Wednesday, April 22, 2009

New Videocast: The Gendered Identity of Siegfried in the Nibelungenlied


In this podcast I talk about the character of Siegfried in the German narrative of the Middle Ages Das Nibelungenlied.

Some of the questions I tackle are:

-Just what is the price the exceptional Siegfried has to pay for his uniqueness?
-What does it mean to be homosocial in the Middle Ages?
-Why did Siegfried have a hard time attracting genuine friends when it was after all common for fellow brothers-in-arms to socialize and befriend people of similar skill and background?

An understanding of the Nibelungenlied as well as Literary and Gender Theory is helpful but not a necessity.

You can watch this videocast here.





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graph per google image

9 comments:

Meghan said...

Prof. Ribaj,
I wonder if I could ask about the necessity of mobility within the hierarchy of knighthood.
Are there other example in French or English lit. where the hero's mobile pursuits are seen as indispensable to his progress?

Tina' said...

But Siegfried's sociality skills are quite good, especially in the beginning.
I had not thought about the role that excellence plays in this narrative. They say it's lonely at the top, after all.
More food for thought. I appreciate these.

Nicki said...

Which modern German translation would you recommend that I read?
I just looked at a verse translation in English, too. I think it's from '08. It's by Burton Raffel. How would you rate it?
'Hero worship' is a high-frequency concept in the middle ages as well as later time frames. However, the angle of the solitude of excellence was a new one for me. I'll give it another think. thanks.

Nicki said...

and the Bob Dylan t-shirt paired with a black cord jacket strikes me as very apropos! :)

Anonymous said...

Siegfried is not usually read as a 'marginalized' character. I suppose leading characters need to be explored from the angle of the underprivileged as well.

Jill said...

Are you presenting at Kalamazoo this year? What on?

Will said...

How about the character of Gawain in Parzival? It does baffle one that a society that thrives on stark competition and strict hierarchy would be so hard on the better knight, no?

Dee said...

Why was is that negative pride was seen as the 'radix omnium malorum'?
Which Christian idea informed this medieval value?
What is your take on Bumke's work on Courtly Culture?
And lastly, are you presenting at Kalamazoo and if you 're going up there, can we meet?

Anonymous said...

Another Siegfried-like character would be Erec, right?
Only, Erec's excellence was not as 'superb.'