A Short Historical Survey of the 800-year European Tradition of "Event Poetry" Called "Sangspruchdichtung and Sirventes"
Poems and songs survive as texts and sometimes even with musical notation, but we as highly literate readers find it difficult to consider the huge difference between listening and reading, between the reception of melodic song and its text form. Maria Dobozy will present a few examples of texts created for performance. A great many poet-singers worked outside the love lyric in this genre covering a huge number of topics and themes. They presented their commentary on political, religious, biblical, and moral themes, and they give account of important current events not shying away from praising or blaming important public figures. Professor Dobozy will provide a context for lives of the traveling poets who produced the songs and for a performative reading of the texts.
Maria Dobozy attained her Ph.D. from the University of Kansas in Lawrence, with a dissertation entitled 'The Role of the King in Selected Medieval Epics'. She completed her undergraduate studies at Wilson College and the University of Freiburg, Germany. Her areas of concentration include medieval German literature, philology and linguistics, and she comes to Stanford after serving as associate Chair of the Department of Languages and Literature at the University of Utah. Her geographical regions of interest include Eastern Europe, Western Europe and Egypt. Professor Dobozy's most recent book is entitled 'Re-Membering the Present: The Medieval German Minstrel in Cultural Context' (Brepols, 2005).