Strand Definitions: Language and Literature - Germanic

There are especially four major fields of general interest for medievalists: the 'Origins of Courtliness' and the flowering of courtly literature, the 'Nibelungen Tradition', mystics' lives and writings, and literary expressions towards the Reformation.

Current research trends in German studies of general interest for medievalists include, relations between text and image, oral and literary culture; new approaches to iconography and iconology and their impact on literary analysis; perception of sensual and spiritual phenomena in the Middle Ages, its medieval theories, its representation in art and literature and its modern interpretation; symbolic communication in medieval life and literature; development and application of narrative theories to medieval epics; the creation of new interdisciplinary approaches to medieval literature by combining methods developed in the fields of gender studies, mental history or natural history e.g. with textual analysis; to make accessible hitherto unknown or neglected works of German literature especially of the Late Middle Ages; to develop new means of evaluating the processes of textual transmission and, in consequence, to elaborate methods of editing medieval literature.

In addition to presentations of current research trends, the strand particularly welcomes paper and session proposals on anniversaries of famous authors (i.e. the 550th birthday of Emperor Maximilian I in 2009 or the 700th birthday of Konrad von Megenberg (1309-1374); medieval translations and translating the Middle Ages; medieval myths and their modern reception; flora and fauna in medieval life and literature; travel and pilgrim literature; Non-Germanic authors or themes and their reception in Germanic art, music, and literature (such as Petrarch); approaches to language and literary history; recently discovered authors (i.e. Oswald von Wolkenstein) or wider European literary genres (i.e. Jewish literary culture or the Teutonic Order); introduction to the use of modern encyclopaedias or electronic tools such as the Lexikon des Mittelalters, Die deutsche Literatur des Mittelalters, Verfasserlexikon, the Mittelhochdeutsche Begriffsdatenbank (MHDBDB, Salzburg), or Repertorium der Sangsprüche und Meisterlieder des 12. bis 18. Jahrhunderts. The strand aims to provide interdisciplinary debate, bringing together specialists of Germanic Language and Literature with medievalists from other disciplines.