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An overview by leader on the first phase of the CSB Pilot Course at La Sapienza in Rome

Our general Coordinator, Prof. Maria Cristina Marchetti, Associate Professor of Sociology of the Political Phenomena at La Sapienza University of Rome explains how the university started the process to launch a new Pilot Course on behalf of "Cultural Studies in Business" Erasmus project in the field of higher education.

The first edition of the pilot course "Cultural Studies in Business" at the Department of Political Sciences at Sapienza University of Rome closed its activities on 10/12/2019.

The course saw the participation of 30 students and the involvement of 5 lecturers (Prof. Umberto Triulzi, Prof. Augusto Cerqua, Prof. Emanuela Ferreri, Dr. Romina Gurashi and I) who unite the Dept. of Political Sciences and the Dept. Social and Economic Sciences La Sapienza University.

The process that led to the approval of the pilot course is defined by the didactic regulations of the Ministry of Education and University. The procedure prevents the inclusion of a new teaching activity in the training offer on an experimental basis. For this reason we have decided to include it among the optional courses which can be chosen by students, in the seminar mode to which 3 credits/24H are attributed.

The pilot course is therefore repeated twice between regular teaching activities of the first and second semester.

The proposal of a new Pilot Course was submitted for approval by the Didactic Area Council in September 2019. The first edition was inaugurated on Tuesday 22 October and ended on Tuesday 10 December.

The program consists of 12 hours lectures, classroom presentations of the works by the students (4 hours) and study work (8 hours).

Based on the structure that characterizes all the pilot courses that are taking place in the partner universities of the project, the first part focused on an Introduction to the History of Economic Thought and specifically on the critical perspectives. The contribution of Prof. Umberto Triulzi and of Prof. Augusto Cerqua allowed the students to open their mind to new perspectives on economic thought.

The second part entered the heart of the "cultural studies" perspective and focused on the relationship between the economic and socio-anthropological disciplines. Anthropology of Economics, the relationship between Economics and modernity through the work of authors such as Arjun Appadurai and Karl Polanyi. In this phase, the pilot course developed socio-anthropological skills, calling Prof. Emanuela Ferreri, prof. Maria Cristina Marchetti and Dr. Romina Gurashi.

In the third part of the seminar Sapienza Team chose to explore the theme of “sustainable development”, through a critical reading of the Agenda 2030 and the different dimensions of sustainability.

The students attending the pilot course are more oriented towards international studies, and have shown great interest in a new perspective for them, not being foreseen by their usual learning pathways.

The seminar thus became the place to open a debate on another way of conceiving economic interventions, international cooperation with a view to sustainability and attention to socio-cultural dimensions.

The second edition of the pilot course was supposed to start on Thursday 27 February, but was interrupted by the Covid-19 emergency. We are trying to plan soon a re-start also because the same students are looking forward to it and they demonstrated with their open works which the team of Professors shared also with the other university colleagues from Albania, Portugal, Croatia, Portugal and North Republic of Macedonia. Stay tuned for further information on the second edition!

Prof. Maria Cristina Marchetti, Associate Professor of Sociology of the Political Phenomena at La Sapienza University of Rome. General Project coordinator of "Cultural Studies in Business" Erasmus Plus K203 project.

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