German Culture II

A.Y. 2020/2021
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The aim of the course is to provide students with knowledge and interpretative tools to tackle the advanced study of some aspects of German culture starting from their historical-political and social contextualization. Through the analysis of different documents and cultural products (literary and journalistic texts, video materials, images, cinematography) pertaining to the German-speaking world the course seeks, also thanks to the seminar-based discussion, to stimulate the critical thinking and communication skills of the students.
Expected learning outcomes
In the lectures students will acquire knowledge about German culture and will refine their ability to understand the changes that have characterized the German-speaking world, in particular during the twentieth century, and to critically reflect on the effects that these have had on the current socio-political and cultural landscape. At the end of the course the students will be able to interpret texts and cultural products in the original language, contextualizing them both in the historical-cultural era of reference and within a diachronic scheme of German culture, as well as to re-elaborate and argue critically and autonomously the acquired knowledge.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
Second semester
IMPORTANT: all the most important information will be provided through the ARIEL website of the course (Cultura tedesca I-II LIN -
Course syllabus
The course consists of the following two units, which will be addressed in sequence:
Unit 1: Political terrorism in the BRD of the 1970s and its repercussions on the German culture.
Unit 2: The 'RAF myth': representation of terrorism in contemporary German culture.

In unit 1, after a historical introduction on political terrorism in the BRD of the 1970s and in particular on the far-left militant organization RAF (Rote Armee Fraktion), the reactions of intellectuals, writers, filmmakers and artists regarding this period of strong social tensions will be taken into account by analyzing cultural products of various kinds that not only transcend the temporal and socio-political boundaries of this phenomenon, broadening the reflection to issues such as the right of rebellion and the manipulative force of the media, but also try to contextualize it in the troubled German history of the twentieth century.

Unit 2 will instead consider cultural products of the last thirty years approx. and from different artistic fields (in particular literature, theatre and film) which offer different interpretations of terrorism (in particular that of the RAF itself) and have helped build what has now become the 'Mythos RAF', focusing both on the representative strategies and on the role they play in the current German cultural landscape and in the light of new terroristic threats.

The course syllabus is valid until February 2022.

The syllabus for non-attending students is the same as that for attending students. Given the greater difficulties arising from a study conducted independently, it is recommended that non-attending students contact the teacher to obtain more information about the preparation of the exam.
Prerequisites for admission
The course is mainly held in Italian but is based on materials and bibliography in German. A solid knowledge of the German language is required to understand scientific, literary and journalistic texts, as well as video material in the original language.
Teaching methods
The course adopts the following teaching methods: lectures; discussion and collective analysis in class of the proposed materials; watching and commenting documentaries and films.
Teaching Resources
Unit 1
A reader containing all the materials covered by the unit will be made available on the Ariel website (Cultura tedesca LIN I - II) and illustrated at the beginning of the course.
The unit also includes the preparation of the following materials:
- Terhoven, P., Die Rote Armee Fraktion. Eine Geschichte terroristischer Gewalt. München: C.H. Beck, 2017. [also available as ebook]
- Böll, H., Die verlorene Ehre der Katharina Blum [1974] (any German edition).
Deutschland im Herbst, film (A. Kluge, V. Schlöndorff, R.W. Fassbinder et al., 1978) (available in the Library - Polo di Mediazione linguistica e interculturale)

Unit 2
A reader containing all the materials covered by the unit will be made available on the Ariel website (Cultura tedesca LIN I - II) and illustrated at the beginning of the course.
The unit also includes the preparation of the following materials:
Black Box BRD, film (A. Veiel, 2001)
Assessment methods and Criteria
The exam consists of an individual interview, which includes questions asked by the theacher, interactions between the teacher and the student and the analysis and commentary of one or more materials in the syllabus. The interview takes place in Italian (or, if asked by the student, in German). The interview aims to verify the knowledge of the materials, the ability to contextualize them, the property of language and the capacity for critical and personal reflection on the proposed themes. The final grade is expressed in 30/30.
L-LIN/13 - GERMAN LITERATURE - University credits: 6
Lessons: 40 hours
Educational website(s)