Literary Masterpieces from the Middle Ages

Albrecht Classen
Tuesdays 10AM - 12PM
October 31, November 7, 14, 28, December 5, and 12, 2023
Watch the video to learn more about this course

Literary Masterpieces from the Middle Ages

Fall 2023
In Session
10AM - 12PM
October 31, November 7, 14, 28, December 5, and 12, 2023

Course Format: 



Main Campus



This exciting seminar will look into the history of literature through the lens of the Middle Ages. We constantly encounter medieval masterpieces that continue to influence literature today. These works are robust and often express fundamental human concerns, values, and ideals. Through this, the masterpieces highlight shortcomings, conflicts, and problems of human existence. This seminar will spend some time examining some well-known narratives, such as Beowulf and Boccaccio. In addition to the more famous works, we will also look at many often-ignored literary gems, such as the Song of Waltharius and the verse narratives by Heinrich Kaufringer.

Required Reading: 

  • Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
  • Christine de Pizan’s City of Ladies

Meet Your Professor

University Distinguished Professor
Department of German Studies

ALBRECHT CLASSEN is University Distinguished Professor of German Studies; He has published 122 scholarly books, ca. 840 articles, 2400 book reviews, ten volumes of poetry, and four volumes of essays. He is the editor of several journals and has received numerous awards for teaching (including the HSP Superior Teaching Award), research, and service. In the Fall of 2022, he spent a semester in Cairo, Egypt, as a Fulbright grantee.

  • Ted and Shirley Taubeneck Superior Teaching Award


  • All classes will be delivered on-campus and online via live video streaming. Students will enroll in their preferred format during registration.
  • On-Campus classes will be held in the Rubel Room at the University of Arizona's Poetry Center (1508 E Helen St, Tucson, AZ 85721). Enrollment for in-person classes is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. All students enrolled to attend in person also have complete online access and may choose to attend one or all class sessions remotely if desired.
  • Online students may attend all classes via live video streaming and will be able to participate in all course Q&A sessions with the professor in real-time. A high-speed internet connection and a device capable of running Zoom are required to connect. Online access will be password protected and only available to enrolled students.
  • Class Recordings - All HSP classes are recorded and available for every enrolled student to watch for the duration of the course and one month after the last class session. This option is offered to aid students who cannot attend the live class times but desire to enroll and participate asynchronously. We hope this option also aids students who are traveling or have a necessary appointment that conflicts with a class session to stay connected and engaged with the course material.


Poetry Center
Dorothy Rubel Room
1508 E Helen
Tucson, AZ 85721
United States
Located on the SE corner of Helen Street and Vine Avenue, one block north of Speedway and three blocks west of Campbell Ave.

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