Dr. Albrecht Classen, University Distinguished Professor and Director of Outreach


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

College of Humanities

Major in World Literature

Why study German today: My response, online, Oct. 30, 2020

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

Recent book publication by myself and recommendation of the best books on the Middle Ages

Podcasts on the Value of the Humanities for the future job market

For a recent interview with Radio Talk Show host Bill Buckmaster on my latest book, Wisdom from Medieval European Literature, see this link (Feb. 1, 2022, 31 min. into the program).


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

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.


COMPASSION. Choose to care.

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.

University Distinguished Professor Albrecht Classen, Ph.D.


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

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


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 more than 107 scholarly books, critical editions, translations, and textbooks. At the latest count, he has published 730 scholarly articles and 2670 book reviews. He is the editor of the journals Mediaevistik and Humanities- Open Access. Online, and book review editor of Trans-Lit2

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 from 1993 to 2019. Since 2020, he is the President of the Society of Contemporary American Writers in German

He has also published 9 poetry volumes of his own and two volumes of his satires (2018 and 2020).

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 Wikipedia.de: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albrecht_Classen), 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.

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

Here is the latest interview with him on Bill Buckmaster's radio show, March 28, 2019 (starting at 30 min. into the program)

Here is a video of my presentation in the Early Book Lecture Series, April 2019

In 2009 he won the Five Star Faculty Award for teaching (only students driven 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:

Golden Key

 For news articles on all three awards, see UANews, Arizona Daily Wildcat, Arizona Daily Star, and Tucsoncitizen.com, Bill Buckmaster Radio Talk Show

In March 2013 he was included in the List of Top Professors at Large Affordable Universities

In October 2013 he was awarded with the Sterling Membership of the Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association

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

In May 2016 he received the Certificate of Merit from NACADA The Global Community for Academic Advising

In Aug. 2019 he received a biographical entry on Wikipedia.de


For a fun snippet:  

His book The Medieval Chastity Belt (2007) was used in the TV show Jeopardy  on May 18 and Sept. 14, 2012:


Read Dr. Classen's profile on the Department of German Studies website. Watch a video of Dr. Classen made for his Fall semester 2010 TRAD 104 class and another where he introduces us to the UA library's Special Collections. See also his comments in the PBS Special "The Secret of the Divine" (on the Retablo Room Paintings: https://originals.azpm.org/secrets/. See also the news on a Tucsoncitizen.com blog: Carolyn's Community. In 2016, he appeared in the video profiling the Special Collections

Recently he has 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): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jTozDuiRCqA (Feb. 2012)

And recently, "The Retablo Room - Fifteenth-Century Art, Museum of Art, University of Arizona."

In 2016, he offered a course on Happiness in the Middle Ages to the Humanities Seminar at the UA.

In July 2016 he gave a workshop on "Women (Writers) in the Protestant Reformation and Early Baroque" at the University of Göttingen, Germany" (recording on youtube)

In Aug. 2017 he gave an online introduction to Special Collections (Medieval manuscripts and facsimiles; the treasures of our collection)

In April 2019 he launched the 16th annual Early Book Lecture Series

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 printed volumes of his own poetry. See below.

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).

He was also interviewed on BYU Thinking Aloud: (April 3, 2013)

For an article in TucsonCitizen.com about this Segesser publication, click this link.

He was interviewed on Kamp Radio, UA, Sept. 9, 2013

Medieval Studies at the University of Arizona (March 2014)

Interviewed by Bill Buckmaster on German in Tucson and Southern Arizona (April 9, 2014)

Interview with Marginalia Los Angeles Review of Books, Sept. 30, 2014

Lecture on Fearless Women: German Women in the Age of the Protestant Reformation, Oct. 2014

Special Collection, University of Arizona (March 2017)

Interview by Bill Buckmaster on his radio show: The Holocaust and Its Memory, Aug. 22, 2019. 12:30-1:00 p.m.:


Dec. 31, 2019: mentioned in a radio interview on WDR, Cologne: interview of the editor on the radio (at 1:49 min.)

Interview with Bill Buckmaster on his radio show:  (March 31, 2020, min. 31), on the history of pandemics.

Honorable publication of my haiku on the Pima County Public Library website (April 18, 2020)

Interview with Bill Buckmaster on his radio show: “Are we hardwired for happiness?,” (30 min. into the program)

Interview with the Steuben-Schurz Society, Bulletin 82 (2020, Oct. 8): On America today

Interviewed by Bill Buckmaster, in his Bill Buckmaster Show, radio, Jan. 14, at 30 minutes into the program


In 2012 he also published two new volumes of his own poetry in German:

(together with Th. Moedriach), sprachbrücken: Gedichte von Tucson bis nach Gottschee (II) (Gottschee: Thomas Schuster, 2012), 85 pp.

(together with Th. Moedriach), Grenzgänger: Gedichte von Tucson bis nach Gottschee (II) (Gottschee: Thomas Schuster, 2012), 91 pp.

A new volume, Hawaiische Impressionen, appeared in 2013 (see the links under Text in the right-hand navigation bar).

This was followed by a volume of his poems, Sonora, harte Klänge (2015)


Contact Information
301 Learning Services Building
University of Arizona
Tucson, AZ 85721, USA
(520) 621-1395
FAX (520) 626-8268