IMC 2004: Sessions

Session 1222: Interaction of Cultures in German Literature of the Middle Ages

Wednesday 14 July 2004, 14.15-15.45

Sponsor:Oswald von Wolkenstein-Gesellschaft
Organiser:Sieglinde Hartmann, Oswald von Wolkenstein-Gesellschaft, Frankfurt am Main
Moderator/Chair:Sieglinde Hartmann, Oswald von Wolkenstein-Gesellschaft, Frankfurt am Main
Paper 1222-aTelling and Reading about Love: The Confession of 'Sweet Pain' in Thomas, Gottfried, Petrarch, and the Emotional Reaction of their Public
(Language: English)
Patrizia Mazzadi, Istituto Culturale Italo-Tedesco, Vicenza
Index terms: Language and Literature - German, Language and Literature - Latin
Paper 1222-bThe Fate of the Nibelungen between Oral and Written Culture
(Language: English)
Edward R. Haymes, Department of Modern Languages, Cleveland State University, Ohio
Index terms: Language and Literature - Comparative, Language and Literature - French/ Occitan, Language and Literature - German, Language and Literature - Italian
Paper 1222-cMale-Female Relations as the Basis for Intercultural Understanding in Wolfram's Willehalm
(Language: English)
Cordula Böcking-Politis, Department of Germanic Studies, Trinity College, University of Dublin
Index terms: Language and Literature - German

Session grouped by Sieglinde Hartmann (10/10/03):
Abstract -a:
None provided

Abstract -b:
None provided

Abstract -c:
The encounter between the West and Islam has been one of the most significant culture clashes in world history. Wolfram’s 13th-century epic Willehalm about a momentous battle between Christian and Muslim armies deviates from the ferocious anti-Islamic propaganda typical of medieval literature. Protagonist Willehalm approaches his Muslim adversaries with remarkable tolerance and humanity. I want to argue that this approach is founded on the successful resolution of yet another culture clash, that of masculinity vs. femininity. Willehalm’s relationship with his wife Gyburc, a fomer Muslim, is marked by equality, in the realm of the erotic as well as in the areas of faith and military strategy. His respect for the opposite sex, or the other in his personal life forms the basis for respect for the other as such, and thus for his humane attitude towards the opposing culture of the ‘heathens’. Should the ‘manifesto against the ideology of the crusades’, as which Willehalm has often been hailed, be considered also as a ‘manifesto for the equality of the sexes’?