Happiness, Love, and Hope in Medieval Literature

Humanities Seminars Course

Happiness, Love, and Hope in Medieval Literature

University Distinguished Professor Albrecht Classen Department of German Studies
Past Course
MONDAYS 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. September 26 - December 12, 2016. No class on October 3 and November 21.
Dorothy Rubel/Humanities Seminars Room, 1508 E. Helen Street



Medieval literature was not simply doom and gloom. It also had a strong sense of hope, happiness, and love, embodied best perhaps in the Holy Grail and courtly love. As in all other literary eras, we can also find many tragic or religious works. But one of the hallmarks of medieval literature, at least in its secular form, is the search for happiness, individual fulfillment, and love, all perhaps best captured by the term “quest.” Think of the quest for the grail, quest for the social ideal of a courtly knight, and quest for love. Happiness is important for us today as well, so in this course we will examine the relevance to us of happiness, love, and hope in the Middle Ages.


Required Reading: 

Students enrolling in this class do not need to purchase a textbook. Instead, readings uploaded to a secure site will be made accessible by the end of August.



ALBRECHT CLASSEN is University Distinguished Professor of German Studies and has published extensively on the European Middle Ages and early modern times. He edits the journals Mediaevistik and Humanities Open Access, and currently is President of the Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association and the Arizona Chapter of Teachers of German. He has received numerous awards and prizes for research, teaching, and service.

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