Albrecht Classen, PhD
University Distinguished Professor
Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of German Studies
University of Arizona, Tucson
“Among my various interests in medieval and early modern culture, I also work on the relationships between Jews and Christians in pre-modern German literature. As painful as the Jewish history might have been throughout the Middle Ages, Jews continued to live among their Christian contemporaries. This finds interesting expression in numerous literary works where Jewish characters operate freely and are often treated with considerable respect.
In a recent article I published in Aschkenas 31.1 (2021): 1–28, for instance, I unearthed remarkable examples of Jews who enjoyed a noteworthy degree of a strong legal status, or who entertained very personal, if not intimate, relationships with Christians. In a previous article, also in Aschkenas 108.4 (2017): 349-69, I discovered important connections between the Jewish and Christian narrative tradition in the Middle Ages. Very recently, I published a longer study on the opportunities and challenges of transdisciplinarity in the Humanities, relying heavily on examples in medieval philosophy, religion, and literature. With this article I launched a guest-edited volume for the journal Humanities. In my latest book (Tracing the Trails in the Medieval World, 2021), I discussed the heretofore ignored phenomenon of tracing trails as an epistemological strategy in medieval literature.”