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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Humanities Week continues with lecture about love and the Middle Ages

Members of the UA community gathered in the Poetry Center to listen to a German studies professor speak about the importance of love to life and learning on Tuesday evening, as the College of Humanities continued its sixth annual Humanities Week.

In the lecture, titled “Heartache: Teaching Love at the UA,” Albrecht Classen, a professor for the Department of German Studies, highlighted the history of the study of love through the Middle Ages and concluded with how this study relates to life today.

“When we want to drive a car, we have to pass a driver’s test,” Classen said to open his lecture. “The car is not a very complicated matter; but when it comes to love and marriage, what license do we have?”

Classen argued that the university teaches love and eroticism because it is the basis of what the humanities are made of, whether the subject matter is in the past or present.

His knowledge of the subject stems from his extensive research in the history of medieval and early modern German and European literature and culture. He has published 73 books and more than 500 articles regarding the study of the Middle Ages.

During his lecture, Classen connected the study of the Middle Ages to the study of love, and explained that the study of love was a crucial subject in schools during medieval times.

Through literature, universities teach the value of communication, which Classen argued is a crucial ingredient to relationships and marriage.

“Playfully speaking, those who begin to love words are readying themselves to experience love,” Classen said.

Each year, Humanities Week focuses on teaching students and Tucson citizens about the many subjects that make up the discipline. This year, the theme is “Revival of the Fittest.”

The purpose behind the theme of Humanities Week was to relay the College of Humanities’ prevalence in today’s society, according to Helen Bernard, coordinator of external and alumni relations for the College of Humanities.

“People think all the humanities happened thousands year ago, and [Classen] brought it right back to the forefront,” Bernard said.

Humanities Week will continue on Wednesday with three more events in the Rubel Room of the Poetry Center:

– “A Divine Dilemma: Dante’s Representation of Jewish People” at 4 p.m.

– “Slapstick Superstars: What Makes the French Laugh” at 5:30 p.m.

– “Brit Wit: “Downtown Abbey” as Historical Fiction” at 7:15 p.m.

– Follow Nicole Cousins @cousinnicole

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