Past Professor

C. Stephen Jaeger

CAS Professor of Germanic Languages & Literatures

Professor Jaeger’s research is focused on courtly literature of the Middle Ages and the interrelations of vernacular and Latin cultures. His contribution is the illumination of the real social background to two phenomena long considered merely fictional/literary: courtliness and courtly love. He also has studied medieval humanism and written on its emergence at cathedral schools in the pre-courtly period and its influence on Gottfried’s Tristan.

He is the author of The Origins of Courtliness: Civilizing Trends and the Formation of Courtly Ideals, 935-1210 (1985, selected by Choice Magazine as Outstanding Book of the Year); The Envy of Angels: Cathedral Schools and European Social Ideals, 950-1200 (1994, awarded the Jacques Barzun Prize in Cultural History, American Philosophical Society); and Ennobling Love: In Search of a Lost Sensibility (1999).

Among his awards are a Guggenheim Fellowship; Honorary Research Fellowship, University of London; two Fulbright Fellowships; Research Prize, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation; and an NEH fellowship. In 2002 he was elected a fellow of the Medieval Academy of America. In 2005-06 he will be a fellow at the Getty Research Institute.

Professor Jaeger taught at the University of Chicago, Northwestern University, Bryn Mawr College, and University of Washington before coming to the University of Illinois.