Literarische Kultur des Südwestens

This is a major interdisciplinary and international research project with the Universities of Zurich, Fribourg (CH) and Freiburg (D). Our goal is a contribution to the literary history of the south-west German lands in the fourteenth century, structured not on the traditional model of authors and works but on the basis of the social formations within which literature was produced, copied and read: not only convents and monasteries, but also the families, courts and towns in which works both in Latin and the vernacular circulated. The geographical area covered by our project is defined in linguistic terms as the Alemannic dialect area. In ecclesiastical terms that amounts to the dioceses of Strasbourg, Basle, Constance and Augsburg; in political terms German-speaking Switzerland, Alsace, Baden-Württemberg and the Swabian region of Bavaria west of the river Lech. Our concept of literature, based on the specific ‘manuscript culture’ of the Middle Ages, encompasses all texts that were circulated in book form, German and Latin. A preliminary statement of our methodology is shortly to be published in the Zeitschrift für deutsche Philologie under the title ‘Literarische Topographie des Südwestens im 14. Jahrhundert’. We are planning a series of studies and texts under the title ‘Kulturtopographie des alemannischen Raums: Texte und Untersuchungen’.


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