Germanic Languages | German Culture and Society
G464 | 26339 | Keller


Spring 2009, 3 cr.
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2:30-3:45 Tuesdays/Thursdays
Class number 26339
Professor: Hildegard Elisabeth Keller
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Legends make up among the most important narrative materials of the
Middle Ages and were more popular than just about any other  kind of
text.  The Latin term ‚legenda‘ means quite simply ‚reading matter‘
and gives an indication of how such texts were employed.  Already in
the early Middle Ages, legends were disseminated in performative
fashion:  they were read out loud, sung and even danced.  Visual media
also played an important role.
In this course, we will become acquainted with German-language legends
of the 9th through the 21st century and analyze continuities and
discontinuities in both their form and function.  Selected images from
the Indiana University Art Museum will provide us with an additional
point of departure.
A complementary goal is to develop students’ German-language
proficiency; hence, the language of instruction will be German.
Reading list
Please bring your own copy to class. Further reading will be at your
disposition during the course (on e-reserve).
•	Hans-Peter Ecker (ed.): Legenden. Heiligengeschichten vom Altertum
bis zur Gegenwart. Stuttgart, Reclam-Verlag, 1999 (ISBN:
978-3-15-018147-8)
•	Joseph Roth: Die Legende vom heiligen Trinker. München, Dtv 2004
(ISBN-13: 978-3423132374)
Participation, contributions, attendance
Participation is the life-blood of any seminar. Commit yourself to
conversation, offer thoughtful comments on your readings and on your
classmate’s work, and help each other to speak and to be heard. You
are also expected to write 3 short essays. Once or twice in the
semester, you will act as discussion leader. The final grade will be
determined by these weighted factors (this is an approximation):
Active participation in class 20%; short essays 40%; leading
discussions 20%.