German Literature and the Premodern Era

GERMANIC LANGUAGES AND LITERATURES 342

In this introduction to the literary and intellectual history of the German-speaking world from roughly 800 C..E to the 17th century, we will read English translations of some of the most influential authors and works in the medieval and early modern German tradition, including the "Heroic Age" (e.g., "Nibelungenlied"), the classical period of the 12th and 13th centuries (e.g., Walther von der Vogelweide, Wolfram von Eschenbach, Gottfried von Stra├čburg), late-medieval philosophy and mysticism (e.g., Mechthild von Magdeburg, Meister Eckhart), and early modern humanism and the Reformation (e.g., Martin Luther). Students enrolled in this course engage in close and sustained reading of a set of texts that are indispensable for an understanding of the German and European literary tradition; these are texts that continue to offer invaluable insights into humanity and the world around us. Our discussions will focus on concepts such as heroism, chivalry, and courtly love and on questions regarding the relationship between the individual and society, the role of religion in society, and the emergence of modern mass media (e.g., the Gutenberg revolution). We will consider the texts both on their own terms and against the backdrop of the historical contexts in which they were written.
Course Attributes: EN H; BU Hum; AS HUM; AS LCD; FA HUM; AR HUM

Section 01

German Literature and the Premodern Era - 01
INSTRUCTOR: Williams
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