative to reduce the dominant ethical and moral apparatus. In this light, the new media are a privileged observatory of the ethical complexification of contemporaneity, as if on the one hand they serve to entertain the audience, on the other they are also functional to educate the audience and make it reflects on a different ethical dilemma. The School will compare the old and the new media for how they influence society and, consequently, the ethical structure that characterizes it. Ethics and its various "gradations" become the cornerstone around which the new media revolves, differently from the old ones: the human being is no longer placed in front of a strong and profound opposition between good and evil, but rather he must understand himself in the light of the new contemporary nuances of the ethical apparatus.

The Blended Intensive Program provides a theoretical, critical and historical grounding about media and transmedia storytelling in order to make students understand the connection between media and identity construction. The goal is to broaden the scholarly assessment of storytelling in old and new media; in other words, the Blended Intensive Program want to deepen the impact that old and new media have on the constitution of identity in relation to ethics in today's world. The complexity of new types of narratives will be investigated as a societal challenge by representing, experiencing and comprehending the complex phenomena of new media. The School will focus also on societal contexts in order to better understand the connections between contexts, storytelling, and complexity. In other words, we will examine the relationship between media storytelling and their external environment from an ethical point of view.

The Blended Intensive Program will be divided into two parts: the first one consists of 15 hours of lessons delivered online synchronous or asynchronous made by experts in the media sector to introduce the main theme, while the second consists of 25 hours of lesson in presence at Sapienza Università di Roma to deepen the ethical dimension, plus a final written test to allow students to think about what they have learned from a theoretical point of view. In addition to the 40 hours of face to face teaching activities (both online synchronous, asynchronous and in presence), the Blended Intensive Program will have 45 hours of students’ individual study activities: 35 before the School take place and 10 after the virtual lessons. In particular, the first 35 hours will be spent by the students to read some books as well as to see video materials (in particular films and TV series, especially for the lessons concerning transmedia storytelling) that every professor will indicate for his/her lesson. In this light, as the other 10 hours will take place after the introducing virtual lessons and will be devoted to get prepared to the next lessons.

The school will examine ethics from several point of view related to the main topic, such as: ethics of narration in the theoretical debate (Jameson vs. Ricoeur, etc.); moral values narration in old media; how mass-media change the audience, marking the definitive passage to a new political, economic and social phase in relation to moral values; moving between narratology and ethics, we will discuss, in a wider perspective, about the moral sense of literature; morality in transmedia storytelling; ethics nuances in complex seriality within contemporary TV series.

For example, we will take into account the extent to which the selective representation of the past, as well as its manipulation, typical of some transmedial adaptations, can be interpreted as a claim for creativity within the ideological framework of the late postmodernism. At the same time, the Blended Intensive Program will also analyse the contemporary tv series where the main focus is the ethical dimension and where the traditional moral opposition are overcome.

Moreover, we will reconstruct the different narratives that have been made and reflect on the ethical and moral implications of the politic dimension: it will explore how extremist discourses spread across social actors and borders by focusing on the circulation, interplay and mainstreaming of extremist narratives in the EU and its neighboring countries.

The School will therefore focus on the analysis of the transmedia representations of the moral component: first of all the press, but also how the most important events have been narrated in other media and how it affected the construction of social and moral identity of audience.

In conclusion, the main goal of the Blended Intensive Program is to analyse the moral environment both from a theoretical and from a practical point of view, taking into account the construction of the ethical dimension that is deeply influenced by old and new media.

Main topics addressed

  • Media
  • Transmediality
  • Tv Series
  • Modern Literature
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Political Linguistics
  • Literature
  • Linguistics
  • Narratology

Learning outcomes

The Blended Intensive Program will give the students the chance to deepen their knowledge about old and new media and about narratives and storytelling in order to access further studies and to improve their knowledge analysis competences of media scripts, transmedia books and different palimpsests, film and tv series, politic discourses.

In terms of professional competencies and skills, the Blended Intensive Program offers students the opportunity to understand, reflect and act upon the old and new communication media. In this respect, professors will introduce to the latest concepts, theories, principles and fundamental methods of research in communication and media studies, in a globalized social exchange of information. This Blended Intensive Program give to students a valuable preparation for careers in various aspects of the media and arts.



Dates: 20 January - 7 February 2025 Total workload:  85 hours
Format: Blended ECTS: 3*
Location: Rome, Italy Language: English (B2)

*Recognition of ECTS depends on your home university.

Physical mobility

The face-to-face part will take place from 3 to 7 February 2025:

The physical part of the Blended Intensive Programme will deepen the subject that will be introduce during the online part. In particular, we will analyse the moral environment both from a theoretical and from a practical point of view, taking into account the construction of the ethical dimension that is deeply influenced by old and new media.

Virtual part

The virtual component will be conducted from 20 to 23 January 2025

The virtual part of the Blended Intensive Programme will be necessary to introduce the subject that will be deepen during the intensive part in attendance. In particular, the issue of narration from a literary, media, political and emotional point of view will be introduced through various lessons by experts in the sectors.


This course is open to Bachelor's, and Master's students at CIVIS member universities with a background and/or a strong interest in the following scientific fields: Critical Theory,Transmediality, Intermediality, Multimediality, Ethics, Comparative Literature, Literary Criticism, Media, Tv Series, Modern Literature,  Artificial Intelligence, Political Linguistics, Literature, Linguistics, Narratology.

Participants should also have a good level of written and spoken English (B2).

NB: Visiting Students - Erasmus Funding Eligibility

To be eligible for your selected CIVIS programme, you must be a fully enrolled student at your CIVIS home university at the time you will be undertaking the programme. Click here to learn more about the eligibility criteria.

Students from CIVIS’ strategic partner universities in Africa cannot apply for participation in this course.

Application process

Send your application by filling in the online application form by 28 April 2024, including:

  • Motivation letter (incl. reasons to participate in the course)
  • Level of English (according to CEFR)

Applications will be evaluated based on the strong motivation of the applicants and the level of English. 

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- Students' applications will be evaluated based on the motivation letter and the level of English. 

- In terms of the way the course is structured, including the teaching methodology used, it is fundamental an active participation of students, because at the end of the intensive theoretical lessons there will be a mandatory exam in order to reflect on ethics and morality in modern and contemporary media storytelling. This exam will be a final written text in order to understand if students get the point of the lessons and improved what was discussed.

Blended Intensive Programme

This CIVIS course is a Blended Intensive Programme (BIP): a new format of Erasmus+ mobility which combines online teaching with a short trip to another campus to learn alongside students and professors across Europe. Click here to learn more about CIVIS BIPs.

GDPR Consent

The CIVIS alliance and its member universities will treat the information you provide with respect. Please refer to our privacy policy for more information on our privacy practices. By applying to this course you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.

  • Lorenzo Bartoli, Full Professor, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
  • Stefano Bragato, Postdoc, UZH - Universität Zürich
  • Mark Chu, University College Cork
  • Elisiana Fratocchi, Postdoc, Università of Rome Tor Vergata
  • Federico M. Federici, University College London
  • Cormac Ó Cuilleanáin, Professor Emeritus, Trinity College Dublin
  • Stephanie Rennick, Lecturer, University of Stirling
  • Diego Salvadori, Assistant Professor, Università di Firenze
  • Adriana Stefanel, University of Bucharest
  • Will Tattersdill, Senior Lecturer, University of Glasgow
  • Marco Tognini, PhD, Università degli Studi di Milano

Sapienza Università di Roma:

  • Aldo Baratta, Postdoc
  • Anja Boato, Postdoc
  • Mattia Bonasia, PhD student
  • Alviera Bussotti, Assistant Professor
  • Davide Carnevale, Postdoc
  • Annamaria Elia, PhD student
  • Damiano Garofalo, Assistant Professor
  • Sarin Marchetti, Associate Professor
  • Francesca Medaglia, Assistant Professor
  • Giorgio Nisini, Associate Professor
  • Federica Perazzini, Assistant Professor
  • Franca Sinopoli, Full Professor
  • Vincenzo Spanò, PhD student
  • Daniel Raffini, Postdoc
  • Francesca Terrenato, Associate Professor