Prof. Dr. Christian Schneider
Germanic Languages and Literatures/Medieval Studies
External Senior Fellow (Marie S. Curie FCFP)
September - December 2016
Christian Schneider is Assistant Professor of German at Washington University in St. Louis. He received his Ph.D. in German from Heidelberg University in 2007. His research and teaching interests are in medieval narrative theory, late medieval courtly culture, pre-modern history of thought and knowledge, and textual criticism.
Christian Schneider studied law, German languages and literature, and history at the Universities of Passau, Norwich (England), Vienna, and Heidelberg. He was the recipient of a graduate scholarship (2000–02) and a Ph.D. scholarship (2004–07) from the German National Academic Foundation (Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes). In 2012–13, he received a Volkswagen Foundation post-doctoral fellowship to work at Washington University in St. Louis (2012–13). He has received additional research grants from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), the Fritz Thyssen Foundation, and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). Since July 2011, he has also headed up an editing project on Thomasin’s von Zerklaere Der Welsche Gast, which is being done within the Collaborative Research Centre 933 Material Text Cultures at Heidelberg University.
Christian Schneider is the author of a monograph on the formation and function of courtly ideals within the literary life of the Habsburg and the Salzburg courts in the 14th century (Hovezuht, 2008). In addition to essays on topics ranging from the concept of “fictionality” in pre-modern literature to late medieval and early modern scientific writings, he has co-edited several essay anthologies and, in 2010–11, co-curated an exhibition on the Manesse Codex at Heidelberg University.
- Hovezuht: Literarische Hofkultur und höfisches Lebensideal um Herzog Albrecht III. von Österreich und Erzbischof Pilgrim II. von Salzburg (1365–1396). Heidelberg: Winter, 2008.
- Erzähllogiken in der Literatur des Mittelalters und der Frühen Neuzeit: Akten der Heidelberger Tagung vom 17. bis 19. Februar 2011. Ed. Florian Kragl and Christian Schneider. Heidelberg: Winter, 2013.
- “Divine Wisdom: The Christological Interpretation of Sapientia in Johannes von Tepl’s Der Ackermann.” The German Quarterly 87 (2014): 277–96.
- “Fiktionalität, Erfahrung und Erzählen im Lanzelet Ulrichs von Zatzikhoven.” Fiktionalität im Artusroman des 13. bis 15. Jahrhunderts: Romanistische und germanistische Perspektiven. Ed. Martin Przybilski and Nikolaus Ruge. Wiesbaden: Reichert, 2013. 61–82.
- “Narrationis contextus: Erzähllogik, narrative Kohärenz und das Wahrscheinliche in der Sicht der hochmittelalterlichen Poetik.” Erzähllogiken in der Literatur des Mittelalters und der Frühen Neuzeit: Akten der Heidelberger Tagung vom 17. bis 19. Februar 2011. Ed. Florian Kragl and Christian Schneider. Heidelberg: Winter, 2013. 155–86.
Narrative Logic and Cognition: Storytelling in Medieval German Epics (1150–1230)
My project examines the logic of storytelling in German epics from the 12th and 13th centuries. How, I ask, do medieval narratives proceed and develop, how are scenes and episodes structured and connected, and which notions of narrative coherence do they presuppose? Focusing on various phenomena of alterity in the makeup of medieval epics, I scrutinize what narrative logic in the medieval context is and how it is structurally realized, explored, affirmed, questioned, or even violated. Because storytelling is above all a cognitive activity, I contend that the narrative logic of 12th and 13th-century vernacular storytelling was fundamentally shaped by general habits of thinking and perceiving the world, which in turn influenced how medieval societies produced and received literary texts. Accordingly, my investigation sheds new light on the comparative analysis of medieval and modern narrative techniques and thereby advances the project of historical narratology.