RCLANG 321 - Readings in German
Section: 001 Introduction to German Medieval Literature and Art and Their Reception
Term: WN 2008
Subject: RC Languages (RCLANG)
Department: LSA Residential College
Advisory Prerequisites:
Proficiency test.
May be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

The middle ages cover a period of more than 1000 years, from the 6th to the 16th century. Undoubtedly, the "The Dark Age" has played a significant role in the formation of the European mentality and civilization. This course offers the opportunity to discover the various fields of medieval cultural history by reading sources in modern German and interpreting works of art, such as paintings, sculptures, metal work and also music (for example the Carmina Burana).

Constructions of myths such as the hero "Siegfried" in the "Nibelungenlied" and the emperor "Barbarossa" and their reception in the 19th and 20th century literature and art (painting, film, etc.) will be subjects of group investigation.

We will learn about society in the Middle Ages, the leading classes and their ideology as well as the role of minorities such as Jews. We will study the daily life of craftsmen in the cities and peasants in the villages by 'reading' the images of the time. These images will also allow us to compare the fashion of our time with clothing in the 14th and 15th centuries, which were required to follow strict guidelines. What did modern Europe inherit from these traditions? What is still visible in the urban structure?

Another topic of this course is medieval education: For centuries teaching was the domain of the church, first in monasteries, then in the schools of the cathedrals. Women like Hildegard von Bingen, a Saint also for modern homoepathic medicine, could only get their education in a covent. What did they learn? When, where, and why were the first universities founded?

Discussions about the role of belief for the medieval human being up to jurisdiction, the impact of diseases and wars on philosophy and art, etc. will round out our seminar.

Questions such as: "What did people eat?" and "How did it taste?" will be the subject of our own experimentation!

All readings and discussions will be in German. The interdisciplinary concept of the seminar will require that we sometimes meet in local and regional museums.

Literary sources: Die Merseburger Zaubersprüche, Das Nibelungenlied; Der Sachsenspiegel, Das Dreihundertjährige deutsches Kloster-Kochbuch, Heinrich Heine, Deutschland ein Wintermärchen, etc.

Critical Works: Arno Borst, Lebensformen im Mittelalter, 1. Auflage Ullstein-Verlag Berlin 1973. Eberhard Isenmann, Die deutsche Stadt im Spätmittelalter, 1. Auflage UTB Stuttgart 1988. Kurt Flasch, Das philosophische Denken im Mittelalter, 2. rev. und erw. Auflage Reclam Ditzingen 2000.

RCLANG 321 - Readings in German
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
TuTh 10:00AM - 11:30AM
002 (SEM)
M 8:00PM - 10:00PM
W 7:00PM - 10:00PM
Note: German Theater Play Production Seminar
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