Medieval German Language and Literature

Medieval German Language and Literature
Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Werner Williams


At the heart of my research interests are the late medieval German and Dutch literatures. I have primarily worked and published extensively in many areas of religious literature, especially vernacular hagiography, mystical writings and sermon studies, as well as in medieval theatre, manuscript studies, the circulation of literature and the editing of texts. Major research projects funded by the ‘Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft’ (DFG) have been the edition of the 15th century legendary ‘Der Heiligen Leben’ (2 vol.) and the vernacular literary production at the University of Vienna in the 15th century. The current DFG-project is an edition of the Augsburg sermons of the renowned late medieval reformer Johannes Geiler of Kaysersberg. At present I am in the process of completing a history of German literature in the 15th and early 16th centuries.

As cooperation representative for the University of Augsburg’s partnership with the Czech University České Budějovice I coordinate common projects as well as student and faculty exchange programs. I also maintain close academic contacts to various American and Dutch universities. On a regular basis I teach specialized courses on manuscript studies.