German 412: Tales of Love

Course materials:

Ger 412: Tales of Love – Fall 2017

INSTRUCTOR: Prof. Albrecht Classen, Dept. of German Studies, 301 Learning Services Building, Office 318; tel. 621-1395;;

CLASS MEETINGS: Mo and We 2-3:15 p.m.

Class ROOM: Edu 349

OFFICE HOURS:Mo and We 11a.m.-12 p.m., and any other time after appointment (but always feel free simply to stop by at my office, LSB 318)

Course Topic: Deutsche Kultur- und Literaturgeschichte: Liebe als Thema

Course Goal: Development of a overview of the history of German culture, literature, and history from the Middle Ages to the Twent-First Century, using each text as a kaleidoscope to study specific cultural and historical periods, focusing on love. You will also achieve a high level of linguistic fluency, and the ability to situate major texts into their historical-cultural context. As the title says, this is an advanced literature and culture, and the goal is to provide you with a solid understanding of the entire history of German literature from the early Middle Ages to the present, by studying exemplary texts dealing with love.

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.

If you are interested in declaring a German Studies major or minor, you are encouraged to contact the German Studies Director of Undergraduate Studies, Dr. Albrecht Classen at You also can contact the College of Humanities Advising Office, at


A. 1-2 oral presentations on a poet/writer: 20%: make an oral presentation on the cultural period of one of the texts that we will discuss in class. Either alone or in a group of 2.

Do not simply rely on Utilize the relevant sources in the library!

Prepare a worksheet for the class. You can create a PPP, bring in music, images, maps, etc. as background information. Be ready to address class with questions, orally or in writing.The worksheet should consist of specific but more complex questions as a basis for further discussions. I need to see a draft of your PPP two days before class.
B: Write a brief critical summary of the texts we discuss in class, and this for every class meeting, submit every 2nd week, a total of 7 for the entire semester. 30% (ca. 800-1000 words each). In German, of course. This should be like a running journal. I will not pay too much attention to grammar or orthography, but to content. It needs to be understandable and well organized. Please write it by hand and submit in class. Best would be to get a thin booklet to have all journal entries together. Or have one book for your notes and the journal, simply separated. Use the new words we practice in class to write sentences with them.
C: 2 in-class exams: 20%: essay questions
D: 1 Final 30%: 5 essay questions
E: Extra credit:  tba


Although it is assumed that you will attend all class sessions, you are informed hereby that excessive absences will have consequences: More than three unexcused absences lead to a drop of one grade in this course, and more than five unexcused absences will lead to an automatic grade of (failing). If justified circumstances prevent you from attending, please inform me in writing either before or after the event, and provide satisfactory documentation (e.g., doctor’s note).

Please treat each other with respect and tolerance. People do have different views and opinions, but all these can only contribute to the rich learning experience I hope you all will have in this class. You are strongly encouraged to participate in class as much as possible. The two class meetings per week will only be of profit for you if you respond to my questions and those of your classmates, and contribute on your own as often as possible.

For information on the University of Arizona Policy on Threatening Behavior by Students, click on this link.

– CELL PHONES: You are not allowed to have your cell phones on during class because a ringing will disturb everyone strongly. Either turn them off or mute them. All other electronic gadgets not pertinent to this class must also be off.

SPECIAL NEEDS: Students with disabilities who require reasonable accommodations to participate fully in course activities or meet course requirements must register with the Disability Resource Center. ( Students need to submit appropriate documentation to the instructor if they are requesting reasonable accommodations.

If you use secondary material for your journal entries, make sure that you indicate clearly where you took it from. Plagiarism and cheating violate the Code of Academic Integrity. For further information, see:

Do not ever copy from the work produced by your classmates or by other students who might have taken this course in previous semesters. If you receive help in writing your papers, make sure that the final outcome still represents your own work. You can discuss your journals 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 there without identifying very clearly what you used. 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 1000 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 there is any doubt in your mind whether you might commit plagiarism, see:


Plagiarism and the Web

If you commit plagiarism, you could either receive a 0 on your specific assignment, or an F for the entire course. Depending on the gravity of the case, you might even be expelled from the University. Every plagiarism case must be reported to the Head of my depart., to the head of your dept., and to the Dean of Students.

READING MATERIAL: We are going to use, among other sources, a webpage developed at the University of Helsinki which provides excellent cultural historical information and good text selections. Access is free. Deutsche Kulturgeschichte (ID: kultur; Password: radi)

And: A. Classen, Das deutsche Mittelalter in seinen Dichtungen. 4th rev. and expanded ed. 2009. Now available as a PDF

Du bist minDietmar von Aist

The works of Freidank and Versmaren

Die deutsche Literatur online: Bibliotheca Augustana

Deutsche Literaturepochen – Background information for each literary period


Aug. 21: Introduction. All our texts up to the poems by Klopstock are contained in our textbook as a PDF. The rest is all online. Cultural History: What does that mean?

Stellen Sie sich kurz vor und nennen Sie einen Text, den Sie bisher waehrend Ihres Studiums am liebsten gelesen haben. Schreiben Sie dies erst kurz auf, und dann hoeren wir, was jeder zu sagen hat.

Was ist denn Liebe? Wer schreibt darueber? Verfassen wir eine St. Valentinstags-Karte, jetzt schon im Herbst

Aug. 23: Mittelalter:

Dietmar von Aist: Tagelieder

Aug. 28: Weiter mit: Dietmar von Aist; Walther von der Vogelweide: Under der linden, “Aller werdekeit ein füegerinne”

Aug. 30: Walther von der Vogelweide: “Herzeliebez frowelîn”; “Nemt, frowe, disen kranz”; “Saget mir ieman, waz ist minne?”; “Lange swîgen des hât ich gedâht”; first presentation: Jamie:

Sept. 04: Labor Day

Sept. 06: Besuch in der Bibliothek. Wir treffen uns im Haupteingang.

Sept. 11: Ruprecht von Wurzburg, “Die getreue Kaufmannsfrau” (zu finden in Freidank und Versmaeren, link oben);  1st journal


Sept. 13: Die getreue Kaufmannsfrau; 2nd presentation: Dagmar

Sept. 18: Ruprecht: letzter Teil. diskussion

Sept. 20: Der Edelmann mit den vier Frauen: Fragen zum Text2nd journal

Sept. 25: Der Edelmann

Sept. 27: 1st in-class exam

Oct. 02: Mechthild von Magdeburg; 3rd presentation: Casey

Oct. 04: Mechthild von Magdeburg

Oct. 09: Oswald von Wolkenstein; 4th presentation: Isabel

Oct. 11: Oswald von Wolkenstein; 3rd journal


Oct. 16: Nurnberg und Hans Sach: Der Schuler vom Paradies; 5th presentation: Ashley

Oct. 18: Sachs, Der Schuler


Oct. 23: Friedrich Hagedorn; 6th presentation: Brittany

Oct. 25: Johann Wilhelm Gleim: Amor im Garten; Arbeit fur Doris4th journal. Vortrag von Andrea

Oct. 30: 2nd in-class exam

Sturm und Drang

Nov. 01: Goethe, Der junge Werther. Wir lesen nur das erste grosse Kapitel, trotzdem, bitte gut planen. 6th presentation: David und Isaac.

Fragen zu allen Unter-Kapiteln

Nov. 06: Goethe, Der junge Werther; Andreas Vortrag

Nov. 08: Goethe, Der junge Werther; 5th journal


Nov. 13: Goethe, Der junge Werther

Nov. 15: Goethe: Die roemischen Elegien HEUTE WERDE ICH NICHT PRAESENT SEIN, WEIL ICH AN EINER KONFERENZ TEILNEHME. Bitte lesen sie die Texte zu Hause und bereiten sich auf Montag vor. Elegien 1-2. Vorsicht, Goethe benutzt viele Analogien auf die Antike, daher auch viele schwierige Woerter. Konzentrieren Sie sich daher auf die wesentlichen Aussagen ueber Liebe und die Erfahrung in Rom, dem klassischen Rom!

Nov. 20: Goethe, Die roemischen Elegien. Zuerst Nr. 1, 3-4; 7th presentation: Alexis

Nov. 22: Goethe, Die roemischen Elegien, 5-6


Nov. 27: ; 6th journal; Heinrich Heine: “Sie assen und tranken am Teetisch; 8th presentation:Angel

Heine: satirische Liebesgedichte

Please do the teaching evaluation!

Nov. 29: Heine, An dem stillen Meeresstrande and Auf meiner Herzliebsten Äugelein

Time permitting, also: Da droben auf jenem Berge

Dec. 4: Last day of class: Bertolt Brecht: An die Liebenden, Erinnerungen an die Marie A. 7th journal; 9th presentation: Nick

Dec. 6: Mystery poets. Gedichte von Studenten in Ger 412, Herbst 2017, Univ. of Arizona. Bravo!

Final Exam: Dec. 11, Monday, 3:30-5:30 (koennten wir aber als take-home exam frueher machen, d.h. Abgabe am 8. Dez. in meinem Buero). Abgabetermin: 12 Uhr mittags.