Humanities Seminar: Masterpieces of Medieval Literature
Instructor: Dr. Albrecht Classen, University Distinguished Professor of German Studies, firstname.lastname@example.org
Course Objectives: This seminar will examine a range of literary masterpieces from the Middle Ages, focusing on some of the very best literary pearls that carry profound meaning also for us today. although they are often not studied enough. We will read relatively short texts from the ninth through the fifteenth century to gain a sense of the true glory of what pre-modern poets could achieve and what they can tell us until today. There always will be the literary elephant in the room, casting its shadow on our text selection. But Beowulf, Wolfram von Eschenbach’s Parzival, Dante’s Divina Commedia, or Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales are both too extensive for our purposes and too well known in many circles. This course will, instead, open our eyes toward true but short masterpieces that you can read easily and then enjoy profoundly.
Oct. 31: Introduction, outline, and our first reading: “Hildebrandslied”
Nov. 7: Waltharius Pgs 39-163
Nov. 14: Hartmann von Aue, Poor Henry
Nov. 28: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
Dec. 5: Heinrich Kaufringer, tales: The Hermit and the Angel: The Mayor and the Prince, and Merchants in Disagreement
All texts available online. No charge.