Università degli Studi di Urbino Carlo Bo / Portale Web di Ateneo


The image of Italy in Thomas Mann. A cultural and historical overview on Germany since 1900.
L'immagine dell'Italia in Thomas Mann - Panoramica storico-culturale sulla Germania dal 1900 ad oggi.

A.Y. Credits
2015/2016 8
Lecturer Email Office hours for students
Luca Renzi

Assigned to the Degree Course

Foreign languages and culture (L-11)
Curriculum: LIN-OC, LIN-AZ
Date Time Classroom / Location

Learning Objectives

The course is aimed at acquiring, through a historical and cultural overview about Germany since 1900 - initially offered by the analysis of an epochal novel - of fundamentals on German culture of the last two centuries, especially from a constrastive and intercultural perspective as from Italian culture. The further methodological and specialized texts start to a more analytical knowledge of contemporary German culture and to dominant stereotypes.


In a first part, Th. Mann's novel Death in Venice will be critically analyzed as well as aspects of the culture of Germany in 20th century.

Some cultural aspects of contemporary Germany will be later examined on the basis of the text of B. Maj, as well as anthropological aspects, stereotypes and typing on the basis of the text of H. Bausinger.

Students attending this course of German Literature I and II, borrowed from German Culture, will also benefit from the supplementary support course held by Dr. Andrea Benedetti, entitled "Image of Italy in the works of Thomas Mann from 1914 to 1930 ", on the following books excerpts:

Gedanken im Kriege (1914)

Betrachtungen eines Unpolitischen (1918)

Mario und der Zauberer (1930)

and whose full program is posted on the bulletin board next to the office of German.

Learning Achievements (Dublin Descriptors)

Ability to understand and critically analyze aspects and historical events, placing them within a cultural framework of the whole of historical development and social repercussions.

Teaching Material

The teaching material prepared by the lecturer in addition to recommended textbooks (such as for instance slides, lecture notes, exercises, bibliography) and communications from the lecturer specific to the course can be found inside the Moodle platform › blended.uniurb.it

Supporting Activities

Handouts and online database prepared by the teacher on appropriate links.

The screening of L. Visconti's Death in Venice is planned.

Didactics, Attendance, Course Books and Assessment


Lectures and seminars.


Frequency of at least two-thirds of lessons.

Course books

Th. Mann, La morte a Venezia, Torino, Einaudi, 2006 or any other edition

B. Maj, Heimat. La cultura tedesca contemporanea. Roma, Carocci, 2001 (coll. Le Bussole/21)

H. Bausinger, Tipico tedesco, Pisa, ETS, 2007


Students attending the course German Literature I and II borrowed from German Culture, may use the following texts to replace one or two of the previous:

E. Shookman, Thomas Mann's Death in Venice. A Reference Guide. Westport/London, 2004

E. Spedicato, Literatur auf der Leinwand am Beispiel von Luchino Viscontis „Morte a Venezia". Würzburg, Königshausen&Neumann, 2008


The texts (excerpts) of the supplementary course for students of German Literature I and II, by Dr. Benedetti, are as follows:

Gedanken im Kriege

German version: Mann, Thomas: "Essays 2: 1914-1926", hrsg. H. von Kurzke in Id .: Grosse Kommentierte Frankfurter Ausgabe: Werke, Briefe, Tagebücher, Bd.15.1, Fischer, Frankfurt a. M., 2002, pp. 27-46.

Italian version: “Pensieri di guerra”, in Id.: “Scritti storici e politici”, vol. XI, a cura di L. Mazzucchetti, Mondadori, Milano, 1957, pp. 33-52.

Betrachtungen eines Unpolitischen

German version: Mann, Thomas: Betrachtungen eines Unpolitischen, hrsg. H. von Kurzke in Id.:Grosse Kommentierte Frankfurter Ausgabe: Werke, Briefe, Tagebücher, Bd. 13.1, Fischer, Frankfurt a. M., 2009.

Italian version:
Mann, Thomas: Considerazioni di un impolitico, a cura di M. Marianelli e M. Ingenmey, Adelphi, Milano, 1997.

Mario und der Zauberer

German version: Mann, Thomas: "Mario und der Zauberer", in Id .: Späte Erzählungen, Fischer, Frankfurt a. M., 19962, pp. 188-242.

Italian version:  Mann, Thomas: “Mario e il mago”, in Id.: Romanzi brevi, a cura di R. Fertonani, Mondadori, Milano, 1984, pp. 375-434.

(They also will replace two of the three texts of the Culture program).


Oral examination. Evaluated term papers.

Attending students can make use of a term paper, to be undertaken in groups, according to the criteria described by the teacher, which will integrate the final grade. Non-attending students are required to follow the examination program as provided by the handbook.

Additional Information for Non-Attending Students


There are no obligations, if not the observance of the handbook's

Course books

Same as attending students


Oral examination.


Part of the course will be taught in German. The students can request to sit the final exam in German with an alternative bibliography

« back Last update: 04/06/2016


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