The cultural space of the European Middle Ages: comparing Romance and Germanic literatures

Advanced five-day course at the University of Genoa Dipartimento di Lingue e Culture Moderne

The course combines theory with practical application and includes a well-designed approach to monitoring and assessment with clear feedback to participants. It aims at triggering reflection and at disclosing new perspectives to each participant. It will be engaging and interactive, facilitating sharing and productive dialogue between participants. The contents of the course draw on the most recent research and practice in the field. Online learning activities will be carried out with an appropriate learning management system in order to blend both synchronous and asynchronous learning.

The venue of the course will be suitable to the number of participants involved, it will comply with relevant health and safety standards, and will be accessible to persons with disabilities. Course providers will offer their services in an inclusive way, without any type of discrimination. Particular attention will be paid to allow equal access to participants with special educational needs. Participants will have the opportunity to provide an assessment of the course and feedback about their experience. This feedback should be used to improve the future sessions. The course provider will also offer the possibility of complaints. Submitted complaints will be addressed in a timely, efficient, fair, and constructive manner.

Certification of learning outcomes will be provided to the participants. The certificate will include the name of the participant, a short description of the course and its learning outcomes, its dates and venue(s), the name of the course provider and the course instructors.

Minimum number of participants for course activation: 4
Course duration: five days, five hours per day. Languages: English and Italian Inscription fee: 400 €

Participation in the course (except for those belonging to Italian institutions) can be financed with funds from the European Commission through the Erasmus+ Key Action 1: Learning Mobility of Individuals.

In case of changes in fees, content, dates, location or schedule of the activities, participants will be offered the possibility to cancel their participation at no extra costs and with a reasonable advance notice. Cancelation of the participation and reimbursement in case of events outside of participant’s and course provider’s control (such as natural disasters or serious transport disruptions) must be included in the terms and conditions of the course.

Course providers:
Sonia Maura Barillari (professor of Romance Philology at the University of Genoa) Chiara Benati (professor of Germanic Philology at the University of Genoa) Claudia Händl (professor of Germanic Philology at the University of Genoa)

For information and registration:

Course programme Monday 17 October 2022

Germanic literatures: Medieval German Heroic Epic

This module deals with medieval heroic epic in the German language area. The texts of this genre are rich in themes and motifs, and diverse in emphases, while at the same time retaining a number of archetypal elements. Particular attention will be paid to the Nibelung tradition and the Dietrich epics which draw their origins in remote events related to the Germanic Migration Period.

Germanic literatures: Medieval German Courtly Romance

This module focuses on the emergence of medieval verse romances in the German language area. On the basis of a series of significant examples from the works of Hartmann con Aue, Wolfram von Eschenbach and Gottfried von Straßburg, the features of this genre, its relationship to the Romanic sources and its relationship with other medieval German literary genres will be taken into consideration.

Tuesday 18 October 2022

Germanic literatures: Medieval German Lyric (1150-1300)

This module deals with the main aspects of the medieval German Lyric tradition from its beginnings in the mid twelfth century to the early years of the fourteenth century, a distinct period delimited by the main manuscript collections which embrace poems on the theme of love as well as those on didactic, political, and religious subjects. Particular attention will be paid to the nature of the manuscript transmission, to the manuscript illustrations and to the relationship to Old Provençal and Old French lyric.

Germanic literatures: The reception of courtly romance and heroic epic in Scandinavia (sagas and ballads)
The aim of this module is to show how some of the most popular themes and characters of both courtly romance ad heroic epic (e.g. Yvain, Percival, Charlemagne and the Paladins) are transformed and adapted to two of the most characteristic genres of medieval and post-medieval Scandinavian literature: the saga and the ballad.

Wednesday 19 October 2022

Romance literatures: Romance literatures and popular culture

This module analyses the relationship between popular culture, often rife with pre-Christian heritage, and ‘high’ culture. The effects of this dialogical and osmotic relationship can only be understood through the analysis of the literary texts that preserve more or less explicit traces of myths, beliefs, legends, and traditions which lived exclusively in orality.

Romance literatures: Romance literatures and popular culture – Narratio brevis. Case study: barbeoire and papeoire
This module proposes the analysis of two adiaphorous variants of a fabliau by Jean Bodel, Le vilain de Farbu. The aim is to study in depth, on the basis of historical semantics, the relationships existing between the mask (understood as an artefact), the names attributed to it and its uses in war, magic and ritual contexts.

Thursday 20 October 2022

Romance literatures: The text/image relationship

This module deals with the problems connected to the multiple relationships possibly existing between text and image and to the relations established between two language codes, which are distinct (in one case predominantly discursive, in the other predominantly iconic) but, from a semiotic point of view, not too different. The different forms of relationship in praesentia (coexistence of text and images) and in absentia (images that refer to a pre-text) will be investigated.

Romance literatures: The text/image relationship – Epic poem. Case study: Cruet’s pictorial cycle
This module analyses the transposition of an epic poem into images. The pictorial cycle of the Château de Verdon-Dessous near Cruet, the residence of the Lords of Verdon (early 14th century) and its relationship with its source: the Girart de Vienne by Bertrand de Bar-sur-Aube, composed between 1190 and 1224, will be analyzed.

Romance literatures: The text/image relationship – Romance. Case study: the Siedlęcin painting cycle
This module analyses the transposition of a novel into images. The painting cycle of the residential tower of Siedlęcin on the Bóbr (Silesia), possibly built by Henry I, Duke of Jawor, around 1313-1314, and its relationship with Lancelot en prose (first half of the 13th century) will be analyzed.

Friday 21 October 2022

Romance literatures: The Mediterranean Space

This module explores the role of the Mediterranean as a privileged point of contact of cultures and traditions: on its shores and along its routes, stories of different origins and nature meet, have a dialectic relationship, mix and hybridize, becoming the lifeblood of the future ‘European’ literatures.

Romance literatures: The Mediterranean Space. Case study: the Legenda mirabilis
This module is devoted to an apocryphal Life of St Anthony Abbot of which Alfonsus Bonihominis translated six excerpta from Arabic into Latin in 1342. The second one, «S. Antonii iter barcinonense» is particularly interesting, since it exposes in explicit terms the dynamics of narrative reworking of the links which continued to exist between the two shores of the Mediterranean.

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