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German Literature Before Germany

GER 206/MED 204

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This course examines the history and culture of pre-modern central Europe through the lens of a wide range of literary works produced in German-speaking contexts. Confronting and revising preconceived notions about the medieval and pre-national 'primitive' past, we will discover together the epic accounts of multilingual Franks and Goths, the sophisticated ethos of medieval courts, women writing in the service of God and kings, and the history of German as a poetic language. Readings and discussion in English, working with translations from Old High German, Old Saxon, medieval Latin, Middle High German, Early Modern German, and Yiddish.
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Section S01