German culture in the 20th century in Italy: institutions, research, translation
“German culture in the 20th century in Italy” is a pilot project on the investigation of places, ways and protagonists of the cultural transfer from German-speaking countries to Italy in 20th century, with the purpose of creating new projects to highlight the mutual transitions between European national cultures.
In the current historical context, it seems as appropriate as ever to highlight the processes through which a European cultural citizenship has been built. This project is carried out under the European strategies of promotion of cultural heritage in terms of impact on economic, political and social activities. The choice of the time frame, the 20th century, is due to the importance of the German model in a historical period that was crucial for the formation of modes and forms of production of the Italian thought.
The institutional work, the research by Germanists, the translation activity as well as the choice, the direction and the circulation of cultural and scientific editorial products, are all together the subject of this research project.
This study is carried out along the three following lines that all together form the German cultural references in Italy.
1. The Italian Institute of Germanic Studies and German culture in Italy in the 20th century
During the 20th century, some institutions played an aggregation and propulsive role in the spreading of German culture in Italy, including the Italian Institute of Germanic Studies, funded in 1931. It catalyzed the complex political and cultural mediation between Italy and German-speaking countries, by accompanying the course of events autonomously and independently from the dominant political trends. Its activity has always been characterized by a productive and dialectical interchange with German-speaking countries, so much that it became, over the time, a “place of memory” of the nation and then of the Italian Republic.
2. History of German studies in Italy: genealogies, activities and schools
This research line proposes a history of the Germanistic society in Italy that is not limited to the simple collection of data, but based on specific requests of a scientific field (Germanistic society in Italy) taking into consideration places of formation, studies, values and assessment methods. The actors, hierarchies of objects studied and available tools will be considered taking into consideration the national, political, social and economic peculiarities. The point of start will be the principle that the history of a study field cannot disregard the weight of the international circulation of knowledge.
3. Recognition, study and analysis of translation of German texts in Italy (1900-2000)
Editors and translators helped spreading the German culture in Italy in the 20th century. The objective of recognition is to collect and analyze the huge amount of translations and, through it, the penetration and incidence of German culture into last century Italian cultural universe. Moreover, this research line is consistent with the institutional vocation of the Italian Institute of German Studies. We aim at providing, for the first time, a critical and overall interpretation of translations in relationship with the Italian culture, starting from collected data.
The study will be organized by dividing the work load among the researchers working on the different lines who will get together in a permanent workshop at the Italian Institute of Germans Studies. The Institute will provide rooms, equipment and bibliographic tools and the meetings will encourage interaction between the different research lines and sections.
The subject of the study will allow researchers to achieve the close cooperation upon which the project was conceived since the very start.