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Kathryn Starkey



Pigott Hall 218
650 724 3622

Office Hours:

Tuesdays 1:30-3:30 or by appointment

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Affinity links:

medieval and early modern literature
Medieval literature and visual culture (the gothiccathedral)
medieval literature
German literature
visual culture
history of the book
Gender and Sexuality

Kathryn Starkey

Professor of German Studies and, by courtesy, of English, History, and Comparative Literature

Kathryn Starkey is Professor of German in the Department of German Studies and, by courtesy, Professor of English, History, and Comparative Literature. Her work focuses primarily on medieval German literature from the eleventh to the thirteenth century, and her research topics encompass visuality and materiality, object/thing studies, manuscript illustration and transmission, language, performativity, and poetics. She has held visiting appointments at the Universities of Palermo (2011) and Freiburg im Breisgau (2013 and 2018).

Recent book publications (since 2012) include:

  • * Things and Thingness in European Literature and Visual Art, 800-1600, edited with Jutta Eming (Berlin/New York, 2021).
  • * Animals in Text and Textile. Storytelling in the Medieval World, edited with Evelin Wetter. Riggisberger Berichte, Vol. 24 (Riggisberg, Switzerland, 2019).
  • * Sensory Reflections. Traces of Experience in Medieval Artifacts, edited with Fiona Griffiths (Berlin/New York, 2018).
  • * Neidhart: Selected Songs from the Riedegger Manuscript, edited and translated with Edith Wenzel, TEAMS series in bilingual medieval German texts (Kalamazoo, MI, 2016).
  • * A Courtier’s Mirror: Cultivating Elite Identity in Thomasin von Zerclaere’s “Welscher Gast” (Notre Dame, 2013).
  • * Visuality and Materiality in the Story of Tristan, edited with Jutta Eming and Ann Marie Rasmussen (Notre Dame, 2012).

Professor Starkey is the PI for the Global Medieval Sourcebook ( for which she received a NEH Digital Humanities Advancement Grant (2018) as well as awards from the Roberta Bowman Denning Fund for Humanities and Technologies at Stanford (2016, 2017, 2018).

Her current research projects include a co-authored (with Fiona Griffiths) textbook for the Cambridge Medieval Textbook series on A History of Medieval Germany (900-1220).

Professor Starkey has been the recipient of fellowships from the National Humanities Center, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, the UNC Institute for the Arts and the Humanities, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRCC).

Before joining the faculty at Stanford in 2012 she taught in the Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.





1998: Ph.D., German Literature and Culture, University of California, Berkeley
1993: MA., Germanic Linguistics, University of California, Berkeley
1990: B.A. Honours, German, Linguistics, Queen’s University, Kingston, Canada


DLCL 230 Medieval Studies Workshop
GERMAN 230 German Literature (800-1700) (GERMAN 330)
GERMAN 330 German Literature (800-1700) (GERMAN 230)
GERMAN 397 Graduate Studies Colloquium


At Stanford

  • Johannes Junge Ruhland, “Thought Laboratories: Incongruence in Vernacular Multi-Text Manuscripts before 1350” (expected completion Spring 2023)
  • Mae Velloso-Lyons, "Embodied Character and the Medieval Novel: A Study of Lancelot (c. 1220)" (Summer 2022).
  • Mareike Reisch, Topic: Cultural Encounters in Late Medieval Travelogues (expected completion Fall 2022).
  • Björn Buschbeck, "Rosenkränze, Marienmäntel und Seelenhäuser: Gebets- und Andachtsübungen des Spätmittelalters zwischen Bildrede, Immersion und Figuration" (Spring 2020).
  • Christopher Hutchinson, “Going Viral: Illness, Masculinity and Media in German Early Modern Culture” (Spring 2019).
  • Gráinne Watson, “Conceptions of Time in Medieval German Literature” (Spring 2015).

At the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

  • Nicolai Ostrau, Locating Feeling: Emotion and Space in Middle High German Courtly Literature. Completed May 2011.
  • James Hamilton Brown, Imagining the Text: Ekphrasis and Envisioning Courtly Identity in Wirnt von Gravenberg's Wigalois. Completed May 2006.
  • April Lynn Henry, The Female Lament: Agency and Gender in Medieval German Literature. Completed December 2009.