The Eternal City has been an endless source of inspiration to the imagination of artists, writers and travellers through the ages. This seminar sets out to investigate whether this was particularly the case during the era defined as the ‘long Romantic period’ (ca. 1770-1870). As the term Romanticism itself seems to invoke Rome, it is worthwhile to look for the particularities of the Romantic experiences, imaginings and renderings of Rome. These reflections not only relate to ‘contemporary’ Rome in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, nor are they limited to the ‘Roman presences’ in the city as a physical place, effectively visited by travellers to Italy. As the ‘City of the Soul’ – as Byron put it – Rome, past and present, was also a romantic idea onto which artists and writers projected individual imaginations and longings, and shared cultural ideals or political anxieties pertaining to their contexts of origin. This course aims to illuminate the encounter between Rome and the romantic imagination, in its individual and collective manifestations. We will get acquainted with both foreign and Italian romantics in their Roman homes and on the sites they frequented or drew their inspiration from. At the same time, we will see how they saw and shaped an age of revolution and nationalism that foreshadowed Rome’s transformation from a papal enclave to capital of a unified Italy, and how they witnessed the gradual passage from the Grand Tour to mass tourism.
Prof. dr. Joep Leerssen (UvA)
Dr. Asker Pelgrom (KNIR)
Target group and admission
The course is open to a maximum of 12 selected (PhD-) students in (art)history, general and comparative literature, heritage studies, cultural studies or related disciplines at MA, RMA or PhD level from KNIR partner universities (Universiteit van Amsterdam, Vrije Universiteit, Universiteit Leiden, Universiteit Utrecht, Radboud Universiteit, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen).
Course format and assignments
The course is organized by and hosted at the Royal Netherlands Institute in Rome (KNIR). It consists of an two-week intensive seminar period in Rome, with lectures, on-site visits and discussions. During the seminar, each participant delivers an oral presentation in situ on a topic of her/his choice. Before and after the seminar participating students work independently on two written assignments:
– an written preparatory assignment (1.500 words), deadline 29 March 2020, 18.00h
– a concluding essay (5.000 words), deadline 3 May 2020, 18.00h
Credits and assessment
The study load is the equivalent of 6 ECTS (168 hours). Each student should arrange with his/her home coordinator whether the course can be a part of the existing curriculum. After successful completion of the course the KNIR provides a certificate mentioning study load and evaluation.
The study load is based on:
a) Before the seminar in Rome, independent study of course material and preparatory assignment of 1.500 words: 1 ECTS (28 hours)
b) Intensive seminar in Rome (14 days): active participation, oral presentation and essay proposal: 4 ECTS (112 hours)
c) After the seminar: essay of 5.000 words: 1 ECTS (28 hours)
Assessment takes place on the basis of preparatory assignment, based on the study of course material (20%), active participation and on-site presentation (30%), and the concluding essay (50%).
Tuition and lodging at the KNIR is free for selected participants from the above mentioned Dutch universities. Personal expenses, including meals, are not included. Students receive a €100 reimbursement of their expenses for travelling to Rome after submission of their final essay.
Facilities in Rome
All participants will be housed at the Royal Netherlands Institute in Rome’s Villa Borghese Park. From there, it is only a short walk to the historical center of Rome. The KNIR accommodation consists of shared bedrooms and bathrooms, and includes a living and dining space, a large kitchen, washing machine and wireless internet. All residents have 24/7 access to the library and gardens of the Royal Netherlands Institute.
15 February 2020 via the link below, submitting a motivation letter, a recent C.V. and an updated overview of study results.