German Culture I

A.Y. 2021/2022
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The course focuses on the fundamental cultural aspects in the German-speaking countries between the 17th and 18th centuries. These are the centuries in which the great historical and social processes that mark the modernity begin to take shape. The aim of the course is to present the relationship between the fundamental events of material history and their representations in various areas of cultural discourse.
Expected learning outcomes
Students will have to acquire an autonomous ability to manage the main categories of periodization and the most important tools of conceptualization and understanding in the context of the cultural history of the German-speaking countries between the 17th and 18th centuries.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
First semester
All notices relating to the modalities of the course will be made known through the Ariel platform.
The platform will also be used to make supplementary materials available to students.
Course syllabus
There are two units, which will be developed consecutively:

1) Forms and representations of modernity in German-speaking countries
The fundamental events of social and economic history in Germany, Austria and Switzerland between the 17th and 18th centuries will be presented, from the Thirty Years War to the French Revolution. Particular attention will be paid to the way in which these events are elaborated, critically discussed and represented in various spheres of the philosophical, aesthetic, historiographical production of the reference period.

2) Classicism and Romanticism
The teaching unit will focus on the developments of German culture in the so-called Sattelzeit between the end of the 18th and the beginning of the 19th century. Starting from a historical-social introduction to the period, we will focus on the different but complementary phenomena of Classicism and Romanticism, analyzing their fundamental principles and actors, highlighting their mutual intersections and placing them in the European panorama of the time.
Prerequisites for admission
A rudimentary knowledge of the great categories and fundamental processes of modern European history is desirable.
Teaching methods
Teaching Resources
Unit 1:
Nicolao Merker, La Germania. Storia di una cultura da Lutero a Weimar, Editori Riuniti, Roma 2016 (chapters I-II-III-IV)
Christian Fürchtegott Gellert, Vita della contessa svedese von G., transl. by Maria Pia Micchia, Sellerio, Palermo 2002
Johann Wolfgang Goethe, I dolori del giovane Werther, transl. by Enrico Ganni, Einaudi, Torino 2021

Unit 2
Nicolao Merker, La Germania. Storia di una cultura da Lutero a Weimar, Editori Riuniti, Roma 2016 (chapters V-VI-VII)
Il romantico nel Classicismo / il classico nel Romanticismo, ed. by Alessandro Costazza, Led online 2017. [«Come tutto è diverso presso noi moderni!». L'invenzione del Classicismo come progetto romantico (Albert Meier); «Studio» invece di «imitazione». L'antichità classica come costruzione per i Classicisti e i Romantici tedeschi (Alessandro Costazza)].

For non-attending students: Michele Cometa, L'età di Goethe, Carocci, Roma 2006.
Assessment methods and Criteria
There is an oral exam for attending and non-attending students. Students will be asked to demonstrate the assimilation of the course contents, the understanding of the basic conceptual repertoire and the ability to argue independently on some topics proposed by the teacher. The two units that make up the course will both be subject to assessment. The final grade will be expressed out of thirty. Students who declare themselves not attending will take care to integrate their preparation as indicated in the bibliography attached to the program.
L-LIN/13 - GERMAN LITERATURE - University credits: 9
Lessons: 60 hours
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