Nr. 23, Fall &Winter 2006

Dear Colleagues,

Again we are pleased that Society for Medieval German Studies is sponsoring five sessions at the 42nd Congress on Medieval Studies in Kalamazoo next May 2007. We wish to thank Scott E. Pincikowski (Hood College) for his considerable contribution to promoting Medieval Studies by organizing our SMGS sessions these past years and we look forward to seeing him for years to come at Kalamazoo. We are also pleased to welcome our new SMGS Organizer, Stephen Mark Carey (Georgia State University), who has put together an exciting program for us for next year at Kalamazoo.

SMGS also thanks Matthew Heintzelman (The Hill Museum & Manuscript Library and Glenn Ehrstine (University of Iowa) for co-sponsoring the excellent session on electronic access to manuscripts held at Kalamazoo 2006. Links to important websites are available under News from Colleagues.

Table of Contents

SMGS Sessions at Kalamazoo 2007

New Books Roundtable

The Sidney M. Johnson Award for 2007

New Books Received for SMGS Review

SMGS Review

News from Colleagues

SMGS Sessions at Kalamazoo 2007

Session I

Tradition and Innovation: Reconsidering Medieval German Conduct Literature

Presider: Stephen Mark Carey (Georgia State University)

Creating Conduct Literature through Mise-en-page: Der Welsche Gast in Heidelberg, Universitätsbibliothek, cpg 389 (1270) and Gotha, Forschungsbibliothek,

Memb I 120 (1340).

Kathryn Starkey (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)

“Ditz buoch sæt nu von der frawen werdikeit:” The Construction of Virtue in Die Winsbeckin in Berlin, Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin Preussischer Kulturbesitz, mgf 474.

Olga V. Trokhimenko (University of North Carolina at Wilmington)

“Free Spirits” in the Middle Ages? The Problem of Translating vrî in der Winsbecke and Die Winsbeckin.

Ann Marie Rasmussen (Duke University)

Session II

Nibelungen Matters

Presider: Stephen Mark Carey (Georgia State University)

“Neues zur Nibelungensage – und die Folgen”

Max Siller (Universität Innsbrück)

“Does the Nibelungenlied have a Message?”

Winder McConnell (University of California at Davis

“Dragons in Medieval German Heldenepik”

Edward R. Haymes (Cleveland State University_

Session III

Myths of the Feminine in Middle High German Literature

Presider: Sarah Westphal-Wihl (Rice University)

“Gender models and their subversion: The Amazon-myth in MHG”

Cordula Politis (Trinity College Dublin)

“Tempus muliebre in Thirteenth-century Courtly Literature?”

Karina Marie Ash (University of California, Los Angeles)

“Gender and Spiritual Victory in Eupolonius’ Messiad

Ernst Ralf Hintz (Truman State University)

Session IV

Nibelungen Matters II

Presider: Ray Wakefield (University of Minnesota-Twin Cities)

Restoring the Female Lament in diu Clage

April Henry (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)

“Die Nibelungen: ‘Fluch des Drachens’ (2004) and its Treatment of Source Materials”

Evelyn Meyer (Saint Louis University)



ew Books Roundtable

Presider: Ernst Ralf Hintz (Truman State University)

Kathryn Starkey (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) will be presenting her recent contribution to our field:

Reading the Medieval Book: Word, Image, and Performance in Wolfram von Eschenbach’s Willehalm, University of Notre Dame Press, 2004.

SMGS looks forward to seeing you at this well-received and enjoyable session at Kalamazoo in 2007.

The Sidney M. Johnson Award for 2007

SMGS is delighted to announce The Sidney M. Johnson Award for the best abstract submitted to SMGS from a graduate student. The recipient for 2007 will be April Henry (University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill) for her submission “Restoring the Female Lament in diu Chlage.” We are looking forward to hearing her presentation in SMGS Session IV at Kalamazoo, 2007.

New Books Received for SMGS Review

Kathryn Starkey, Reading the Medieval Book: Word, Image, and Performance in Wolfram von Eschenbach’s Willehalm, University of Notre Dame Press, 2004,

ISBN: 0-268-04108-3.

Sara S. Poor and Jana K. Schulman, eds. Women and Medieval Epic: Gender, Genre, and the Limits of Epic Masculinity, Palgrave Macmillan, 2006, IBSN: 1-4039-6602-8.

Judith J. Hurwich, Noble Strategies: Marriage and Sexuality in the Zimmern Chronicle, Sixteenth Century Essays & Studies 75, Truman State University Press, 2006,

ISBN-13: 978-1-931112-59-8.

Anne Winston-Allen, Convent Chronicles: Women Writing about Women and Reform in the Late Middle Ages, Pennsyvania State University Press, 2004,

ISBN-10: 0-271-02460-7.

SMGS Reviews

Kulturen des Manuskriptzeitalters. Ergebnisse der Amerikanisch-Deutschen Arbeitstagung an der Georg-August-Universität Göttingen vom 17. bis 20. Oktober 2002 (Transatlantische Studien zu Mittelalter und Früher Neuzeit—Transatlantic Studies on Medieval and Early Modern Literature and Culture, Vol. 1). Ed. Arthur Groos and Hans-Jochen Schiewer. Göttingen: V&R unipress, 2004. 364pp. €39.90 paperback.

The editors of the inaugural volume of the series, Transatlantische Studien zu Mittelalter und Früher Neuzeit—Transatlantic Studies on Medieval and Early Modern Literature, are to be lauded for creating a new forum of scholarly exchange between researchers in North America and Europe. The book is a truly transcontinental project, containing fourteen essays from a 2002 Göttingen conference on “Kulturen des Manuskriptzeitalters,” seven of which are in English by authors from the United States and seven of which are in German by scholars from Germany. All of the essays are well-written, representing detailed research of a high quality.

The topics and approaches of the essays in this volume are as broad and varied as the focus of the conference itself. In fact, if the reader is looking for a discussion that clearly defines the parameters of the “Kulturen des Manuskriptzeitalters,” this is not the book. As is the case with many conference publications, the organizers chose a broad theme in order to collect a wide variety of topics that are at least tangentially related to that theme. And if not for the overall quality of the essays—remarkable given the fact that conference proceedings all too often contain a sub par essay or two—one could critique the lack of focus in this collection. A related issue is organization. There does not seem to be any logical order or grouping of the essays by topic or approach. The book is, however, successful in several ways. It engages the reader in many of the theoretical approaches that are currently being used on both sides of the Atlantic. Some of the essays also weigh the usefulness and correctness of approaching medieval subjects with interpretative tools developed in the postmodern cultural matrix. And most importantly, most of the essays demonstrate the value of exploring how the meaning of a medieval text is generated and changed in its various forms of transmission and reception.

Three essays will appeal to scholars interested in deciphering images and text/image relationships. Albrecht Hausmann’s contribution provides a convincing “bildimmanente” reading of the Süßkind von Trimberg image in the Manessischen Liederhandschrift. By focusing solely on pictorial elements, Hausmann is able to move beyond the question of historical realism and uncover the cultural meaning of the image, namely the depiction of a religious disputato. William Layher’s essay discusses the popular image of Siegfried as giant in late medieval culture, exploring the text variations and illustrations that amplify his body. Analyzing the print Heldenbuch of 1479, with particular emphasis on the Rosengarten, Layher ably details the late medieval “historical, legendary, and anthropological discourses” (200) that contribute to this amplification. And James Rushing tests his “interface theory” of literary pictorialization on the Aeneas material in Antiquity and its medieval German reception. Rushing presents a compelling thesis, finding that illustrations of literary works most often appear in the space between oral and literate cultures, with the “educational environment” (300) of a particular culture having the greatest impact on the type of illustrations that appear.

Three contributions provide valuable new insights regarding Wolfram von Eschenbach’s Parzival. For his part, Arthur Groos offers an innovative reading of the Gahmuret story through the critical lens of Orientalism. His contribution, which critically explores the application of postmodern categories to a medieval subject, problematizes the reductive image of the medieval orient that many postcolonial theorists create. Groos’s analysis clearly shows that Wolfram’s imaginations of the East are not narrow, but varied, suggesting potential relationships to the orient, which range from reciprocal to hierarchical or colonial. Volker Mertens explores how Wolfram historicizes Parzival, incorporating narrative elements from the Antikenroman and heroic epic in order to lend authenticity to his literary world. He also shows how Wolfram makes his story more believable by creating micro- and macro-realities in the text. These “realities” consist of historical fictions and playful allusions to historical facts, including biographical, genealogical, geographical, and narrative ones. Martin Baisch’s essay on text variation in the *D and *G versions of Parzival should figure as required reading for any serious Wolfram scholar. The essay, which focuses on the transmission of Wolfram’s “auktoriale Selbstentwürfe,” validates the importance of “Überlieferungsgeschichte” as an interpretative tool, while also providing a precise overview of and critical response to scholarship dealing with text variation.

Another group of essays represents “Überlieferungsgeschichte” of the best kind. Sarah Westphal looks at why Die Mörin by Hermann von Sachensheim is one of the few Minnereden to make the transition from manuscript to print in the sixteenth century, revealing that the didacticism of the text would have appealed to its humanist readership. By analyzing the four other texts that comprise the frame of the 1512 edition of Die Mörin, Westphal also attributes key changes to the text to other readership issues like patronage, class, and gender. In her detailed discussion of two long-neglected Icelandic translations of the Oswald and Henry and Cunegund legends, Marianne Kalinke persuasively argues the importance of these translations in the preservation of the two earliest and lost German versions of the legends. Her essay reconstructs the transmission of these versions, revealing the revisions that eventually lead to the surviving German texts, the Münchner Oswald and the Ebernand von Erfurt’s legend of Henry and Cunegund. In doing so, she highlights the importance of Latin historiography and hagiography to the development of vernacular legends. In his contribution, Matthias Meyer’s focus on transmission provides a much-needed reevaluation of the Mären, der Spiegel and Spiegel und Igel. By giving attention to the meta-narrative of der Spiegel, which consists of commentary by the characters and the “Schreiber” on the eventual oral or written reception of the story, Meyer uncovers the strategies by which der Spiegel is made to seem authentic and shows that it is this very self-reflection on the genre of Märe gives this text its literary value. Meyer also compares the two versions and demonstrates how the clear morality of Spiegel und Igel makes such a meta-level unnecessary, suggesting that der Spiegel may be the more important text when considering the development of the Märe genre.

Three contributions explore what might be described as genre-related issues. Kirsten M. Christensen expands the traditional understanding of catechetical texts by investigating the relationship between mysticism and catechism in Meister Eckhart, Margaretha Ebner, Magdalena Beutler and Maria van Hout. Christensen’s discussion reveals how these mystics used catechetical elements in their writings to lend doctrinal legitimacy to their mystical experiences and teachings, whereas catechists used mystical elements to lend “devotional luster” (42) to the didacticism of their texts. In her discussion of bestiaries, Marian Polhill sheds new light on this genre by shifting focus away from its allegorical function to its reception in medicinal and scientific literature of the late Middle Ages. In doing so, she shows how misreadings and mistranslations of these texts contribute to the construction of gendered, group, professional, and religious identities. Uta Störmer-Caysa’s contribution illuminates the structure of time in Heinrich von dem Türlin’s Crône, describing its often non-linear, circular nature. Her treatment of the text is detailed and thorough, investigating such difficult issues such as the commonality of hystera protera, characters as “Zeitgeber,” the flowing borders between mythical and non-mythical, and time warps within the narrative of the text. As such, the essay helps the reader follow the different narrative strands that come together and diverge from beginning to end of the work.

Two essays deserve special attention for their evaluation of modern interpretative approaches. Gert Hübner’s contribution on theories of metaphor warns against the interpretation of metaphors from simply a modern perspective. Drawing upon Christian Strub’s work, Hübner explicates three different theories of metaphor interpretation: the “Bild,” interaction, and substitution theories. By applying each theory to a short passage from Wolfram’s Parzival, Hübner identifies paradigm shifts in the history of metaphor interpretation. In doing so, he reminds the reader of the importance of historical and epistemological context to analysis, including the most important one, the medieval. Freimut Löser’s contribution takes stock of an issue that should concern all medievalists: the debate regarding the value of New Philology versus “Überlieferungsgeschichte.” Löser’s essay gives a critical comparison and historical overview of the two philological approaches, locating key differences but also concluding that much about the New Philology is not so “new” after all.

It is heartening to read a conference publication of such a high quality. The originality of the essays show that medieval German studies on both continents continue to thrive, and indeed, lead the way in methodological approaches—even during what might be a described as a difficult time for “Altgermanistik.” Encouraging, too, is how the essays embrace new approaches, not to be trendy, but to uncover varying modes of medieval understanding, interpretation, and reception. In fact, it is this type of scholarship, which evaluates methodology while also opening up new readings, which our graduate students should be reading. It is for these reasons that we can look forward to the next volume in this series by Alexander Sager on Wolfram von Eschenbach’s Titurel.

Scott E. Pincikowski (Hood College)

SMGS News from Colleagues

Barbara Becker-Cantarino (Ohio State University) has announced three sessions arranged by the Division German Literature to 1700 for the MLA, December 27-30, 2006, in Philadelphia. For additional information:

Thursday, 28 December

Session 217. Medieval German Literature, 1:145 – 3:00 p.m., Washington B, Loews

Presiding: Sara Suzanne Poor (Princeton University)

(1) “The Romance of Narcissus in Heinrich von Morungen”

Seth Lerer (Stanford University)

(2) “A Reconsideration of Das Mädchen: The Reception of Bridal Mysticism in Thirteenth-Century German Literature”

Karina Marie Ash (University of California, Los Angeles)

(3) “Gender and Salvation in Ofrid’s Evangelienbuch

Ernst Ralf Hintz (Truman State University)

Friday, 29 December

Session 394. Performance and Ritual, 10:15-11:30 a.m., Jefferson, Loews

Presiding: Rosmarie T. Morewedge (State University of New York, Binghamton)

(1)“Laughter as the Ultimate Epistemological Vehicle in the Hands of Till Eulenspiegel”

Albrecht Classen (University of Arizona, Tucson)

(2) “A Marriage of Protestant Union: Creating Saxon Identity with the Danish-Saxon Wedding of 1548”

Mara R. Wade (University of Illinois, Urbana)

Friday, 29 December

Session 625. Migration, Asylum, Exile, 9:00-10:15 p.m., Anthony, Loews

Presiding: Barbara Becker-Cantarino (Ohio State University, Columbus)

(1) “Johann Schiltberger’s Account of His Life in the Ottoman and Mongol Empires: Questions of Genre and Ideology”

Nina A. Berman (Ohio State University, Columbus)

(2) “Transatlantic Visions: Moravian Migration from Herrnhut to Bethlehem”

Josef K. Glowa (Moravian College)

(3) “From Exile to Insanity: The Works of Daniel Klesch”

Jonathan Clark (Concordia College, Moorhead)

Helmut Brall-Tuchel (Lehrstuhl für Ältere deutsche Sprache und Literatur, Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf) has announced the founding of a new research institution:

Institut für Geschichte der mittelalterlichen Literatur der Rheinlande (IGeL).

Zweck des Instituts ist die interdisziplinäre Erforschung der Geschichte der mittelalterlichen Literatur der Rheinlande. Diese Aufgabe wird wahrgenommen insbesondere durch die Förderung der Zusammenarbeit mit wissenschaftlichen und kulturellen Institutionen mit vergleichbarer Zielsetzung sowie die öffentliche Präsentation von Projekten und Arbeitsergebnissen zur Kulturgeschichte der Region Rheinland.

Stephen Mark Carey (Georgia State University) has announced a session at the MLA in Philadelphia, 2006.

Friday, 29 December

Session 421. Arthur and Non-Arthurians, 12:00 -1:15 p.m., 301 Philadelphia Marriott

Presiding: Stephen Mark Carey (Georgia State University)

(1) “Capitalist Symbolic Economies and Victorian Nationhood in Tennyson’s ‘Balin and Balan,’”

Andrew Urban (West Virginia University, Morgantown)

(2) “T.H. White’s Knightly Language: Introducing and Contextualizing Malory for the Undergraduate,”

Louis J. Boyle (Carlow University)

(3) “Presenting a Prepostcolonial Arthur; or, Engaging the Non-Arthurians, Too,”

Randy P. Schiff (University at Buffalo, State University of New York)

Albrecht Classen (University of Arizona, Tucson) would like to announce a Call for Papers for an International Symposium on the History of Sexuality in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance to take place at the University of Arizona, Tucson, May 3-6, 2007. You may submit an abstract to by January 31, 2007.

Christoph Flüeler (Abbey Library of St. Gall, Switzerland online) has organized access to the CESG online: with more than 100 complete manuscripts and regular updates. SMGS congratulates him on this wonderful project.

Karl Heinz (Institute for the Research on Ecclesiastical Sources IEEkQ) has organized the website for the Virtual Archive of Historical Documents in Central Europe. The archives of Central European monasteries and dioceses house important documents of great cultural value. However, these valuable documents are located in hundreds of archives and therefore difficult to access. The website provides unlimited access to all these original historical sources dating from the Early Middle Ages up to the present time. So everyone can gain a better understanding of historical events and a thousand years of history. The MOM archive is truly unique worldwide.

You may contact Karl Heinz at for additional information. SMGS wishes to thank him for this invaluable work.

Marc Pierce (University of Michigan at Ann Arbor) has organized a session for Kalamazoo 2007 entitled: The Old Saxon Heliand, sponsored by The West Virginia University Press. The presentations and participants include:

(1) “V2 in Old Saxon”

Tonya Kim Dewey (University of California, Berkeley)

(2) “The Emergence of Old Saxon Studies in Germany, 1830-1921”

Marc Pierce (University of Michigan at Ann Arbor)

(3) “Toward a Model of Hypermetric Verses in the Old Saxon Heliand

Douglas Simms (SIU-Edwardsville)

Should you wish additional information:

Max Siller (Universität Innsbrück) is a new member of SMGS and will be presenting at one of our sessions at Kalamazoo 2007.

Olga Trokhimenko (University of North Carolina at Wilmington) has recently completed her doctorate at Duke University and has a new position at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington) You may congratulate her at:

The SMGS News & Reviews is edited by Ernst Ralf Hintz (Truman State University).

We wish to thank our new technical expert, Ben Ogden, for his expertise in providing the online version with both readability and elegance. We also wish to thank the Division of Language & Literature at Truman State University for its support of this publication.

The SMGS readership continues to grow steadily as is the interest in receiving the SMGS News & Reviews online. Should you wish to contribute to the section on SMGS News from Colleagues or if you know of a colleague who would be interested in membership (there are no dues), you may contact me at or fax (660-785-7486), or write to the following address: Ernst Ralf Hintz, German and Medieval Studies, Truman State University, Division of Language & Literature, McClain Hall 310, Kirksville, MO 63501-4221 (U.S.A.).

The next issue of the SMGS News & Reviews appears in April, 2007.

On behalf of Stephen Mark Carey and Ernst Ralf Hintz,

All good wishes from SMGS!