Syllabus - Schedule of Classes

Jan. 12, 2017: First Day of Class: Welcome and Introduction.  

Let us discuss specifically what 5 of the most prevalent topics have always been for people throughout time. These will then be dealt with throughout the class looking at them through a variety of lenses
Jan. 17: We read the introductory text by Emily Amt and Classen: Historical framework, social structure, economic conditions


Jan. 19: Continuation with Amt/Classen: literature, religion, education, Jewish-Christian relations


Questions for group work

Jan. 24: Misfortune, Death, Justice, and Happiness

Boethius, Book I

Jan. 26: Boethius, Book II 

Jan. 31: Boethius, Book III (now in our textbook, also edited and highlighted)

(Feb. 04: Last day to increase in units without the $250.00 Late Registration Fee)

Feb. 02: Father-Son Conflict, Loyalty, Honor, Death

The Song of Hildebrand (55-56)


Feb. 7 Hildebrand
Feb. 9: Hildebrand, cont., and, for a contrast, Kaufringer, no. 21


Feb. 14:1st exam: short essay questions (each max. half a page) reg. the historical time frame, Boethius, Hildebrandslied, You must bring blue books (small books) for the exam. Write down the question first, then think about your possible answer, and only then put down your answer (you must write legibly!).

Feb. 16: Nibelungenlied:1-15
Feb. 21: Nibelungenlied: 16-22
Feb. 23: Nibelungenlied  23-30 


Feb. 28: Nibelungenlied 31-39



Quest for the Self

March 02: Final discussion of the Nibelungenlied, and: Our Lady's Tumbler. See, for instance, Le Thionet (photos) Le Thionet (video I, with speaker) (video II, only music in the background) (video III, with Gregorian chant)

March 7: 1st essay due in class: write either on Boethius, Hildebrandslied, or Nibelungenlied. Please pay attention to the instructions above.  Final discussion of the Tumbler. Then: Love, Marriage. 


March 9: Read: Marie de France: Lanval and Eliduc. Homework: Find a recent critical study on Marie de France, either online (in a journal) or in the library (paper copy), Just bring that bibliographical information with you so that we can assess what is out there in scholarship.


March 11-19: Spring Break


March 21: Review of Marie de France. Read:The Two Lovers


March 23: We continue with our review. Report about research focused on Marie de France. Offer a brief summary of the article that you have selected. Be prepared to stand up and address the class.This will be critically important as a preparation for your portfolio.Read: , Bisclavret


March 28: Read the entire text: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

March 30: 2nd essay due in class (deal with one text we have discussed since the first essay, such as one or two lais by Marie de France, the NL, or Our Lady's Tumbler. We are reading: Sir Gawain, and Kaufringer, no. 1 (contrastive approach)


April 04:  Continue with Kaufringer no. 1. What do we make out of this story for us today? Is there no clear human justice? We also read: Abelard, 225-28


April 06: Rationality, Critical Thinking: Read:Abelard, 223-24, 225-28


April 11: Completion of Abelard:, focusing on Heloise's comments (229-31); Read: Kaufringer: No. 7; 2nd paper is returned today


April 13:  Contrast: Read: Kaufringer: no. 13, no. 18


April 18: If you want to rewrite your second essay, it will be due on this day, in class. Bold all changes and submit both the old and the new version (staple both together). Only the second grade will count, so watch it, it could go up (I hope so), or down! We read: Roger Bacon: new text, please read online by clicking on the link to the left. I have also edited the text for you. Click here. We also read: Heinrich Kaufringer, no. 4


April 20:  Read: Dante Alighieri:Midlife Crisis, Meaning of Life, Love:We begin reading Dante's Inferno (139) Questions. (Video 1; Video 2).Life of Dante

Also, April 20: 3rd essay due in class (deal with one text only covered in class since the 2nd essay). Submit before the exam is handed out. You must be present in class to submit the essay!

April 25: Review of Dante; Read: Heinrich Kaufringer: No. 8: The Search for the Happily Married Couple; No. 25: Seven Deadly Sins

April 27: Read: Kaufringer: No. 6: The Cowardly Husband; No. 14: The Innocent Murderess; No. 29: Fight over Love and Beauty. 

Deadline for portfolio, but you can submit it any time throughout the semester beforehand. Absolute DUE TIME FOR PORTFOLIO, April 28, 4 P.M. IN OUR DEPT. NO LATER !!! WE WILL NOT ACCEPT ANY PORTFOLIO AFTER 4 P.M. Because of size, the portfolio has to be submitted in the department. Please sign in to confirm that you brought it yourself

May 2: last day of class: 2nd exam

Extra credit: attend any of the sessions in the conference "On the Road Again: Time, Space and Identity in the Midldle Ages," Fri or Sat., May 5-6, but sign in, please. You will be welcome to attend the conference as long as you want.  Write a brief summary of ca. 500 words and submit to me in as a printed copy on Mo, May 8, latest at 4 p.m. No late submissions!  Up to 30 extra points.

The Program is here

Students are responsible for picking up their graded papers either in class or from the dept. within max. 10 school days after they have been returned officially in class. Similarly, students are responsible for checking on their grades posted on D2L. After 10 school days no further review is possible. I cannot guarantee that your papers will be waiting for you weeks after the deadline. Submission to dropbox is not a substitute for the hard copy.