Faculty of Arts

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2014 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Arts
OfferedNot offered in 2014
Coordinator(s)A/Prof Franz-Josef Deiters.


This unit will examine the concepts of the nation, national identity, national literature(s) and literature as a medium of national identity in the European thought including French, German, Italian and Spanish literary and philosophical traditions (in English translation and/or the original) by French, German, Italian and Spanish authors. It will focus on the concepts of the nation, national identity, national literature(s) and literature as a medium of national identity in the context of European cultural history. In examining these concepts students will be acquainted with a broad range of texts from the European traditions.


Upon successful completion of this subject students should have:

  1. Acquired detailed knowledge of the main features of the European tradition regarding the concept of national literatures and literature as a medium for national identity;
  2. A good grasp of key texts reflecting the intellectual debates on this topic;
  3. Developed an acute awareness of the formative historical forces in the age of nation building;
  4. Improved their ability to analyse and interpret key concepts of national identity in light of the literary, philosophical and historical developments since early modern times;
  5. Gained experience in relating isolated historical and literary phenomena to a broader historical and theoretical framework;

They should be capable:

  1. Of informed discussion of the different conceptualizations of nation, national identity and national literature(s) in their specific historical context;
  2. To present the results of their own research in form of a tutorial paper and in a more detailed written essay.


Essay: 2500 words: (55%)
Class paper: 1000 words (20%)
Examination: 1 hour (25%).

Chief examiner(s)

Workload requirements

One 2-hour seminar/week + three 2-hour language-specific tutorials/week.

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


Advanced French, German, Italian, or Spanish Studies 1, Part 2 or above; or equivalent; 2nd year Comparative Literary Studies, or equivalent.