Proud Faculty Member of the College of Humanities, University of Arizona. Visit the College of Humanities

Why Study German today?

My response online
Oct. 30, 2020

But, don’t take my word for it, see and listen to what our students say (thanks to my colleague, Janice McGregor)

Why the Humanities, “In Defense of the (Liberal) Arts)”  Aug. 14, 2018 (NPR)

Relevant Conversations:

I fully subscribe to the core values and ideals promoted by the University of Arizona, formulated and posted on July 26, 2019:

Our Purpose reflects the enormous potential we have to enable significant and positive change in the world—especially when we tear down barriers and truly work together to solve the complex challenges of our time. Our Values articulate and celebrate what unites us as a community and set clear expectations for our everyday contributions to the institution. Together, they serve as a compass to guide our decision-making and our resolve to create meaningful impact.

Our Purpose

Working together to expand human potential, explore new horizons and enrich life for all.

Our Values

    • INTEGRITY. Be honest, respectful and just.
    • EXPLORATION. Be insatiably curious.
    • INCLUSION.  Harness the power of diversity.
    • ADAPTATION. Be open-minded and eager for what’s next.
    • DETERMINATION. Bear Down.
    • COMPASSION. Choose to care.


International Journal of Interdisciplinary Medieval Research

Mediaevistik is a peer-reviewed journal. We publish scholarly articles, editions, and translations of medieval texts. We also publish ca. 120-150 book reviews per volume.

In 2018, Mediaevistik was accepted as one of the most highly regarded scholarly journals by the Italian Agenzia Nazionale di Valutazione del Sistema Universitario e della Ricerca, category A (no. 0934-7453).

The next issue, Volume 35, will publish in 2023.




Grand Knight Commander of the Most Noble Order of the Three Lions, in recognition of my outstanding services to German Studies (2017)

University Distinguished Professor Albrecht Classen, Ph.D.

Dr. Albrecht Classen is University Distinguished Professor and Director of Outreach in the Department of German Studies at the University of Arizona. He was born near Bad Hersfeld in Northern Hesse, Germany. He studied at the universities of Marburg, Erlangen (Germany), Millersville, PA (USA), Oxford (Great Britain), Salamanca (Spain), Urbino (Italy), and Charlottesville, VA (USA). He received his Ph.D. from the University of Virginia in 1986. He has a broad range of research interests covering the history of medieval and early modern German and European literature and culture from about 800 to 1800, but he is also involved in contemporary literature, writing poetry and prose. He has published currently (Dec. 2023) 127 scholarly books, critical editions, translations, and textbooks. At the latest count, he has published 777 scholarly articles and 2925 book reviews. He is the editor-in-chief of the journals Mediaevistik, Humanities- Open Access. Online, Current Research Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities, and president of the Society for Contemporary American Literatur in German (SCALG),

He has served four times as President of the Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association. He also served as President of the Arizona Chapter of the American Association of Teaching of German (AATG) from 1993 to 2019. Since 2020, he is the President of the Society of Contemporary American Writers in German, which publishes its journal Trans-Lit2 twice a year. Since 2022, he has resumed the responsibility as President of the Arizona Chapter of the AATG.

He has also published currently 11 poetry volumes of his own and four volumes of his satires. He is the President of the Society for Contemporary American Literature in German (SCALG) and regularly publishes in its journal, Trans-Lit2. See also his many haiku on his Facebook page.

He has received numerous awards for teaching, research, and service, such as the Bundesverdienstkreuz am Band, 2004, the Carnegie Professor of the Year for Arizona, 2012, a Wikipedia entry (Bio Entry on, membership in the PEN-Zentrum deutschsprachiger Autoren im Ausland  (2016), a Festschrift, ed. Werner Heinz (2016), NACADA: The Global Community for Academic Advising, Certificate of Merit (Faculty Advising Category, 2016), and the DAAD AA Excellence Award in International Exchange (2020). In 2017, he was knighted as Grand Knight Commander of the Most Noble Order of the Three Lions. The American Association of Teachers of German (AATG) gave him the rank of Honorary Member in 2022. In Dec. 2023, he won The Literary Encyclopedia book prize for his book Freedom, Imprisonment, and Slavery in the Pre-Modern World (2021).

He lives in Tucson, AZ (watch this video), a semi-arid desert of many magical creatures, plants, and rocks.  It is really worth watching this video of Saguaro East.

Travel with him during the summer, taking his medieval travel course, criss-crossing Europe.

Creative Writing

He is also a poet (11 vols.) and author of satires and essays (4 vols.).


Haiku, Jan. 5, 2023:

Mysteries of life
forms and shapes and deep colors
order and chaos


We are the avatars of the Middle Ages. In order to approach our future, we must be able to look backwards and use past experiences and reflections for our own existence! We are not prisoners of the past, but draw from the past as a mine that will allow us to work toward the future.

Study Abroad Summer 2024

Previous experiences by students Preliminary itinerary for Summer 2024, departing ca. May 18, return on ca. June 6, 2024 Fly to Madrid, but our first stay will be in Avila. Then to Santiago de Compostela, Spain, the third most important pilgrimage site for Christians:...

Medieval Europe Summer 2023

Study Abroad: Medieval Europe: Ger 392 Syllabus Checklist for packing and preparing yourself For example, Gothic chapel in Nuremberg (photo by Damir-zg, with permission): Spain (Girona and Barcelona) France (Arles and Avignon) Italy (Asti, Milan, and Piacenza)...

Public Appearances









  • In May 2015 he received the Excellence in Academic Adivsing Faculty Advisor Award




  • In Spring 2012 he received the Award of the “Outstanding Academic Title” for his Handbook of Medieval Studies (2010) by Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries (selection from 7,263 titles reviewed and 25,000 submitted)

  • See also the official recognition by De Gruyter
  • In Nov. 2012 he received the U.S. Professor of the Year Award, Arizona, from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching
  • Then, in Nov.  2012, he received the “Friend of German Award” by the American Association of Teachers of German (AATG)
  • Also, in Nov. 2012, he was inducted as an Honorary Member of the Golden Key Honour Society, Arizona Chapter:

  • He produced a Youtube video on the 12th-century Old Occitan troubairitz poets and one on the 13th-century “chantefable” Aucassin and Nicolette.
  • See also “Gottfried von Strassburg’s Tristan, facsimile of the Munich manuscript cgm 51 (Staatsbibliothek): (Feb. 2012)
  • Listen also to the Buckmaster Show with an interview of Prof. Classen about his new book The Letters of the Swiss Jesuit  Misssionary Philipp Segesser (1689-1762). Interview starts around minute 29:00 (Sept. 5, 2012).



  • Won the Five Star Faculty Award for teaching (only students driven award)



He has also published nine books of his own poetry, most recently  Reflexionen über gestern und morgen, and Politische Reflexionen – Poetische Fragmente , or Hawaiische Impressionen (2013) (Gnothikon). See also his book with haikus, Deep Poetic Gazes into the World (2021).