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Towards an Alternative History of the Age of Goethe

Objective

This project challenges our understanding of the core canonical period of German literary and philosophical historiography (1770-1830) by asking: what concept of literature emerged in the period, and why were some authors and philosophically engaged figures marginalised through processes of canonisation, whilst others were not? This was a transformational period in German literary and philosophy culture, featuring major figures such as Goethe, Schiller, Kant, and Fichte, and these names continue to determine the narratives of the period in both fields. Through a series of three case studies, the first on social cultures of emotion, the second on gendered networks of philosophy, and the third on local canons, this project will examine the social and material contexts of literature and philosophy and ask how they influenced later processes of canonisation. I will integrate a wide variety of methodological approaches, including sociological concepts of networks imported into literary studies, and methods from book history and intellectual history. These will be used to interrogate the agency of individual mediators – readers and publishers, among others – in the development of literature and philosophy.
The project will argue for a more nuanced understanding of what is understood by literature and philosophy in the period. I will specifically argue that examining literary sociability opens up other overlooked contexts that are obscured by canonisation and the master narratives that develop subsequent to the period.
The fellowship will provide me with expertise in a variety of fields to expand on my background in literary studies: I will develop specialisms in the history of philosophy and in gender studies, and so will gain an interdisciplinary perspective on German studies. It will furnish me with the publication record that will allow me to apply for permanent positions (associate professorships) in academia in the UK.

Coordinator

UNIVERSITA DEGLI STUDI DI VERONA
Net EU contribution
€ 172 750,08
Address
Via Dell Artigliere 8
37129 Verona
Italy

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Region
Nord-Est Veneto Verona
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Non-EU contribution
No data