Culture of German Speaking Countries 1

Academic year
Subject Area
German Culture
Language of Instruction
Mode of Delivery
ECTS Credits
1st Cycle Studies

Recommended Prerequisites

Introduction to the Study of Cultures of German-speaking Countries.

Teaching Methods

The diachronic approach that underlies this curricular unit will be divided in moments of greater lecturing character (for which both teacher and students will be responsible) and moments of collective analysis and debate of various texts and documents (graphics, photographs, films, etc.) related to the themes in question.

Learning Outcomes

The curricular unit “Culture of German-Speaking Countries – 1” aims both at familiarizing students with the main characteristics of the German-speaking countries from the 18th century to the beginning of the 20th century (always taking into account the wider context of the European culture of the time), and at enhancing the students' critical autonomy.

By the end of the semester, students should be able to:

1. identify and comment on texts and other documents related to the unit’s main topics;

2. relate the various cultural contexts with one another, analyzing them critically and in a historical perspectivation;

3. analyze and present the discussed themes, showing intellectual autonomy, synthesizing capacity, argumentation skills and high proficiency in oral and written expression;

4. show that they have developed attitudes of intellectual curiosity and rigor, as well as critical and autonomous thinking.

Work Placement(s)



This curricular unit focuses on the evolution of German-speaking countries from the 18th century to the end of the First World War. The program may vary from edition to edition, depending on the teacher in charge, but will be based on the following items:

1. The “Age of Enlightenment” and the preparation of the modern world: new philosophical, political, economic and artistic conceptions.

2. The “Century of the Bourgeoisie”: economic consolidation and political rise.

2.1. The idea of nation and the influence of Romanticism.

2.2. Liberalism versus Restoration.

2.3. The formation of German-speaking states: the Second Empire, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Swiss Confederation.

3. The transition to the “Century of the People”.

3.1. Economic, political and cultural issues of industrialization.

3.2. Centralization of power, colonial politics and European tensions.

3.3. “Belle Époque” and the eclecticism of modernist art.

3.4. The First World War: the end of 19th century society.

Head Lecturer(s)

Rogério Paulo da Costa Madeira

Assessment Methods

Frequency: 25.0%
Participation in the classes’ debates, short presentations of texts and other documents: 25.0%
Exam: 50.0%


Beller, S. (2007). A Concise History of Austria. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Beutin, W. et al. (1993-94). História da Literatura Alemã das Origens à Actualidade. Lisboa: Apáginastantas, Cosmos.

Burns, R. (ed.) (1995). German Cultural Studies. An Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Church, C. H., Head, R. C. (2013). A Concise History of Switzerland. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Demandt, A. (2008). Über die Deutschen. Bonn: bpb.

Kitchen, M. (2006). A History of Modern Germany. 1800-2000. Malden (MA): Blackwell.

Müller, H. (2002). Schlaglichter der deutschen Geschichte. Bonn: bpb.

Opitz, A. et al. (1998). Sociedade e Cultura Alemãs. Lisboa: Univ. Aberta.

Scheidl, L., Melo, I. A., Ribeiro, A. S. (1996). Dois Séculos de História Alemã. Política, Sociedade e Cultura (3.ª ed.). Coimbra: Minerva.