Du Bois's 1928 novel Dark Princess was written in English but its medievalist re-imagining of a court romance is set in Berlin, where its African American protagonist falls in love with a princess who introduces him to a world of people of colour in positions of power and influence. Useful for courses on medievalisms or … Continue reading Du Bois, W. E. B. Dark Princess (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014).
Unknown, Die Winsbeckin (early 13th century)
Die Winsbeckin is a didactic text inspired by an earlier text Der Winsbecke, a dialogue between father and son, and this version gives a dialogue in verse form between mother and daughter. The authorship is unknown, and the gender of the author is unknown (see Albrecht Classen's The Power of a Woman's Voice), but Ann … Continue reading Unknown, Die Winsbeckin (early 13th century)
Johanna Lanczkowski (ed.), Mystische Texte des Mittelalters (Stuttgart: Reclam, 1999).
This edition in modern German translation compiles some of the most important mystical writings of the medieval period, originally written in Latin and in Germanic languages, and including work by significant women writers. The works show the diversity of medieval Christian mysticism, including writers accused of heresy, demonstrate the complexity of medieval authorship and the … Continue reading Johanna Lanczkowski (ed.), Mystische Texte des Mittelalters (Stuttgart: Reclam, 1999).
Mechthild von Magdeburg, Das fließende Licht der Gottheit: Auswahl (Stuttgart: Reclam, 2008).
Mechthild of Magdeburg (c. 1207-1282) was one of the most important writers and mystics of thirteenth-century Germany. Her work attracted significant attention in her lifetime and since, with Heinrich of Halle collecting her best known works into the seven-volume Das fließende Licht der Gottheit. The original Middle Low German writing has been lost, but numerous … Continue reading Mechthild von Magdeburg, Das fließende Licht der Gottheit: Auswahl (Stuttgart: Reclam, 2008).
Elisabeth von Schönau, Werke (Paderborn: Schöningh, 2006)
First full edition in German of the works of Elisabeth of Schönau (1129-1164), a Benedictine ascetic and visionary, who corresponded with Hildegard of Bingen and whose visions were recorded in Latin. The writings raise important questions about gender and authorship, as many of her visions seem to have been written down by her brother Egbert. … Continue reading Elisabeth von Schönau, Werke (Paderborn: Schöningh, 2006)
Hrotsvitha von Gandersheim, Dulcitius. Abraham (Stuttgart: Reclam, 2005)
Hrotsvitha was one of the first women writers in German-speaking Europe whose works survive today. These two dramas deal with a range of Christian and Biblical topics. Dulcitius depicts the martyrdom of the early medieval women saints, Agape, Chione and Irene, and explores ideas of chastity and piety. The easily available Reclam version is a … Continue reading Hrotsvitha von Gandersheim, Dulcitius. Abraham (Stuttgart: Reclam, 2005)
Wolfram von Eschenbach, Parzival (c. 1200/1210)
Middle High German lyric that could be used to discuss the diversity of representations of medieval masculinities or the depiction of Black and mixed-race figures (the queen of Parzival's father, Belacane of Zazamanc, is Black, and their son Feirefiz is mixed-race). Available with modern German parallel text from Reclam.
Gaunt, Simon. “Can the Middle Ages Be Postcolonial?”
Mentioned in Aysha Strachan's blog post. Full reference: Simon Gaunt, “Can the Middle Ages Be Postcolonial?” Comparative Literature, vol. 61, no. 2, 2009, pp. 160–176
Hartmann von Aue. Erec and Iwein
Mentioned in Aysha Strachan's blog post on teaching gender in Medieval literature. Editions: Hartmann von Aue, German Romance V: Erec, ed. and trans. Cyril Edwards (Suffolk: Boydell & Brewer, 2014). Hartmann von Aue, German Romance: Vol. 3., ed. and trans. Cyril Edwards (Boydell & Brewer, 2007).
Black Central Europe
https://blackcentraleurope.com Online resources for teaching the history of the Black Diaspora in German-speaking Central Europe 1000-today, including many literary sources, with lesson plans, as well as an interactive map and links to contemporary activist groups.