The English Middle Ages (c.500-c.1500) weren’t dark; but in fact bright, colourful and highly complex. The department of Medieval English Literature and Historical Linguistics provides students with skills in philology, literature studies and linguistics which enable them to better understand cultural and linguistic phenomena of modernity by exploring the otherness of the historical distant epoch.
The history of English language and literature is shaped by intercultural and intertextual traditions. Latin, Scandinavian and French influences are constitutive of the cultural products of both medieval and modern times. Accordingly, the detailed synchronic analysis of medieval texts is of the same importance as diachronic comparative-contrastive questions, the answers to which require knowledge of cultural sciences, precise analytical approaches and critical theoretical reflection of one’s own actions.
The BA programme Medieval English Studies provides students with these abilities and skills by investigating items of Old- (c.750-c.1100) and Middle English (c.1100-c.1500) literature, as well as the historical development of the English language from its roots until today.
In the MA programme comparative and theoretical cultural approaches are pursued from a transhistorical perspective with the same intensity as is the interpretation of particular medieval phenomena.