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Modern Languages and Literatures

Clayton Gray

Associate Professor of German, Emeritus


Study and Research at University of Leiden, The Netherlands, 1973-74
PhD University of California, Berkeley, 1969
MA University of Colorado, Boulder, 1960
Study at the Free University of Berlin, 1958-59
BA Fisk University, 1957

Languages Studied

Modern: German, French, Dutch, Spanish, Italian, Norwegian, Russian, Portuguese and English

Older: Middle High German, Old High German, Old Saxon, Gothic, Old Provençal, Old French, Middle Dutch, Classical Latin, Middle Latin

Book Reviews

Medieval German Lyric Verse in English Translation by J. W. Thomas. Journal of English and Germanic Philology LXVII (1969), pp. 742- 43.

Essays on Medieval German Poetry with translations in English Verse by M. F. Richey. Journal of English and Germanic Philology LXX (1971), p. 363.

Bibliographie zu Walther von der Vogelweide von Manfred Günter Scholz. Journal of English and Germanic Philology LXX (1971), p. 109.

Bibliographie zum Minnesang und zu den Dichtern aus “Des Minnesangs Frühling” von Helmut Tervooren. Journal of English and Germanic Philology LXX (1971), p. 108.

Die Lyrik Wolframs von Eschenbach Edition Kommentar. Interpretation Von Peter Wapnewski. Monatshefte LXVII,1 (1975), p. 81.

Walther von der Vogelweide, Werke, Text und Prosaübersetzung Erläuterung der Gedichte, Erklärung der wichtigsten Begriffe von Joerg Schaeffer. Journal of English and Germanic Philology LXXIV,2 (1975), p. 273.

Die Fremdwörter im “Willehalm” von Wolfram von Eschenbach von Jürgen Vorderstemann. Monatsheft XVII, 3 (1975), pp. 298-90.

Hermann von Sachsenheim, Die Mörin Ed. Hans Dieter Schiosser. Journal of English and Germanic Philology LXXVI (1977), p. 400.


“Vogels” (“Birds”), by Hans Vlek, Collages (Lake Forest: Lake Forest College, 1978)
“Aileen thuis” (“Alone at Home”), by J. Bernier, Collages (Lake Forest: Lake Forest College, 1980).
Translation of Professor Oskar Anweiler’s article from German to English for the Slavic journal East-West edited by Professor Carol Gayle.


“The Symbolic Role of Wolfram’s Feirefiz,” Journal of English and Germanic Philology LXXIII (1974), pp. 363-374.

“Platonic Light and Light Imagery in the Verse of Heinrich von Morungen, College Language Association Journal XVIII,1(1974), pp. 101-113.

“Blacks in White Colleges and Universities,” Black Rap (Lake Forest: Lake Forest College, 1979), pp. 3-4.

“Black Students View Faculty,” Black Rap Vol. 14, No. 1 (Lake Forest: Lake Forest College, 1981), pp. 1-2.

“Color versus Comportment in the Middle Dutch Moriaen, Contemporary Explorations in the Culture of the Low Countries” Publications of the American Association for Netherlandic Studies, Volume 9 (1995)

Articles in Progress

“The Image of the Lady in the “Window in the Verse of Heinrich von Morungen as a Reflection of Courtly Society”
“The Beauty of the Black Queen Belacane in Wolfram’s ‘Parzival’”
“Gahmuret as a Minority in Wolfram’s ‘Parzival’”
“L’amour lointain in the classical Minnesang”
“The Structure of Kleist’s ‘Amphytryon’”
“The Function of Eroticism in Wolfram’s Parzival’”
“Wine and Guilt in Dürrenmatt’s Die Panne”
“The Ladies in the Windows in the Courtly Epic”
“E. T. A. Hoffmann’s Der Goldene Topf and Hermann Hesse’s Lulu”

Book Length Studies

The Topoi of the Classical Minnesang (Goppinger, W. Germany: Kumrnerle, 1987) ISBN 3-87452-407-8.  To appear
The Topoi of the Poems of Walther von der Vogelweide In progress. In collaboration with Professor James Marchand of the University of Illinois.
Minne-Imagery in the Works of Wolfram von Eschenbach In progress.


“The Origin and Function of Light-Imagery in the Verse of Heinrich von Morungen,” Fruchtbringende Gesellschaft, University of Illinois, UC, October 1970.

“The Image of the Black Man in Medieval Spain, France and Germany,” American Association of Teachers of German Convention, Atlanta, Georgia, November 1972.

“Wolfram von Eschenbach and the Image of the Black Man in Medieval Spain, France and Germany,” Fruchtbringende Gesellschaft, University of Illinois, May 1973.

“Holland: Germany’s Neighbor to the West,” Fruchtbringende Gesellschaft, University of Illinois,  November 1974.

“The Role of Education for Blacks from 1968 to 1978,” Lake Forest College, November 1978.

“Sub-Saharans and Other Blacks in Early West European Literature,” Faculty Luncheon Group, Lake Forest College, November 1980.

“Tmesis in Dutch and German,” Modern Language Association Convention, Houston, Texas, December 1980.

“The Image of the Lady in the Window as a Reflection of Courtly Society,” Modern Language Association Convention, Houston, Texas, December 1980.

“Prospects for Blacks in the 1980s at Predominantly White Institutions of Higher Education,” Black Weekend at Lake Forest College, April 1981.

“White/Black/White Professors and Higher Education,” Sixth Annual National Council for Black Studies, 1982.

“The Beauty of the Black Queen Belacane in Wolfram’s Parzival, South West Modern Language Association Convention, New Orleans, Louisiana, October 31, 1986.

“The Role of Blacks in the Literature of Medieval Western Europe,” Hollins College, Roanoke, Virginia, December 4, 1992.

“Color versus Comportment in the Middle Dutch Moriaen,” American Association for Netherlandic Studies Bienneal Conference, Indiana University, June 1994.

“Blacks in Medieval Holland,” Faculty Luncheon Discussion Group, Lake Forest College, February 28, 1996.

“King Arthur’s Court in ‘Parzival’ and ‘Moriaeri’” at the 31st International Medieval Conference at Western Michigan University, May 1996.

“Color versus Class in Bredero’s ‘Moortje’,” at the Biennual Conference of the American Association for Netherlandic Studies at Columbia University, June 1996.

“German and German Dialects” for DANK, the German American Congress, in Waukegan, November 1, 1997.

“Germanic Dialects and the Perils of Translating from one to the Other with Cognates” for the Technischer Verein Chicago, Wheeling, Illinois, February 27, 1998.

Honors and Awards

Scholarship from Program for Inter Institutional Collaboration in Area Studies for the study of Russian at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, Summer 1990
Honorary membership in Madrigal Singers at Lake Forest College
The William L. Dunn Award for Outstanding Teaching and Scholarly Promise
Consistently listed on Incomplete List of Excellent Teachers at the University of Illinois from List’s inception to 1977
Grant from Research Board at the University of Illinois, UC
Member of the Graduate Faculty at the University of Illinois, UC, 1974-77
Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities for Research in the Netherlands and West Germany, 1973-74
Summer Faculty Fellowship from the University of Illinois UC, 1972
Associate Member of the Graduate Faculty at the University of Illinois, UC, 1970-74
Woodrow Wilson Fellowships for study at the University of California, Berkeley, 1960-62
Dankstipendiurn from Federal Republic of Germany to study at the Free University of Berlin, 1958-59
Graduate scholarships at the University of Colorado, Boulder, 1957-58, 1959-60
Phi Beta Kappa, Fisk University, 1957
Who’s Who in American College and Universities, 1957
Pierre Donzelot Award for Best Achievement in French at Fisk University, 1956-57
Blue Ribbon Scholarship at Fi5k University, 1956-57
Elk Scholarship for Scholastic Achievement at Fisk University, 1954-55