Source: Allie Caulfield 2008 (cc-by-2.0)

Welcome to the website of the
Professorship of German Literature with a focus on the Middle Ages and Literary Theory

What can be discovered when we trace the historical roots of German-language literature? And where do we encounter our own gaze in pre-modern traditions, in the context of modern science and society? What new perspectives and possibilities of experience does the study of historical text cultures open up - and what blind spots do texts of the Middle Ages reveal that often silently accompany our everyday ways of dealing with symbolically shaped reality? Medieval literary studies is not dedicated to fragments of a distant epoch, but to the tradition-rich treasure of narratives, concepts, and poetic forms that have grown in dialogue with the entire history of European literature - and that continue to radiate creatively.

Object of Research

As a discipline with focus on German language and literature of the Middle Ages, German Medieval Studies at the University of Konstanz deal with a wide variety of texts from the beginning of the written tradition of German-language texts in the 8th century to the 16th century: from biblical poetry and legends to heroic epic poetry, from courtly novels and love poetry to novelistic fairy tale poetry, from spiritual plays to prose novels.

Main Fields of Research

The team of the professorship of German Literature with a focus on the Middle Ages and General Literary Studies researches historical text cultures with the broader goal of making visible perspectives of literary and cultural history of long duration that enable answers to fundamental questions of literary studies. We are therefore committed to a literary studies that methodically reflects on its subjects and develops new approaches to texts rich in tradition. This is combined with the claim to theoretically reflect more precisely what analyses and interpretations open up or close off.

Current Work Projects
Current Projects

Particular attention is paid to the theory and methodology of medieval literary and cultural studies as well as digital philology. The focus is on comparative literary studies and the historicization of narratology and cultural theory. Research is conducted on literary myth reception and knowledge transformations, cultural logics of agonality and literary dispute communication. In addition, the professorship is involved in current research initiatives on serious gaming and cultural studies infrastructure research. Special concerns in the area of teaching include incorporating digital methods and offering medievalist perspectives on the didactics of teacher education.