Class schedule

CLASS SCHEDULE (dates for exams and papers are tentative, and if a change of dates will be necessary, it will be announced in class and on the listserv). The suggested readings, all available in the library, are not required but can provide you with additional viewpoints and information. They are not necessary for the quizzes or for the papers, but can prove to be highly useful and hence are recommended for the inquisitive mind. You also can find a vast amount of very useful information on my homepage (see above).  For more specialized research, consult the SABIO website (Library Catalogue:

See also D2L for announcements, news, and answers to frequently raised questions.

Specific assignments: always come to class having read those specific texts or pages assigned for that day! When only a text's title is mentioned, calculate on your own how much you must have read to follow the class discussion for that day.


Aug. 22: Introduction: syllabus, library resources, research methods, study ethics, time management. Homework assignment;, etc.

Aug. 24: Historical and social-literary survey of the Middle Ages, read the article by Emily Amt/Classen (online). 

Consult also my own article (Classen) published in The Literary Encyclopedia (normally accessible only through subscription; but I have made it available for you free of charge).

Aug. 29: 1st exam (a one page written exam, with essay questions, as in all other exams). Continue with Amt/Classen. You need to know the major stages in the history of the early and high Middle Ages, the social structure, the major external threats, the history of the crusades (in very general terms), the concept of the court. The focus will rest on the early and the high Middle Ages.

We also discuss the literary history of the Middle Ages, pp. 11-14 (Amt/Classen). I might ask you a question on tophat about this section.

Time table

Aug. 31: Gottfried von Strassburg, Tristan: I will provide a lecture; but I recommend that you read the text on your own. For a quick introduction, see this link

Sept. 05: Cont.: Tristan; please read online the plot summary; I will highlight some of the key issues and test you quickly.

Sept. 07: The late Middles. Then we turn back to late antiquity and the early Middle Ages. The tradition of late antiquity: Apollonius of Tyre (contained in the big textbook, same title as this course, same for all other texts until the Maeren), read the entire story in one sitting

Sept. 12: 2nd exam on the late Middle Ages, on Tristan, and on Apollonius of Tyre. Continuation of our discussion of Apollonius.

Sept. 14: Conclusion of our discussion of Apollonius, introduction to Carmina Burana, 33-41

Sept. 19: The Church and the learned tradition: Carmina Buranapp.  43-44, 48, 58-63, 65-67, 73. Please make sure you have read those poems for class. 

See, e.g.: rap performance of a song in the Carmina Burana by one of my former students, "Harley" (Dec. 2014)

Sept. 21: 1st paper due today in class, either on Apollonius or on some poems in the Carmina Burana; we read: Hartmann von Aue: Lord Henry


Alert: Sept. 22, deadline to submit a paper propsal for an undergraduate student conference on the Middle Ages at NAU: 

Sept. 26: We continue with Hartmann von Aue; if time permits, we also begin with Marie de France, but postpone most of it to Thu. Anglo-Norman (British) Culture: Marie de France (Section 08): Prologue, and Guigemar

Sept. 28: Marie de France: Equitan and Eliduc

Oct. 3: Marie de France: Bisclavret

Oct. 5: Le Fresne and Laval

Oct. 10: 3rd exam (on Hartmann and Marie); Marie de France: Eliduc

Oct. 12: Walther von der Vogelweide (pp. 172-76), esp. "Under the Linden"

Oct. 17: Mauritius von Craun (Section 10)

Oct. 19: Mauritius von Craun   

Undergraduate Conference on Medieval Studies, at NAU: 

Oct. 24: 4th examMauritius von Craun; we also beginwith Aucassin and Nicolette (Section 14)

Oct. 26: Aucassin and Nicolette;

2nd paper (write on 2 texts by Marie de France, or on 2 poems by Walther von der Vogelweide, or on Mauritius von Craun, or create a combination); due in class as a paper copy and in electronic form in dropbox (both are required!)

Ex. for a thesis: The Ideals of courtly love find powerful expression in Walther's poems, but they are also undermined in Mauritius, hence: The rise and fall of courtly love

Gender Struggles in Marie de France and Mauritius

Or: Walther von der V. as a Medieval Feminist

Or: Mauritius as a Rapist

Oct. 31: Fabliaux (Section 9) from now on we turn to our second textbook

Nov. 02: The German tradition: Erotic Tales: "The Monk with the Goose" and "The Little Bunny Rabbit" (this is the other textbook, the small-sized one, which I translated)

Nov. 07:5th exam; Debate: Rape or not Rape: Mauritius, The Monk, The Little Bunny Rabbit. Then: Dietrich of the Gletze: Love and the Development of Individuality.

Nov. 9: Erotic Tales: Dietrich of the Gletze,The Belt; 2nd paper will be returned, if possible

EXTRA CREDIT: If you want to earn extra credit (up to 30 points), please visit the UoA Museum of Art, go to the Retablo Room, examine the marvelous artwork from 15th-c. Spain and write a short paper about it (ca. 500 words). 

Nov. 14: Erotic Tales: Ruprecht von Wurzburg, Two Merchants; and Warm Donation. Today we also return to the overview of the Middle Ages, focusing on the late Middle Ages and the transition to the Renaissance (this will be tested in the 6th exam).

Mo., Nov. 13: you can pick up the second paper (2nd badge) by 11 a.m.

Nov. 16: 6th exam. 

Nov. 21: Rewrite is due in class! No exceptions. You must follow the model outlined above. The Hazelnut Mountain; Woman's Constancy; Aristotle and Phyllis

Possibly granted:  extra credit work is due in class on 11-21. Late submissions not accepted.

Nov. 23: Thanksgiving holiday

Nov. 28: Erotic Tales: Heinrich Kaufringer: "The Search" and "The Innocent Murderess."

Nov. 30: Cont. with "The Innocent Murderess," and "The Disappointed Lover".

Please do the Teaching Evaluation!

3rd paper is due (on one of the maeren we have read so far), due in class as a paper copy and in electronic form in dropbox, now called "Assignments." You could also compare two of the stories since that would be easier altogether. For the bibliography, do not use the references contained in our book, but search in the catalogue for relevant studies that more globally address the issue forming the basis of your thesis, always focusing on the Middle Ages. For instance, if you work on Dietrich von der Gletze, where there is an allusion to homosexuality, even though only assumed, you would need to put together a bibliography (3 monographs, 3 scholarly articles) on homosexuality in the Middle Ages.

Dec. 05:  7th exam (comprehensive, including the historical and the literary dimension; please re-read the article by Amt/Classen and review the various texts we have discussed throughout class).

Subsequently, final discussion, the meaning of courtly love, of eroticism and sexuality in human life.