The Department of Communication and Performing Arts was set up in November 1999, following the success of the Media and Communication Research Institute created by Gianfranco Bettetini in 1982. This Institute carried on the tradition of the Centre for Excellence in Journalism and Audiovisual Media (currently known as "Almed") established in 1961 by professor of Philology and drama historian Mario Apollonio, and led also by Virgilio Melchiorre and Sisto Dalla Palma. Francesco Casetti led the research within this department in the centres established in Milan and Brescia from the beginning to 2010. From 2011 to 2013 the department was chaired by Annamaria Cascetta. Currently the department is chaired by Fausto Colombo.
The scientific work is the result of the merging of different theoretical and empirical research trends and expertise, focusing on historical, semiotic, sociological and anthropological guidelines. Six main areas characterize the research, the backbone of the overall department's organization:
• Media sociology
• Media anthropology
• Film studies
• Radio and television studies
• Drama and Performing arts
The department staff plays a central role in the educational projects of several faculties of the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore: Humanities, Modern Languages, Social Sciences, Education and Economics. The department's aim is to develop connections with other research and cultural centres. This is achieved thanks to seminars, meetings and conferences organized both nationally and internationally.
Television, cinema, press and communication professionals are also involved in the research work and lecturing on a fixed term contract for various BA courses and post-graduate studies. The department is proud to have among its staff some of the leading professionals currently working in the communication field in Italy.
The department also organizes PhD projects in the fields of both Communication studies and Drama and Performing Arts studies.
Publications and Journals
The series Media, spettacolo e processi culturali is published by Vita e Pensiero, the official university publisher, as a periodic up-date of the analyses carried out within the department. The four-monthly journal Comunicazioni Sociali is characterized by monographic studies reporting on specific research areas. The journal is edited by Prof. Gianfranco Bettetini together with some members of the department.
The department is connected to the activities of the post-graduate school ALMED - Alta Scuola in Media, Comunicazione e Spettacolo and of the following research centres: OssCom - Centro di Ricerca sui media e la comunicazione, CeRTA - Centro di Ricerca sulla Televisione e l'Audiovisivo and CIT - Centro di Cultura e iniziativa teatrale "Mario Apollonio".