Ger 160D1


Fall Semester 2017

Ger 160D1


Class Schedule

Course Format and Teaching Methods: Lectures, combined with group discussions, questions to the entire class, combined with web-based assessments.

Greetings. Let me assure you, this will be a course you will never forget, focusing on the erotic and love in the Midle Ages. That will be the platfomr for a critical analysis of what those aspects mean for us today, of course. I constantly run into people who took my course 10-15 years ago, whether at a bank or in some business, at the airport or elsewhere, who approach me and say, "Aren't you Prof. Classen? I took your course and it was very special to me." I hope that I will have this experience with you sometime in the future.

D2L and other technical details: The D2L website (login) is:


I have taught this course for a long time, and it is evolving semester by semester. Honestly, I deeply enjoy working with you on this material and hope very much that you will agree with me. Although this is a large-size class, please feel strongly encouraged to speak up and engage with the texts.


THE 7 C'S:







All these words begin with the Latin "cum"  i.e., "com" - together with.

INSTRUCTOR: Prof. Albrecht CLASSEN, University Distinguished Professor. Office: 318 Learning Service Building. Telephone: 621-1395. e-mail:; fax: 626-8286;

HOW TO ADDRESS YOUR INSTRUCTOR OR T.A. IN AN EMAIL: Please use formal address (Dr., Prof., etc. LAST NAME), have subject line with course number and course title, begin email with: Dear Dr., or Dear Grader LAST NAME, text of email, and conclude with a formal greeting (Sincerely yours, name)


Office Hours: Mo and We 12:15 p.m-1:15 p.m.. and after appointment.  Please feel free to see me also at any other time when I am available.  Use e-mail or phone to contact me beforehand, since I might have sudden meetings or might do research in the library. With ca. 200 students in one class I will not be able to talk with all of you individually, considering that I hold two office hours, but I will try my best to be available for each one of you as the need arises.

CLASS MEETINGS: TTh 11:00-12:15 p.m., Edu 211 

Departmental telephone: (520) 621-7385


T.A.: Caroline Radtke; email:; office in LSB, 3rd floor, German Studies Dept.; Office hour: T 8:30-10:30 a.m., and by appointment


Stephanie Della Cella;; office in LSB, 3rd floor, German Studies Dept.

Marco Macias;; office Chavez 422, Tu and Thu: 12:30-3

For appointments with your Grader you could also contact the Dept. of German Studies (tel.: [520] 621-7385), or call your Professor at (520) 621-1395. 


The German Studies Major and Minor

The University of Arizona’s Department of German Studies offers a major (B.A.) and a minor in German Studies, with two possible tracks (language and culture). For more information on the German Studies major and minor, see

German Studies majors have pursued careers in a wide variety of fields, including engineering, business, government, medicine, law, education, and social services. German Studies has many double majors, who combine German Studies with majors in a wide range of fields, in order to receive a comprehensive undergraduate education and to stand out when applying for jobs or graduate studies.

If you are interested in declaring a German Studies major or minor, you are encouraged to contact the German Studies Director of Undergraduate Studies, Dr. Albrecht Classen at You also can contact the College of Humanities Advising Office, at



Kuiper Space Sciences, room 351, Mo-Fri 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

How to meet a preceptor:

Aliya Saari, Thu 1-3, Science Library, room tba, contact her at: Aliya (could change)

For additional help, see the Thinktank

Alert: You will still be completely responsible yourself for the answers in the exams, quizzes, or for your papers. Whatever happens in a SI session is very good by itself, but the Instructor cannot vouch for what is going on there. The SI leaders are students who have already taken the course, so I trust them, but this is not a 100% guarantee that they can provide you with the finite answers. You need to study and learn yourself.

D2L and other technical details: The D2L website (login) is:

If you have trouble with or questions about D2L, please contact: Computer help is available at:

If you do not check on a daily basis your d2l e-mail account (automatically assigned to you and already in place), you must set-up auto-forward to an account that you check daily. Please go to:

For instructions how to upload a file to D2L, see: (not necessary this semester)


If you become ill with the flu, do not come to class until you have had no fever for 24 hours.  You are responsible for contacting me via email or phone as soon as you can to let me know you are ill.  You are also responsible for any work missed while you are ill. If you miss a quiz for a legitimate reason, let me know, and I'll see how I can help you.

Please treat each other with respect and tolerance. People do have different views and opinions, but these can only contribute to the rich experience I hope you all will have in this class. I have my own opinions, and will let you know where I stand if you are anxious to find out (privately). Let me also hear what you think--the University is a place of critical exchanges and the development of new thoughts and ideas. You are strongly encouraged to participate in class as much as possible. The two  class meetings can only be of profit to you if you respond to my questions and those of your classmates and engage in our discourse. Moreover, I very much hope to get questions from you, which can trigger a class discussion. Despite the huge class size, we all together can transform it into a communal learning situation.

For the University of Arizona Policy on Threatening Behavior by Students, click on this link.

For the University of Arizona Policy on Disruptive Student Behavior, click on this link.


Ger 160D1 “Eroticism and Love in the Middle Ages,” offered through the German Studies Department, is part of the university-wide General Education Curriculum, Tier 1. 

In line with the most recent approaches in medieval scholarship this course offers a comparative and interdisciplinary approach in literary and cultural-historical analysis. As far as I can tell, this is a unique course hardly paralleled by any other course taught at American universities. Although to some extent focused on medieval German literature, it deals with a wide spectrum of European texts and other forms of artistic representations which reflect the broad gamut of medieval culture.The discussions will center on the question how the authors work within a cultural tradition and how they transcend it, how they reflect and shape reality, and how they define their notion of courtly love. All texts will be read in English translation. 

This course introduces the student to the culture and mentality of the Middle Ages, focusing on attitudes toward lovesex, and marriage. Concepts of the body, of human relationships, and hence on eroticism in its cultural significance will be highlighted. Students should learn that the discourse on love represented the central issue of social and cultural life in medieval times. The issue of love was not a matter of private, individual concern, but rather a topic of public debate. Love in the Middle Ages was seen as a highly sophisticated matter, in fact, almost a public art form; nevertheless, despite its different appearance in literary texts, love in the Middle Ages was of similar relevance as it is for people today. We will examine the differences in approaches and the similarities in ethical and moral concerns. Also, love as a theme will serve as a point of public debate within the Church and outside regarding the meaning of life and man's earthly existence. The discussion in class will center on the main aspect how medieval authors dealt with love, that is, how they utilized the theme of courtly love to produce their literary works. Musical performances and videos will support the examination of literary documents.

Ultimately, the discussion of eroticism and love in the Middle Ages, specifically in its physical manifestation, will lead to insights regarding spiritual epiphany, a fundamental experience of human life, both in the past and in the present.

Learning Outcomes
Although you will familiarize yourself with medieval European courtly love literature above all, you should be able to develop a deeper understanding of what love might mean today by using lenses employed by people from a different age, and yet still people with feelings, ideas, and needs. Moreover, it is hoped for that through this course topic you will learn how to appreciate foreign cultures and to see in the medieval world a foundation for your own. Ideally you should consider taking a foreign language eventually to read these texts in their original.  The best preparation would be Latin, but French, German, Italian, or Spanish would also be excellent choices.

By writing about various medieval narratives addressing issues of love, you will learn how to reflect critically about your social relationships, how to contextualize the issue of the erotic and love both historically and in modern terms, and how to develop an academic approach to writing (sources, bibliography, thesis, conclusion, arguments, etc.).

This course will thus meet all outcome goals for Gen. Edu. courses: Think Critically, Communicate Effectively, Use Information Effectively, Understand and Value Differences.

Dealing with literary texts will always imply experiments, probing of possibilities, challenging other opinions, traditions, and exploring new territories with regard to ideas, values, ethics, and morals. I myself will not be exempt from being subjective in the interpretation of the text, and you are invited to voice your opinions as well. Every opinion counts, of course, but we all have to make the utmost effort to back up our opinions, to verify and to falsify. We all will have to learn to argue, to support our claim, and to validate them, hence the essays that you will write for this class. Also, no text is without a political meaning, and though we will use the lens of medieval literature, each text will challenge all of us to question our own existence today. To study texts from the Middle Ages just by itself would not make much sense; instead, we will investigate their meanings with the intention of discovering their relevance for us today. This means that we will constantly try to find analogues, parallels, examples, and metaphors, hence make those texts apply to our own world as far as that is possible and meaningful. Scholarship does not mean that there are only facts; on the contrary, we mostly begin with personal opinions, and then make an effort to demonstrate the objective truth behind it, if there is any. So you are all invited to join me on a journey into a past world, and I need you to make the best effort to come up with your own reading, based on critical thinking and writing. You will be surprised to find out that the exploration of the Middle Ages might actually be the laying of foundations for your future!

All texts and art works that we will study invite debate, criticism, and individual responses. The two lecture classes per week will be used to introduce the general topic/s, outline the basic structures of our texts, and indicate the direction of interpretation. We will also use musical and visual material to gain a better understanding of the cultural context of the Middle Ages.

If you attend all lectures and read the assignments before class as outlined below, you should have no problem with the in-class exams which will test your broad knowledge acquired during the semester. Always arrive in time, make sure that you have your respective textbook and writing material with you, and try to get involved by asking a question when the opportunity arises. You are expected to have read the texts as listed for the specific date on the syllabus below.

You will be exposed to many different opinions expressed in the primary material, by scholarship, but also by your classmates. The suggested readings listed below will take you even further into the scholarly debate, but they are not required right away. When you write your papers, though, we expect you to express your own opinion, based on a close and critical reading of the texts. This does not mean that any opinion goes; you must develop a critical approach and defend your theses through a thorough and defensible analysis of the texts. Be very careful not to copy from any source without identifying exactly what you incorporated from them.  See under Warning below.

HONORS SECTION: In case you are an honors student and signed up for honors credit in this course, you are expected to do additional and more reflective readings and to write a full interpretive papers.  Extend your readings, go more into depth, think critically about the individual scholarly articles and combine their findings with the interpretation (you do not have to agree, but argue critically). We should meet at intervals throughout the semester to discuss your progress, and at the end you are required to submit an extra paper in which you demonstrate your understanding of some of the critical issues discussed in research regarding our course material. The paper is required to be at least 5 pp. of length, beginning with a thesis that draws from at least 6 of the texts that we have discussed in class. It needs to be based on at least 2 critical articles that support your argument or which might appear to misread the text according to your opinion. Provide a separate bibliography. Submit this in print format to your main instructor on  Dec. 1 in class. The additional work will count 20%s on top of the regular 100 %: A = 120-108%; B = 107-96%; C = 95-84%; D = 83-72%; F = below 72%).  In other words, what additional insights do the authors of the respective articles provide for the interpretation of our texts?

SPECIAL NEEDS: Our goal in this classroom is that learning experiences be as accessible as possible. If you anticipate or experience physical or academic barriers based on disability, please let me know immediately so that we can discuss options. You are also welcome to contact the Disability Resource Center (520-621-3268) to establish reasonable accommodations. For additional information on the Disability Resource Center and reasonable accommodations, please visit

If you have reasonable accommodations, please plan to meet with me by appointment or during office hours to discuss accommodations and how my course requirements and activities may impact your ability to fully participate.

Please be aware that the accessible table and chairs in this room should remain available for students who find that standard classroom seating is not usable.


UA Nondiscrimination and Anti-Harassment Policy

The University is committed to creating and maintaining an environment free of discrimination; see

Our classroom is a place where everyone is encouraged to express well-formed opinions and their reasons for those opinions. We also want to create a tolerant and open environment where such opinions can be expressed without resorting to bullying or discrimination of others.

Inclusive Excellence is a fundamental part of the University of Arizona’s strategic plan and culture. As part of this initiative, the institution embraces and practices diversity and inclusiveness.  These values are expected, respected and welcomed in this course.

The UA Threatening Behavior by Students Policy prohibits threats of physical harm to any member of the University community, including to oneself. See

I have also been asked to include this statement and the following links:

instructor/s and students will use names and pronouns as requested, and 2) instructors will update their rosters to accommodate students who modify their names and/or pronouns after course registration. Instructors will make specific reference to the name and pronoun usage statement in the syllabus on the first day of class and model correct name and pronoun usage in the classroom.

Office of Diversity (


ATTENDANCE: The UA’s policy concerning Class Attendance, Participation, and Administrative Drops is available at

The UA policy regarding absences for any sincerely held religious belief, observance or practice will be accommodated where reasonable:

Absences preapproved by the UA Dean of Students (or dean’s designee) will be honored. See

Participating in the course and attending lectures and other course events are vital to the learning process. As such, attendance is required at all lectures and discussion section meetings. Students who miss class due to illness or emergency are required to bring documentation from their health-care provider or other relevant, professional third parties. Failure to submit third-party documentation will result in unexcused absences.


I will communicate with your electronically via the D2L mailing system. Make sure that you receive all your messages from there. 

WARNING (very serious matter!!!)
If you use secondary material for your papers, make sure that you indicate clearly where you took it from. Plagiarism and cheating violate the

Code of Academic Integrity. For further information, see:


Students are encouraged to share intellectual views and discuss freely the principles and applications of course materials. However, graded work/exercises must be the product of independent effort unless otherwise instructed. Students are expected to adhere to the UA Code of Academic Integrity as described in the UA General Catalog. See:

The University Libraries have some excellent tips for avoiding plagiarism, available at

Selling class notes and/or other course materials to other students or to a third party for resale is not permitted without the instructor’s express written consent. Violations to this and other course rules are subject to the Code of Academic Integrity and may result in course sanctions. Additionally, students who use D2L or UA e-mail to sell or buy these copyrighted materials are subject to Code of Conduct Violations for misuse of student e-mail addresses. This conduct may also constitute copyright infringement.


Do not ever copy from the work produced by your classmates or by other students who might have taken this course in previous semesters. You are also not allowed to copy from your own paper or use your paper for two separate classes. If you receive help in writing your papers, make sure that the final outcome still represents your own work. You can discuss your papers with your fellow students, but at the end they need to consist of your own ideas and words! Be advised that the Web is a great search tool, but never, never copy from a site without identifying very clearly what you used and why you quote some passages.  At this point the scholarly value of web-based material still is not totally reliable, and the chances that you might stumble upon a most dubious webpage with untrustworthy information are very high.  When you quote from a secondary source, clearly identify the quote and tell the reader in a footnote where you quoted from.  Every year more than 800 students at the UA are caught having committed the crime of plagiarism, resulting in penalties that could be as severe as expulsion from the University!  You are smart enough not to copy from other people. If you allow other students to copy from your work, this also constitutes plagiarism and will be equally punished.

If there is any doubt in your mind whether you might commit plagiarism, see:

Plagiarism and the Web

What is plagiarism?

Avoid plagiarism (UA Library website)

 I will be happy to assist you in examining difficult questions regarding plagiarism.  If in doubt, please see me.

(all available at ASUA Bookstore; but you can also purchase them directly from the publisher - 3 items:
1. Albrecht Classen, ed., Eroticism and Love in the Middle Ages.  9th ed. (Mason, OH: Cengage, 2016). (ISBN 9781285924465). We will only use the 9th ed., so do not buy any outdated copies of earlier editions online or elsewhere. You can buy this book only directly from the publisher, Cengage.

Here is the direct weblink where you can purchase the Eroticism and Love in the Middle Ages loose-leaf text., 9th ed. You will need to purchase an inexpensive 3-ring binder to hold the text. This will ease the burden of class material you have to have with you each time we meet, since you can take out the specific section and bring that only with you (also in a ringbinder):



1.      Click on weblink to purchase text:

2.      Click on Green “Add to Cart” button

3.      Select OK to checkout

4.      Click orange “Start Secure Checkout”

5.      If you have never purchased from CengageBrain before, then create a New Customer Account

6.      If you have previously purchased from CengageBrain, then login to make your purchase

7.      Enter shipping information

8.      Review information and enter payment info and click on “Complete Purchase”


The text will arrive within 2-5 days.

If you run into problems, please contact the local representative of Cengage:


Beth Crossett

Executive Learning Consultant

Social Sciences, Business & Humanities

Cengage Learning


2. Erotic Tales of Medieval Germany. Selected and trans. by Albrecht Classen. 2nd ed. only! (2007; Tempe: Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 2009) - this is available from the University bookstore.

Attendance: Nobody wants to police you and treat you as a child, but you all expect the instructor/s to be in class, and the instructor/s consequently expect/s you to be in class as well every time we meet. Sometimes there are valid extenuating circumstances, but unexcused and excessive absence on your part will endanger your grade in this class. In order to check on your attendance, we'll use the Top Hat system, the license for which you must purchase; see below.

The UA’s policy concerning Class Attendance, Participation, and Administrative Drops is available at:

The UA policy regarding absences for any sincerely held religious belief, observance or practice will be accommodated where reasonable,

Absences pre-approved by the UA Dean of Students (or Dean Designee) will be honored.  See:

Participating in the course and attending lectures and other course events are vital to the learning process. As such, attendance is required at all lectures and discussion section meetings. Students who miss class due to illness or emergency are required to bring documentation from their health-care provider or other relevant, professional third parties. Failure to submit third-party documentation will result in unexcused absences. 

3. Top Hat (also required)
We will be using the Top Hat ( classroom response system in class.  You will be able to submit answers to in-class questions using Apple or Android smartphones and tablets, laptops, or through text message.  
You can visit the Student Quick Start Guide which outlines how you will register for a Top Hat account, as well as providing a brief overview to get you up and running on the system. For all questions, use this link to contact Top Hat directly:
 An email invitation will also be sent to your school email account (if you don't receive this email, you can register by visiting our course website See also this link.
Top Hat will require a paid subscription, and the standard pricing for the most cost-efficient option is $38 for 12-months of unlimited access. A one semester fee is: $26. For a full breakdown of all subscription options available please visit
For problems, use this phone number: 888-663-5491

-Access code: 402607

I will check your attendance randomly throughout the semester, sometimes at the beginning, sometimes at the end of the class (7%). I will also ask and grade you about your familiarity with the texts assigned as homework (8%). If you have any problem with your gadget or access to the web, hence to, just inform me immediately after I have checked your participation (bring a piece of paper with your name and your answer), and I can then help you easily. If you report problems later, I will not be able to verify that. Both attendance and participation will matter significantly for your overall grade (together: 15%). I am using Tophat because it has proven to increase your engagement in the class and hence your learning experience. Virtually every student in my various classes over the last 3 years has greatly appreciated this LMS, and I hope you will do as well.

Holidays and Special Events
All holidays or special events observed by organized religions will be honored for those students who show affiliation with that particular religion. Absences pre-approved by the UA Dean of Students (or Dean's designee) will be honored.

At the beginning of the semester every student has the full 100% to his/her credit. It all depends on you how you manage to keep them during the semester.

This is a Gen. Ed. course and meets the standard writing requirement, see at:

  • Again: Throughout the semester I will quiz your understanding of the texts assigned as homework with the Top Hat system. Be sure to read and comprehend the introductions to each text and to know the essential aspects of each text as assigned for homework before you come to class. 15% (7% for attendance, 8% for participation/homework)
  • Submit 3 papers, apply critical writing, on the material discussed in class, the first ca. 500-700 words - 5%), the 2nd ca. 800-1100 words - 15%), and the third ca. 1100-1300 words -20%), submit as a paper copy (you are encouraged to print double-sided): 40% altogether. Format for each entry: 1. Date, name, and student ID; 2. title, 3. thesis (in short: what is your argument in  ca. 5-8 lines); 4. your responses to the text; 5. evidence cited from or referenced to the primary text/s; 6. final comments; 7. conclusion (ca. 5-8 lines). 8. word count! Always make sure to provide, within the text, specific page references either for your quotes or for references to passages in the text, such as: (Classen, Eroticism, 350).
  • First paper: This is primarily a thesis paper, focus on a claim you can make; 500-700 words is not much at all, so the point is not even to adduce many arguments; just emphasize how the thesis would develop fully if you could write 1100-1200 words and more. We are working on the thesis for this paper, and you will be asked to apply that fully only in the 2nd and third paper (when you'll write a new thesis). Remember, I won't give you a cue; you will have to come up with your own thesis.
  • Note: you still have to include: title, thesis, and a very brief argument, plus a conclusion in 500-700 words.
  • First paper: either on Apollonius or on some poems in the Carmina Burana
  • Second paper follows the same model, just much more expanded, still with your own thesis, however pertaining to the new material since the first paper, and you must include a bibliograph
  • Third paper, same as above, but more extended.
  • All papers must always be submitted also online to dropbox, now called "Assignments" before you hand in the printed paper. Without this submission, we cannot grade your paper copy, since we cannot check your paper regarding potential plagiarism with the computer software. By the same token, only the paper (printed) copy of your essays/papers will be used for grading.
  • The second paper can be resubmitted if you revise it upon the T.A.'s/grader's comments. You will then get a new grade (I assume a better one, but this depends on you). You must resubmit the second version of the second paper within a week after the return date of the first version (i.e., latest resubmission is in class two sessions later after the first return).
  • Topics of your papers: Identify a specific topic, a thesis, a concrete point that you can argue about based on a close reading of the text. You must have a thesis that you can defend. Choice of topic is free, as long as you work closely with the text and draw out of it an argument. I am not going to give you cues, topics, or theses. You must learn to be creative and independent when formulating your thesis.
  • You can only work with the primary texts discussed in class for your papers. Analyze those critically. If you have any question about the proper approach, please do not hesitate to contact the T.A. or the instructor before your hand in the paper.
  • At the end of each paper you must include a bibliography of at least 3 monographs and 3 articles (in journals or edited volumes, all in print format) specifically pertaining to the text your paper is focusing on. I do not expect you to have read that material, but you must work with the library material and the library catalogue. Failure to do so or wrong references (inappropriate) will lead to a deducation of up to 10 points per paper. We will practice this bibliographical work in class well in advance of the first paper. Your references must be from the time period between ca. 1970 and 2017, nothing prior to that. You are not allowed to use the bibliographical information contained in our textbook since that would be too easy and prevent you from learning how to do proper bibliographical work!
  • Format: Books: author's first and last name, title in italics. Book series, if present, and the vol. no. (City: Publisher, year).
  • Articles: author's first and last name, "Title of the article," title of journal or volume in italics, vol. no. (year): pp. You can also use chapters in edited volumes. Or chapters in a monograph.
  • If you use the MLA format, or another format, that's ok, as long as all the information is present and you use a consistent system.
  • If a book is a translation or a commentary, or an edited volume, make sure to add the editor's or translator's name. 
  • You have one week to turn in a rewrite of paper 2.  All submissions are due by start of class on Tuesday, one week after the graded paper has been returned. No exceptions.
    *When you turn in your rewrite, you must include the following items or it will not be considered for a revised grade:
              1. The original hard copy you submitted with grader's comments.
              2. Your "new"/revised copy: Any and all revisions/edits MUST SHOW IN BOLD FONT. Yes, you need to staple your paper and include a proper heading (your name, student ID #, class name, Dr. Classen's name, date and word count)
              3.  Both items must be put in a folder and turned in at the start of class.
  •            4. Revision must go beyond a few cosmetique changes and must reveal a thorough rewriting based on a critical re-evaluation of your thesis or arguments.

    So, to review: In a folder, you submit 1) the original hard copy 2) your new, revised version with all revisions and edits in BOLD FONT.   New version is stapled and has proper heading.  Due date: Thursday, November 26

  • For the rewrite, you can only work on the essay, but not re-do the bibliography. If you have problems with the bibliography, please see me, and do better in the third paper. Thanks.
  • Grader will review your paper/s a second time only within 7 days after the original has been returned to you. Re-grading, however, does not guarantee a better grade. The second grade will be the only one that will count.
  • 3rd paper: discuss one critical aspect in one of the maeren (in Erotic Tales) as comprehensively as possible. Write a good thesis, support it with solid arguments, and conclude.
  • Grading rubrics (in global terms):
    A: Clear and concise thesis, argument, and conclusion, good use of primary sources, specific interpretation, not a summary, synopsis, or paraphrase
    B: A bit too much of a synopsis, thesis not really clear, tendency to repeat what is in the text without too much critical analysis; a number of spelling or grammar mistakes
    C: Fairly vague paper, no clear thesis, mostly summary, little recourse to primary texts, and if so, only in the form of a synopsis; many major spelling mistakes (including of names in the texts)
    D.: Hardly a thesis or an argument, knows only little of the original texts, confuses major aspects, large number of spelling or grammar mistakes
    E: You can imagine what that would be. But: no clear connection to primary texts, no thesis or arguments, no interpretation at all. Hard to read in terms of grammar and spelling.
  • Specific points: A. Thesis: 20 pts.; B. Argument: 50 pts.; C. Conclusion: 20 pts.; Stylistics: 10 points (total of 100 points.
  • Each paper has to be accompanied by a bibliography of 3 monographs and 3 articles (secondary literature, i.e., research). You are not required to engage with those studies, but you must find relevant studies on the subject matter of your paper. Relevance! Deduction of up to 10 points if bibliography is missing, faulty, or inappropriate.
  • The first paper is weighed 5%, the second 15%, the third 20%: total: 40%
  •  Instead of having big large-stake exams, we'll have 7 small exams
  • Total: 45%

You can always come and see your instructor and ask for a new evaluation of your paper, but then the grading will be completely new, so it can go up or down!


For the General Education Writing Guidelines and Principles at UA, see this link


Help with writing: The Writing Skills Improvement Program offers a number of valuable workshops at 1201 E. Helen Street. They offer a series of free workshops. Please consult with them if you have a need to improve your writing skills (no walk-ins).  For perhaps more immediate help, see the Think Tank Writing Center (walk-ins allowed). See below:

Writing Skills Center: The Writing Skills Center is a free resource for UA undergraduate and graduate students as well as faculty and staff.  At the Writing Center, a trained peer consultant will work individually with you on anything you are writing (in or out of
class), at any point in the writing process from brainstorming to editing. "The CATS Academics Writing Center has tutors available five days a week to help you with your writing assignments. We are here Monday through Thursday and on Sundays to help you with any kind of writing for all kinds of courses, from first-year composition to senior reports. We are located in McKale's Computer Services Center, just past the lab monitor's station."

- The final grade will not be curved! If you realize in the course of the semester that you are not doing so well, please see me or the grader, or a preceptor, if available, asap. And I might give an extra credit option for the entire class.


HELP: The University of Arizona Library offers help in structuring your writing assignment. Please click here for the link.

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 Middle Ages, the social structure, the major external threats, the history of the crusades (in very general terms), the concept of the court). Focus will be on the early and the high Middle Ages.

Time table

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.

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 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 11): 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);Walther von der Vogelweide (Sect. 7): pp. 164-68 (intro.) and 168-172

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; Dietrich of the Gletze

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 art work from 15th-c. Spain and write a short paper about it (ca. 500 words). 

Nov. 14: Continue: The Belt; 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).

Nov. 16: The Hazelnut Mountain; Woman's Constancy; rewrite is due in class! No exceptions. You must follow the model outlined above.

Nov. 21: 6th examAristotle 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; Final discussion, the meaning of courtly love, of eroticism and sexuality in human life. 



SAMPLE ESSAY QUESTIONS (always use at least 3 major texts discussed in class:

1. How does honor interact with love as reflected by our medieval poets?

2. What do our poets say about human vices and virtues in relationship to love?

3. What does love have to do with utopia?

4. Love and marriage are not automatically synonymous. What problems and conflicts surface throughout the entire Middle Ages.


TEACHING EVALUATION: Please go online and provide an objective evaluation of this course

TCE (Evaluation):  Please go to our D2L page and start this evaluation.

Dec. 14: Last chance to have your grade reviewed in a possible case of discrepancy or disagreement.

In essence, as we can learn from all texts in this course, and from the discourse on love in the Middle Ages, love can be defined by a. communication, b. compassion, c. compromise, d. collaboration or cooperation , and, most important, e. committment (the five Cs),

FURTHER READING (recommended; the format of this bibliography only serves for the search in our library, call numbers are provided):

Emilie Amt, ed., Women's Lives in Medieval Europe (London: Routledge, 1993) HQ1143 .W65 1993
Philippe Ariès and André Béjin, eds., Western Sexuality (Oxford: Blackwell, 1985) HQ12 .S4413 1985
Franz H. Bäuml, Medieval Civilization in Germany (New York: Capricon, 1967) DD63 .B14
John W. Baldwin, The Language of Sex. Five Voices from Northern France around 1200 (Chicago-London: The Univ. of Chicago Press, 1994) HQ18.F8 B28 1994 
Joachim Bumke, Courtly Culture: Literature and Society in the High Middle Ages (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991) DD64B8613
James A. Brundage, Law, Sex, and Christian Society in Medieval Europe (Chicago-London: University of Chicago Press, 1987) KJ985.S48 B78 1987
Neil Cartlidge, Medieval Marriage.  Literary Approaches, 1100-1300 (Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, 1997)
Albrecht Classen, "Courtly Love," Literary Encyclopedia (online:;
--, The Power of a Woman's Voice in Medieval and Early Modern Literature (Berlin and New York: de Gruyter, 2007) PN682.W6 C56 2007
--, ed., Sexuality in the Middle Ages and the Early Modern Time (Berlin and New York: de Gruyter, 2007)  PN56.S5 S498 2008
Dictionary of the Middle Ages, ed. Joseph R. Strayer (New York: Scribener's Sons, 1982-), D114.D.5
Mary Erler/ Maryanne Kowaleski, eds., Women and Power in the Middle Ages (Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 1988) HQ1143 .W63 1988
Boris Ford, ed., Medieval Literature: The European Inheritance (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1983) PR85 .F65
Horst Fuhrmann, Germany in the High Middle Ages c. 1050-1200, transl. by T. Reuter (Cambridge-London-et al.: Cambridge University Press, 1986) DD141 .F8313 1986 
Friedrich Heer, The Medieval World. Europe 1100-1350 (London: Weidenfeld/Nicholson, 1962) D200 .H413 1962
W.T.H. Jackson, The Literature of the Middle Ages (New York: Columbia University Press, 1960) PN671 .J3 1960
Douglas Kelly, Medieval Imagination. Rhetoric and the Poetry of Courtly Love (Madison: The University of Wisconsin Press, 1978) PQ155.L7 K44 1978
Henry Ansgar Kelly, Love and Marriage in the Age of Chaucer (Ithaca-London: Cornell University Press, 1975) PR1933.M3 K4
Lexikon des Mittelalters (Munich: Artemis, 1977-). D101.L4
F. X. Newman, ed., The Meaning of Courtly Love (Albany: SU of New York Press, 1972) GT2620 .M4
William D. Paden, The Voice of the Trobairitz (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1989) PC3308 .V65 1989 

See now also: Sexuality in the Middle Ages, ed. A. Classen (2008), Words of Love and Love of Words in the Middle Ages, ed. A. Classen (2008), and Discourses on Love, Marriage, and Transgression, ed. A. Classen (2004).

I also strongly recommend, Handbook of Medieval Culture, ed. A. Classen. 3 vols. (2015)

See also the bibliographies in our textbook, most of them updated until 2013!


Possible changes: The information contained in this course syllabus, other than the grade and absence policies, may be subject to change with reasonable advance notice, as deemed appropriate by the instructor.



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GER160D1 SI Schedule2012.pdf173.21 KB 173.21 KB
middle.ages_.pdf83.18 KB 83.18 KB
Studyguide.Comprehensive.Austin.Serber.pdf77.94 KB 77.94 KB
Study Guide.Comprehensive.Austrin.Serber.pdf149.4 KB 149.4 KB