Class schedule


This will be compressed to a 7 1/2-weeks course. 2 hours meetings in person, online, Tu and Thu 4-5:15 p.m., and the rest will be online via Tophat.

Introduction; what is love, what is eroticism, why would we want to study this, why would this be an academic subject: syllabus, library resources, research methods, study ethics, time management. Homework assignment; chatroom on D2L, zoom,, etc. It is critically important that you will be signed up to Tophat so that you can participate on We. answering the questions online.

Please read all assignments before class, as outlined below. So, for Oct. 12, have read the article by Amt and come to class prepared to answer questions or to raise questions yourself.


Oct. 17: We will work also with Tophat. Please be subscribed. All testing and attendance will take place there. 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 high and late Middle Ages in historical, political, and literary terms. We will use Top Hat from now on to test your homework, your understanding of the material, and there will be numerous discussions online on Top Hat while we meet in class.

I will first present a PPP (Middle Ages. Intro., then Middle Ages.High.Late, both also on D2L and in Tophat), then test your knowledge, which will go a little beyond the PPP itself. This is all history, but only in very rough terms.

Time table

We discuss the literary history of the Middle Ages, pp. 11-14 (Amt/Classen). I will ask you questions on Top Hat about this section.

Oct. 19: Finishing with the last questions about the late Middle Ages. Then we begin with Gottfried von Strassburg, Tristan:  For a quick introduction, see this link. I do not require you to read this romance all the way, though I strongly recommend it to do so. The online link will give you a quick synopsis. You must familiarize yourself with the content of this romance at least through this source. Please read the prologue, a requirement! (for a summary of the actual text, see here).

Oct. 24 and 26: Tristan, see special assignments. Read the summary, link above. Come prepared with a solid understanding of the text. You need to know at least the main figures, such as Riwalin, Blancheflor, Mark, Morgan, Tristan, Isolde (mother and daughter), Morold, the Irish seneschal, Gandin, Marjodoc, Melot, and the dog Petitcreiu, and understand how they shape the development of the plot.

Oct. 31 Nov. 2: Apollonius of Tyre. Trigger warning: both here and in other texts there will be some scenes that, certainly troubling, amount to sexual violence. We will have to deal with them critically since they are part of some of the narratives covered in this class. If you have problems with that, please let me know and I will help you to the best of my abilities offering accommodations.

Nov. 5: 1st paper due, 5 p.m.

Nov. 7 and 9: Marie de France, her prologue, and Guigemar.

Nov. 14 and 16: Marie de France: Le Fresne; Bisclavret

Nov. 21: The Two Lovers and Lanval.

Nov. 23: Erotic Tales: Anonymous: The Little Bunny Rabbit. 

Nov. 25: 1st Exam, on Top Hat: History of the Middle Ages; and all texts we have covered up to this point. Due by 6 p.m.

Nov. 28: Erotic TalesThe Monk with the Little Goose.

Nov. 29: 2nd paper, due at 6 p.m.

Nov. 30: Back to our big textbook: Walther von der Vogelweide (pp. 172-76), esp. “Under the Linden”

Dec. 5: Mauritius von Craun

Dec. 5: 2nd exam (comprehensive): Top Hat. NOTE: Each question will be open only for 1:30 min. You are not allowed to consult your notes, the internet outside of Top Hat, and the primary materials. You are required to study all the material we have covered since the last exam. Due at 8 p.m.

Please do the Teaching Evaluation!


Final reflections:

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 relation 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.

Again: 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. 12: Last chance to have your grade reviewed in a possible case of discrepancy or disagreement.