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Ann M. Rasmussen, Associate Professor, Germanic Languages and Literature

Ann M. Rasmussen
Contact Info:
Office Location:  116C Old Chemistry
Office Phone:  1 919 660 3160
Email Address: send me a message


Ph.D.Yale University1985
B.A.University of Oregon1976

Medieval & Early Modern Studies
Gender Studies
Literary History & Criticism
Research Interests: Medieval German Literature and Culture; Poetics; Gender Studies

Before coming to Duke University in 1988, Prof. Rasmussen taught for 2-1/2 years as an Assistentin in the Abteilung f¨r deutsche Philologie in the German department (Deutsches Seminar) of the University of Berne in Switzerland. She earned tenure at Duke in 1995, and served as acting chair of the German department in 1998-1999 and in the spring, 2003. She is affiliated with Medieval-Renaissance Studies at Duke. As a medievalist, Professor Rasmussen writes and teaches about many aspects of medieval literature and culture from the 12th century to the Reformation. She recently co-edited an anthology of essays on medieval poetry, Medieval Woman's Song: Cross-Cultural Approaches (Univ. of Pennsylvania Press, 2002). She edited Gender and Secrecy, a special issue of The Journal of Medieval and Renaissance Studies 30.1 (January 2000). Her book, Mothers and Daughters in Medieval German Literature (Syracuse UP 1997), explores the ways in which medieval German epics, romances, and poetry use the mother-daughter to tell often conflicting and contradictory stories about sex and class. Prof. Rasmussen also studies late medieval German vernacular manuscripts, the interpretive categories they suggest, and the scholarly methods that are used to make sense of these material remains. An example of the way in which she connects such philological concerns with a gender studies perspective can be found in two recent articles: "Gendered Knowledge and Eavesdropping in the Late Medieval German Minnerede," in Speculum 77.4 (2002)and "Thinking through Gender in Late Medieval German Literature," in Gender in Debate from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance (2002). Her current research focuses on late medieval literature and culture, with one project focussed on comic confessions (fictional texts that use the sacrament of confession as narrative frame for comic effects) and another project treating female personifications. With Professor Sarah Westphal (Rice University) she is translating for publication a selection of late medieval German texts about women. Prof. Rasmussen's teaching is wide-ranging. At various times she has taught the following courses: Forging Social Ideals; Aspects of Medieval Culture; History of the German Language: Research Methods in Literary Scholarship; Orality and Textuality; Sex, Gender, and Love in Medieval German Literature; and 20th-century German Women Writers. Her newest class, "Happy Endings: Melodrama, Farce, and Romance," debuted in the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies program in the fall of 2004. Professor Rasmussen is book review editor for Germanic literatures for Speculum, and has just completed a term on the executive committee for the MLA's Division on German Literature, Pre-1700. She is a past President of the Society for Medieval Feminist Scholarship. Her university service includes being Director of Undergraduate Studies for Medieval and Renaissance Studies (2003-2006); interim Director of Graduate Studies for the German Department (Fall 1998; Spring 2000); and serving on the executive committee of Duke's faculty governance body, the Academic Council (1999- 2001) and and on the Provost's advisory committee for Academic Programs (2003-04), and chairing the Arts and Sciences Faculty Research Committee (2004-2007).

Areas of Interest:

German studies


gender studies • medieval studies • German studies • poetics

Curriculum Vitae
Current Ph.D. Students   (Former Students)

  • Christian Straubhaar  
Representative Publications   (More Publications)

  1. Rasmussen, AM; Westphal, S, Ladies, Whores, and Holy Women: A Reader in Gender and Class in Late Medieval German Texts, Medieval German Texts in Bilingual Editions (2010), Medieval Institute of Western Michigan University
  2. Rasmussen, AM, Mothers and Daughters in Medieval German Literature (1997), Syracuse University Press (Reviews: Almut Suerbaum, in Arbitrium (2/1997):162-64; Albrecht Classen, in German Quarterly 71.4 (1998): 393-94; Katrien Heene, in Paedagogica historica 34 (1998): 143-45; Francis G. Gentry, in Choice 35.7 (1998): 1196; Katherine J. Meyer, in Speculum 74.3 (1999): 816-817; Elisabeth Lienert in Zeitschrift für deutsches Altertum 128 (1999): 89-97; Albrecht Classen, in Tristania 19 (1999): 129-34; Susanne B. Kimball, in Germanic Notes and Reviews 31.2 (Fall, 2000): 203-204; Hartwig Mayer, in Seminar 36.3 (2000): 362-63; Margaret Schleissner, in Medieval Feminist Forum 30 (Fall, 2000): 50-52; Claudia Brinker-Gabler, in Beiträge zur Geschichte der deutschen Sprache und Literatur 122 (2000): 323-27; Maria Dobozy, Monatshefte 93.1 (2001): 115-17. Discussed by Joseph M. Sullivan, "Brother Hermann's Iolande: A Tale of Ideal Female Spirituality," Monatshefte 90.2 (1998): 161-75, pages 162 and 165; Edith Wenzel, in “Hêre vrouwe und übeles wîp: Zur Konstruktion von Frauenbildern im Minnesang,” in Mannlîchiu wîp, wîplîch man: Zur Konstruktion der Kategorien ‘Körper’ und ‘Geschlecht’ in der deutschen Literatur des Mittelalters, ed. Ingrid Bennewitz und Helmut Tervooren, Beihefte zur Zeitschrift für deutsche Philologie, vol. 9. Berlin: Schmidt, 1999, pp. 275, 278, 280; Ruth Mazo Karras in “Sex and the Singlewoman,” in Singlewomen in the European Past, 1250-1800, ed. Judith M. Bennett and Amy M. Froide. Philadelphia: Univ. of Pennsylvania Press, 1999, pp. 133-34; Albrecht Classen, “Mother Speaks to Daughter: Literary Historical Reflections on a Feminist Theme,” in German Quarterly 75.1 (2002): 71-87; Martin Baisch & Hendrikje Haufe, “Väter und Söhne - Mütter und Töchter. Normbruch und Normerfüllung in Heinrichs von Veldeke “Eneasroman”“in Der Deutschunterricht 60.1 (2003):62-67.)
  3. Rasmussen, A; Eming, J; Starkey, K, Visuality and Materiality in the Story of Tristan and Isolde (2012), Notre Dame Press
  4. Klinck, AL; Rasmussen, AM, Medieval woman's song: Cross-cultural approaches, edited by Klinck, AL; Rasmussen, AM (January, 2015), pp. 1-279, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, ISBN 9780812236248  [abs]
  5. Rasmussen, A, Reprint of: Moving Beyond Sexuality in Medieval Sexual Badges, in Nahrung, Notdurft, Obszönität, edited by Grafetstaetter, A (2013), University of Bamberg Press, Bamberg, Germany
  6. Rasmussen, A, Moving beyond Sexuality in Medieval Sexual Badges, in From Beasts to Souls: Gender and Embodiment in Medieval Europe, edited by Burns, EJ; McCracken, P (2013), pp. 296-335, Notre Dame, IN: Univ. of Notre Dame Press
  7. Rasmussen, A, Reading in Nuremberg’s Fifteenth-Century Carnival Plays, in Literary Studies and the Question of Reading, edited by Benson, R; Downing, E; Hess, J (2012), pp. 106-129, Camden House
  8. Rasmussen, A, Problematizing Medieval Misogyny: Aristotle and Phyllis in the German Tradition, in Verstellung und Betrug im Mittelalter und in der mittelalterlichen Literatur, edited by Meyer, M; Pincikowski, S; Sager, A (2012)
  9. Rasmussen, A, Wanderlust: Gift Exchange, Sex, And The Meanings Of Mobility, in ’Liebe schenken‘: Liebesgaben in der Literatur des Mittelalters und der frühen Neuzeit, edited by Egidi, M; Lieb, L; Schnyder, M (2012), pp. 219-229, Berlin: Erich Schmidt Verlag
  10. Rasmussen, A, Siegfried the Dragonslayer Meets the Web: Using Digital Media for Developing Historical Awareness and Advanced Language and Critical Thinking Skills, vol. 44.1 (2011), pp. 105-114
  11. Rasmussen, AM, Wandering Genitalia: Sexuality and the Body in German Culture between the Late Middle Ages and Early Modernity, edited by Series, KSCLM (Fall, 2009), Centre for Late Antique and Medieval Studies, King’s College London (Published in August 2009..)
  12. Rasmussen, A, Falsche Freunde, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung no. 185 (2009), pp. N5-N5
  13. Rasmussen, AM, “War die Jungfrau wirklich in Nöten: Neue Forschungen zur Rolle der Frau im Mittelalter, Merkur: Zeitschrift Fuer Europaeisches Denken, vol. 63 no. 7 (2009), pp. 627-33
  14. Rasmussen, A; Trokhimenko, O, The Winsbeck Father-Son and Mother-Daughter Poems (Der Winsbecke and Die Winsbeckin), with a Medieval Parody,”, in Medieval Conduct Literature: An Anthology of Vernacular Guides to Behavior for Youths, edited by Johnston, MD (2009), pp. 61-125, University of Toronto Press
  15. Rasmussen, AM, Masculinity and the Minnerede in Berlin mgo 186, in Triviale Minne? Konventionalität und Trivialisierung in spätmittelalterlichen Minnereden, edited by Lieb, L; Neudeck, O (2006), pp. 119-138, de Gruyter
  16. Rasmussen, AM, Visible and Invisible Landscapes: Medieval Monasticism as a Cultural Resource in the Pacific Northwest, in A Place to Believe In: Medieval Monasticism in the Landscape, edited by Overing, G; Lees, CA (2006), pp. 239-59, Pennsylvania State University Press
  17. Rasmussen, AM, The Female Figures in Gottfried’s Tristan and Isolde, in A Companion to Gottfried’s Tristan and Isolde, edited by Hasty, W (2003), pp. 143-63, Columbia, SC: Camden House
  18. Rasmussen, AM, Reason and the Female Voice in Walther von der Vogelweide’s Poetry, in Medieval Woman’s Song: Cross-Cultural Approaches (2002), pp. 168-86
  19. Rasmussen, AM, Thinking through Gender in Late Medieval German Literature, in Gender in Debate from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance, edited by Fenster, T; Lees, CA (2002), pp. 97-111, New York: St. Martin’s Press
  20. Rasmussen, AM, Gendered Knowledge and Eavesdropping in the Late-Medieval Minnerede, Speculum a Journal of Medieval Studies, vol. 77 no. 4 (October, 2002), pp. 1168-1194, University of Chicago Press, ISSN 0038-7134 [Gateway.cgi], [doi]
  21. Rasmussen, AM, Fathers to Think Back Through: The Medieval German Mother-Daughter and Father-Son Conduct Poems Known as Die Winsbeckin and Der Winsbecke, in Medieval Conduct, edited by Ashley, K; Clark, RLA (2001), pp. 106-34, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press
  22. Rasmussen, AM, Medieval German Romance, in Cambridge Companion to Medieval Romance, edited by Krueger, R (2000), pp. 183-202, Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press
  23. Rasmussen, A, "Ich trug auch ledig siben child": Zur sozialen Konstruktion von Weiblichkeit in der Minnerede "Stiefmutter und Tochter", in fremdes Wahrnehmen - Fremdes wahrnehmen, edited by Harms, W; together, CSJ; Stein, A (1997), pp. 193-204, Stuttgart: Hirzel (Rev. by Will Hasty, German Quarterly 73.1 (2000):87-88, here 87.)
  24. Rasmussen, A, "ez ist ir g’artet von mir": Queen Isolde and Princess Isolde in Gottfried’s Tristan und Isolde, in Arthurian Women: A Casebook, edited by Fenster, T (1996), pp. 41-58, New York: Garland (Reprint New York: Routledge, 2001.)
  25. Rasmussen, AM, Woman as audience and audience as woman in mediebal German courtly poetry, Exemplaria, vol. 6 no. 2 (January, 1994), pp. 367-383, Informa UK Limited [doi]