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Durham University

School of Modern Languages and Cultures: German Studies

Heroes and Myths of German History

Academic year 2018-2019

The course aims to acquaint you with public representations of historical events and figures that have played a central role in shaping notions of German national identity. These include, for instance, the myth of Frederick II (“the Great”) of Prussia and of Prussia itself, Luther and the Reformation, and the Faust figure, which was used to construct the image of a faustisches Deutschland. Of these topic areas, you will study two in detail, investigating literary and political texts, as well as films and pictorial representations. By the end of the course you should have become familiar with two major themes of German historical self-perception and with techniques for analysing these in diverse media (historical documents and research literature, text, film, pictorial representations).

Texts likely to be studied include:

Term 1

  • Heine, Deutschland. Ein Wintermärchen (Reclam)

Term 2

To be confirmed


Dr Simon Ward [], Room ER211, Elvet Riverside I

Further details of pre-requisites, co-requisites, aims, contact hours and assessment