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Making national identity. The construction of Germanic Mythology in 19th century.

Making national identity. The construction of Germanic Mythology in 19th century.

Objective

We are witnessing today a renewed mythologisation of the political sphere: myth has returned to occupy a persuasive and central role in modern political and cultural life, taking on the form of fictional narratives, “false myths” and ideologies, which are dangerously replacing rational debate. The process of demythologization (Entmythologisierung) of religious, political, cultural and social dynamics that began after the Second World War seems to have reached a standstill, revealing the unresolved contradictions inherent to the cult of reason and the Dialectic of Enlightenment. The question of the need for myth in every culture, modern culture not excluded, is still unanswered. Critical awareness of myth and its function as a cultural agent in today’s climate is critical, although the all too obvious demonization of myth should not be supplanted by the facile—and equally mythical—valorization of reason. As Jan Assmann argues, the function of myth in the modern world goes beyond a simple elaboration of the past. Indeed, all mythopoetic activity has immediate productive value and can be characterized as a dominant historical agent. A critical-historical study of the origins and development of the modern concepts of myth and mythology is of capital importance if we are to redefine our categories of thought and understand the pervasive phenomena that have dominated European culture for the last two centuries. My research takes on the first systematic study of mythology by way of a very telling case study: the birth of German Mythology studies. My aim is to show how German intellectuals created a system of Germanic mythology based on materials appropriated from Nordic myth and the model prevalent in European culture at the time: Greco-Roman mythology. This newly established Germanic myth imposed itself as an alternative model to the classical one, providing a new foundation for the construction of nationalistic cultural and political identities.
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Coordinator

KOBENHAVNS UNIVERSITET

Address

Norregade 10
1165 Kobenhavn

Denmark

Activity type

Higher or Secondary Education Establishments

EU Contribution

€ 219 312

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 842513

Status

Grant agreement signed

  • Start date

    1 September 2020

  • End date

    31 August 2022

Funded under:

H2020-EU.1.3.2.

  • Overall budget:

    € 219 312

  • EU contribution

    € 219 312

Coordinated by:

KOBENHAVNS UNIVERSITET

Denmark