Ger 160D1

Course materials: GER-160D1


Ger 160D1

Covid-19 guidelines as per UoA



All UA policies pertaining to classes in one location. For my own specifics, see below.

Class Schedule

Do you want to join German Studies as a major or minor? Click here, please:

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

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)

Instructor’s homepage:

Grader for this class: Anna Liisa Cheshire

Office Hours: T and Thu 8:45-9:20 a.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. I will try my best to be available for each one of you as the need arises. The easiest way to connect with me would be via a zoom meeting:

Let me know beforehand, or give me a call so that I can enter the room and then let you in: 520 621-1395

CLASS MEETINGS: Tu and Thu 9:30-10:45, Soc. Sciences 206

Departmental telephone: (520) 621-7385

  • Accessibility and Accommodations: At the University of Arizona, we strive to make learning experiences as accessible as possible. If you anticipate or experience barriers based on disability or pregnancy, please contact the Disability Resource Center (520-621-3268, to establish reasonable accommodations. Since this course will be offered online, you should not have any problems.
  • Academic advising: If you have questions about your academic progress this semester, or your chosen degree program, please note that advisors at the Advising Resource Center can guide you toward university resources to help you succeed.
  • Life challenges: If you are experiencing unexpected barriers to your success in your courses, please note the Dean of Students Office is a central support resource for all students and may be helpful. The Dean of Students Office can be reached at 520-621-2057 or
  • Physical and mental-health challenges: If you are facing physical or mental health challenges this semester, please note that Campus Health provides quality medical and mental health care. For medical appointments, call (520-621-9202. For After Hours care, call (520) 570-7898. For the Counseling & Psych Services (CAPS) 24/7 hotline, call (520) 621-3334.
  • Equipment and software requirements: For this class, you will need daily access to the following hardware: [laptop or web-enabled device; regular access to reliable internet signal; ability to download and run the D2L site (chatroom), and Top Hat LMS.
    • For lecture recordings, which are used at the discretion of the instructor, students must access content in D2L only. Students may not modify content or re-use content for any purpose other than personal educational reasons. All recordings are subject to government and university regulations. Therefore, students accessing unauthorized recordings or using them in a manner inconsistent with UArizona values and educational policies are subject to suspension or civil action.

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.

There is also the option of a Thematic Minor in Medieval Studies.

Tips on Learning Strategies

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 Middle Ages. That will be the platform 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 as well.d

In fact, here is a statement recently provided by a former student, Rebekah Marie Morgan (Sept. 2017): 

“I took ‘Eroticism and Love in the Middle Ages’ in the fall of my freshman year. While my major does not pertain to medieval literature or German studies, I took this Tier I course under the assumption that this class would not stick with me. However, it had quite the opposite effect. With Classen’s unbridled enthusiasm and expertise on medieval literature paired with the intriguing course contents and enthralling readings, this has been one of my favorite classes at the University. Not only did I gain an appreciation for medieval literature, Professor Classen taught many skills I still use. He taught the class how to properly search for written works in the library catalog, and he showed us how to create a proper citation page for essays. Because of the way he engaged with the class, even a lecture hall as big as the one I was in, I am excited to take more classes under him, and even go on one of his study abroad trips!”

Thank you, Rebekah!

Here is another comment that I got from a previous student, who is now a legal judge in Indiana: ”

I was just chatting about taking literature classes with my court staff (I am a judge in Indiana).

I vividly remember taking your class Eroticism and Love in the Middle Ages oh so many years ago. Thanks for being a great professor and I am glad you are still at the U.” Aug. 9, 2021; email.

Hon. Jonathan Brown, 94

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 8 C’S:









Most of these words begin with the Latin “cum”  i.e., “com” – together with, except ‘courage,’ but that also applies crucially.

8 problems threatening a good marriage (online post)
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.

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 or something else, 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. This does not apply to our online class this semester, 2023

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

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 that reflect the broad gamut of medieval culture. The discussions will center on the question of 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 of 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 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 analogs, 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!

This also implies that some authors/poets might express attitudes, feelings, or ideas that could be shocking for some of you for many different reasons. But these texts are reflections of lived lives, and also of ideals and values from a different culture. I only want to issue a trigger warning that sometimes the issues discussed might be sensitive, painful, or stressful. I will be very open to any concerns you might have and I will try my best to accommodate you personally within our class setting.

All texts and artworks 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 on 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.

Accessibility and Accommodations:

At the University of Arizona, we strive to make learning experiences as accessible as possible. If you anticipate or experience barriers based on disability or pregnancy, please contact the Disability Resource Center (520-621-3268, to establish reasonable accommodations.

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. Absences may affect a student’s final course grade. If you anticipate being absent, are unexpectedly absent, or are unable to participate in class online activities, please contact me as soon as possible. To request a disability-related accommodation to this attendance policy, please contact the Disability Resource Center at (520) 621-3268 or If you are experiencing unexpected barriers to your success in your courses, the Dean of Students Office is a central support resource for all students and may be helpful. The Dean of Students Office is located in the Robert L. Nugent Building, room 100, or call 520-621-7057.

  • Classroom attendance:

  • Notify your instructor(s) if you will be missing a course meeting or an assignment deadline.
  • Non-attendance for any reason does not guarantee an automatic extension of the due date or rescheduling of examinations/assessments.

      • Please communicate and coordinate any request directly with your instructor.

    • If you must miss the equivalent of more than one week of class, you should contact the Dean of Students Office to share documentation about the challenges you are facing.

  • Academic advising: If you have questions about your academic progress this semester, please reach out to your academic advisor (  Contact the Advising Resource Center ( for all general advising questions and referral assistance.  Call 520-626-8667 or email to

  • Life challenges: If you are experiencing unexpected barriers to your success in your courses, please note the Dean of Students Office is a central support resource for all students and may be helpful. The Dean of Students Office can be reached at (520) 621-2057 or

  • Physical and mental-health challenges: If you are facing physical or mental health challenges this semester, please note that Campus Health provides quality medical and mental health care. For medical appointments, call (520) 621-9202. For After Hours care, call (520) 570-7898. For the Counseling & Psych Services (CAPS) 24/7 hotline, call (520) 621-3334.

  • Exams and Assessments: [describe when exams/major assessments will take place, what the format will be, for how long the exam/assessment will be open or available in D2L, and whether and how exams will be proctored.] Final exam information: [insert information about the date, time, and logistics for the final exam].


I will communicate with you 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 use of AI for writing assignments is strictly forbidden.

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)

Or consult this link!

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 9780357154144). 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 directly from the publisher, Cengage. It’s an ebook from now on. Go to D2L and purchase it through there (under Content, left-hand navigation bar). But I understand that it is now part of the UA Bookstore package for students.

Contact Cengage directly, if you have difficulties, at: 1-800 354 9706 (record locator no. 053 815 72)

Eroticism and Love in the Middle Ages. 9th ed. only!

I have selected this textbook for this class because I have developed it specifically for our purposes and deem them to be the best and most cost-effective class material (apart from Tristan, of course, which is online). There are no other comparable textbooks available. If I asked you to purchase the original texts in English translation (if available in the first place), the costs would be much higher. A lot of work has gone into the creation of both textbooks over the years. I do receive only nominal royalties as compensation for my editorial work and for my translations.

2. Erotic Tales of Medieval Germany. 2nd ed. 2009.

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 absences on your part will endanger your grade in this class. In order to check on your attendance, we’ll use the Top Hat system every time class meets, 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.

  1. 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. This is now available free of charge through D2L, under Technologies.

To connect: go here:

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.

For problems, use this phone number: 888-663-5491

-Access code:  Join: 216280

I will check your attendance randomly throughout the semester, sometimes at the beginning, and sometimes at the end of the class (10%). I will also ask and grade you about your familiarity with the texts assigned as homework (15%). 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: 25%). 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 5 years has greatly appreciated this LMS, and I hope you will do as well. During the pandemic, it was a miracle learning tool and saved us wonderfully from the boredom of constant zoom meetings.

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 a full 100% to his/her credit. It all depends on you how you manage to keep them during the semester. I want to do everything I can to help you in that regard, so never hesitate to consult with me over any issue you might have in class.


Attendance: 10%

Participation: 7% (both through Tophat)

Correctness of answers: 8%

2 papers (15%, 30%): 45%

2 exams (15% each): 30%

Extra credit opportunity:  (50 points max). Ca. 200 words. MS Word file, only. Due: tba, 4 p.m., send it to me via email:

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

    • Writing Attribute: Most of the study material consists of medieval literature, but also some art work and fundamental historical narratives. The discussion requires critical writing in response to the texts under consideration because fictional statements are not facts as such (only the written documents are facts). Instead, they always invite discussion, critical examination, and controversial approaches, which must be done both orally and in writing. Writing will happen both at home (papers) and in class through a LMS, such as Tophat. 1. three essays, each with ca. 800 words, with the first essay open to a re-write opportunity. 2. In every class meeting, students are asked to comment on critical issues for which there are no definitive answers. Those comments are visible to all (can be anonymized when necessary) and provide great examples for students of what is a good and a rather weak answer. 3. We often elaborate new technical terms and concepts and those are then tested through written responses, also on Tophat.

      The essays amount to 45% (signature assignments), but the writing on Tophat amounts to 15%, for a total of 60%. I also ask you to do much group writing in class as the result of their group discussions. Each essay is based on a thesis that students have to develop on their own, possibly in consultation with the instructor. This then has to be supported by arguments drawn from the primary text/s, and then there has to be a solid conclusion. Each paper needs to be accompanied by a list of recent scholarship.

      There will be a progression in writing these essays. At first, students need to focus on developing a thesis, and then learn how to target the intended audience (by way of the selection of arguments). The second paper will provide a medium to learn from the first experience, and the third paper will demonstrate mastery in writing academic papers, along with the necessary apparatus.

      World Culture and Societies: This course introduces students to the extensive world of the European Middle Ages, including England, Spain, Portugal, Italy, France, Germany, and, of course, the Latinate world. Courtly love did not fully extend to the Nordic countries or the Slavic world. These cultures found their expression in literature: courtly romances, verse narratives, courtly poetry, and other types of texts. We also study artworks from that time period, listen to music when appropriate, and include philosophical and religious texts in passing when useful. This course exposes students to a non-US context and also to a past culture. At the same time, the universal theme of eroticism facilitates building bridges from that foreign world (the past in a courtly context) to the present world. This thus constitutes an ideal basis for General Education, welcoming students from their own culture and inviting them into a new one, which can, however, prove to be more familiar than commonly assumed.

    • Submit 2 papers, apply critical writing, on the material discussed in class, 15% each), submit online to Assignments in D2L): 30% altogether. The following no longer applies, see the relevant passage below: Grading. Format for each: 1. Date, name, and student ID; Paper 1, 2, or 3; 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). We will reflect together on the very nature of academic writing, using the first paper as an example, and exam critically problem and successes in that process of writing the second and the third paper.
    • 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 the bibliography is missing, faulty, or inappropriate.
    • word count (ca. 700 each)!
    • 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). Double-space! Times Roman 12 pts. Margins: 1 inch. Clearly separate the bibliography from the rest of the text. Follow the format requirements.
    • All papers must always be submitted online to “Assignments” There is always a very hard deadline, so make sure to submit your paper at least 30 min. before it.
    • The first 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 ca. 5 days after the first paper has been graded. See posting.
    • You can only work with the primary texts discussed in class for your papers. Analyze those critically. If you have any questions 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 (single-authored books) and three articles (in journals or edited volumes, all in scholarly media, mostly printed, but accessible now either in material terms, or digitally) specifically pertaining to the text your paper is focusing on (do not use modern studies on the psychology of love, for instance, or on communication at large; there must always be a connection to your topic in its historical context). I do not expect you to have read that material, but you must work with the library material and the library catalog to create your bibliography. Failure to do so or wrong references (inappropriate) will lead to a deduction of up to 10 points per paper. Do not cite primary work (editions or translations), but only critical studies (i.e., do not cite our textbook, or such general texts as the Bible or the Constitution). Make sure that you cite the titles following the models listed below and not the way the library catalog has it. 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 2020, 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!
    • You must find specific book-length studies that address your primary material, so, in the case of Apollonius, studies in book form on this text.
    • Use, for this case, to make things easier, the MLA bibliography only (on our library webpage, under research databases, under M)
    • Format: Books: author’s first and last name, title in italics. Book series, if present, and the vol. no. (City: Publisher, year). Examples:
    • How to cite your secondary sources :
      Trumpener, Katie. “Memories Carved in Granite: Great War Memorials and Everyday Life.”  PMLA, vol. 115, 2000, pp. 1096-103. – this is a journal article

      Hanks, Patrick.  “Do Word Meanings Exist?”  Computers and the Humanities 34, 2000, pp. 205-15 – journal article.”Selected Seventeenth-Century Events,” Romantic Chronology.  Ed. Laura Mandell and Alan Liu. 1999. U of California, Santa Barbara.  12 November 2003 <; (last accessed on Month, date, year) – this is an online source

    • Kurlansky, Mark. Salt: A World. New York: Scribner’s, 2001. – this is a monograph! (slight change to the MLA: I require inclusion of the city where book was published)
    • 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 5 days to turn in a rewrite of paper 1.  All submissions are due as listed in Assignments. 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. 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 cosmetic changes and must reveal a thorough rewriting based on a critical re-evaluation of your thesis or arguments.So, to review: Your new, revised version with all revisions and edits in BOLD FONT. Submit online.
    • If you have problems with the bibliography, please see me or one of the two T.As., and hopefully, you will then do much better in the third paper. Thanks.

    • Grading (submit as a MS Word file, not as a PDF): 
    • 5 questions, each must be answered with at least 50 words
    • Each answer must address correctly and precisely the question, based on a good understanding of the texts discussed in class (assigned)
    • You must formulate a critical perspective and avoid paraphrases
    • If your text is excessively riddled with spelling and grammatical problems, you will lose some points
    • Any form of plagiarism or use of AI will automatically lead to an F.

  • Sample thesis statement for the first paper: Gottfried von Strassburg identifies love as the culmination of an intensive learning experience.
  • Or: Tristan describes courtly love as a dialectical experience, combining joy with pain.

How to write a good paper, recommendation by Nathan Payne (previous TA)

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, the TA, or the grader, 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.

SYLLABUS: see the schedule linked above at the very top.

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. commitment (the five Cs), and add: courage, companionship, community, etc.

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!

Student Learning Outcomes; By the end of the semester, students will be able to engage critically with the discourse on courtly love, i.e., eroticism and love in the Middle Ages, will know a solid selection of critical texts from that time period, and will have acquired the skill to write about the crucial issues in solidly researched papers.

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.