10547 - Germanic Philology (1)

Course Unit Page

SDGs

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Quality education Gender equality

Academic Year 2022/2023

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course the student will possess the theoretical and material fundamentals in order to understand the Germanix languages, literatures and cultures (which must be intended like corpora indipendently from their literary value) from their proto-historical past to the end of the Middle Ages, in other words the cultures that Germanic peoples starting from the prehistorical period. The Middle Ages will be at the centre of investigation because in that period the common Germanic cultural milieu is more evident through the large number of sources and documentation in Old Germanic languages and literatures. The student will be able to read, translate and give a philological and linguistic comment to a short passage in an Old Germanic language

Course contents

Students of the 9 CFU (60hrs) course:

Module A (30hrs):

Fondamentals of Germanic Philology

The cultural peculiarities of the Germanic peoples will be taken into account: the oral transmission of knowledge, law, religion, social structure and the role of women. Part of the module will analyze the literary genres of the Germanic literature of the Middle Ages (heroic poetry, sagas, skaldic poetry, religious poetry). The themes of the module will be analyzed by reading and commenting some primary sources in Italian translation. A particular care will be devoted to the literary and documental production of the medieval period. The main philological methodologies of texs reconstruction will be presented during the course.

Module B (30hrs): Cold are the Counsels of Women.

The module focuses on one of the most important sagas of the medieval Nordic world: the Laxdæla saga. Written around the middle of the 13th century in Old Icelandic, it tells the story of a Norwegian clan settled in Iceland on Hvammsfjörðr, at the foot of the Westfjords. The saga expands from the 9th century up to the first generations after the year 1000, shedding light on the customs, loves and revenges of an important family. Particularly relevant is the role of the female characters, especially that of Gudðrún Osvífrsdóttir, the most beautiful and intelligent woman of her time. The saga, read and commented in Italian, will be placed in the broader context of the Nordic literary polysystem.

Students of the 6 CFU (30 hrs) course:

Module A or B (at choice)

Readings/Bibliography

Module A:

Teaching materials on disposal on the Virtuale platform;

Alessandro Zironi, Filologia germanica. Lingua, storia, cultura, testi, Firenze, Le Monnier Università, 2022 (selection indicated on Virtuale platform).

Module B:

- Laxdæla saga, a cura di Silvia Cosimini, Milano, Iperborea, 2015

- Fulvio Ferrari, Le saghe nordiche. Eroi, vichinghi e poeti nella Scandinavia medievale, Milano, Meltemi, 2022.

non attending students:

Module A:

Alessandro Zironi, Filologia germanica. Lingua, storia, cultura, testi, Firenze, Le Monnier Università, 2022 (entire book)

Module B:

- Laxdæla saga, a cura di Silvia Cosimini, Milano, Iperborea, 2015

- Fulvio Ferrari, Le saghe nordiche. Eroi, vichinghi e poeti nella Scandinavia medievale, Milano, Meltemi, 2022.

- S. Clarck, "Cold are the Counsels of Women": the Revengeful Woman in Icelandic Family Sagas, in A. Classen (ed.), Women as Protagonists and Poets in the German Middle Ages. An Anthology of Feminist Approaches to Middle High German Literature, Göppingen, Kümmerle Verlag, pp. 1-27.

Teaching methods

The lectures will be held in presence without recordings.

Assessment methods

The exam consists in an oral interview on both modules, which can not be shared into separated moments. During the interview the methodological and critical skills acquired by the student will be evaluated . The student will be invited to discuss the texts covered during the course and to move within the sources and bibliographical material in order to be able to identify in them the useful information that will enable to illustrate the similarities and cultural areas of the discipline. The achievement of an organic vision of the issues addressed during the classes and their critical use, which demonstrate ownership of a mastery of expression and specific language, will be assessed with marks of excellence. Mechanical and / or mnemonic knowledge of matter, synthesis and analysis of non-articulating and / or correct language but not always appropriate will lead to discrete assessments; training gaps and / or inappropriate language - although in a context of minimal knowledge of the material - will lead to votes that will not exceed the sufficiency. Training gaps, inappropriate language, lack of guidance within the reference materials offered during the course will lead to failed assessments.

Teaching tools

Video and audio materials on internet.

Office hours

See the website of Alessandro Zironi