Larissa Zoller, M.A.


since 04/2020 Research Associate Medieval Studies (Mediävisitk), FSU Jena
PhD Project: “Fabliaux and Schwänke: A Structural Analysis of Bawdy Humour in Middle English and Middle High German Texts” (working title)
2017-2020 Student Assistant, Institute of English and American Studies, FSU Jena 
08-12/2018 PROMOS scholarship recipient, American Semester Program and Exchange, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, USA  
2017-2020 M.A. English and American Studies, FSU Jena
"Virgin, Mother, Queen: Mary in the Discourse of Medieval English Lyrics and Carols"
2013-2017 B.A. English and American Studies and German Literature, FSU Jena
"Fabliau Humour: A Structural Analysis" 
  • Research Interests
    • Fabliaux and Schwankerzählung
    • Humour Theory
    • Chaucer's Canterbury Tales
    • Mystery and Miracle Plays
    • Medieval Lyrics
  • Teaching

    Medieval English Lyrics (WiSe 21/22)

    Medieval lyrics are numerous and include a number of secular and religious themes (such as love, lust, honour, faith, and death), which makes them a cross-section of the best medieval literature has to offer. Even though the lyrics dominated medieval English culture, they have received significantly less attention and praise in academic research than other forms of Middle English literature. In this class, we will explore the different thematic and stylistic aspects of this genre, and discuss why the lyrics deserve more attention than they have received from literary researchers in the past.

    Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales (SoSe 21)

    In this course we will read and discuss Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, arguably the most influential work of the father of English literature. Reading the Middle English book in its entirety will not only help us gain an insight into the diversity of medieval culture and characters displayed in the Tales, it will furthermore offer a unique opportunity to observe and understand the complexity of this narrative.
    Required Literature: Larry D. Benson (ed.). The Riverside Chaucer. 3rd edition. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1987.     

    Mystery Plays and Miracle Plays (WiSe 20/21)  

    Religion and the Church were highly influential in everyday medieval life and constitute core elements that have to be considered when dealing with the medieval period in general and medieval literature in particular. In an attempt to make the biblical texts available to believers, they were not only read out in sermons, but they were also turned into plays performed in public places; a tradition still popular in Great Britain today. While first records of religious plays and tableaux in sacred services can be found as early as the 5th century, religious drama in medieval England flourished between the 9th and 17th century. In this course we will explore how the mystery and miracle plays shaped the medieval period while being shaped by medieval belief and society. We will read, discuss, and analyse texts from the Fall of Lucifer to the Last Judgment and everything in between, taken from the Chester cycle, the Towneley plays, and the York cycle, as well as some shorter works.

    The Middle English Fabliau (SoSe 20)

    A focus on the aspects of love often left out by medieval romances and the crossing of the borders of social conventions lie at the heart of the fabliaux. By breaking numerous taboos, fabliau texts constitute a stark contrast to the established teachings of the Church prevalent in most medieval texts. 
    In this course central examples of the genre including “Dame Sirith” as well as Geoffrey Chaucer’s “The Miller’s Tale” and “The Reeve‘s Tale” will be analysed in the light of their historic context. In order to gain full understanding of the Middle English fabliaux and their context, we will also discuss medieval culture and world views, as well as similar genres that established in other countries (most notably France and Germany) throughout the Middle Ages. 

    Recommended version of Chaucer texts: Larry D. Benson (ed.). The Riverside Chaucer. 3rd edition. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1987. 
    Recommended secondary literature: Hines, John. The Fabliau in English. London: Longman, 1993

Larissa Zoller
Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin
Professur Ältere Englische Sprache und Lit.
Raum 613
Ernst-Abbe-Platz 8
07743 Jena Google Maps – LageplanExterner Link