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Jeffrey Turco

Jeffrey Turco

Associate Professor // German // SLC

Associate Professor // Cornerstone

Associate Professor // Religious Studies // SIS

Associate Professor // Medieval and Renaissance Studies // SIS

Associate Professor // Comparative Literature // SLC

Research focus:
German and Medieval Literature

Curriculum vitae

Office and Contact



Old Norse-Icelandic Literature, Medieval German Literature, Germanic Folklore and Mythography, Wagner, Medieval Italian Literature

Jeffrey Turco (Ph.D., Cornell University) is Associate Professor of German in the School of Languages and Cultures, and additionally teaches Religious Studies, Comparative Literature, and Medieval & Renaissance Studies. Prior to joining the faculty at Purdue he taught at the Universities of Western Ontario and Alberta, and served as Visiting Curator of the Fiske Icelandic Collection at Cornell University. Professor Turco’s scholarship examines questions of religious conflict, conversion, and co-existence, particularly at the intersection of the Germanic cultures of Europe and medieval Christianity. In his teaching, he is particularly interested in the secular afterlife of religions in 19th and 20th-century literature, opera, and film. He is the editor of New Norse Studies: Essays on the Literature and Culture of Medieval Scandinavia, published in in Cornell's Islandica series (2015), and has written articles on medieval German, Old Norse, and Italian literature appearing in Deutsche Vierteljahrsschrift für Literaturwissenschaft und Geistesgeschichte, History of Religions, Dante StudiesJournal of English and Germanic Philology, Studi e Materiali di Storia delle Religioni, Italian Studies, Arthurian Literature, and elsewhere. He is currently completing a book titled The Sense of the Sagas: Reading, Myth, and Monarchy in Medieval Iceland, and beginning work on a second (The Hidden Language of Grimms' Fairy Tales). Professor Turco has held Fulbright grants to Germany (1996 and 2013) and Iceland (2007).

[Professor Turco is on fellowship at the University of Chicago in 2019]


Transformative Texts (Cornerstone/SCLA 101)Myth, Legend, and Folklore from Elves to Elvis (Ger 230)From Sleeping Beauty to the Middle Ages (Ger 341)Märchen und Moderne (Ger 401)East German Fairy Tales on Film (Ger 402)German for Reading Knowledge (Ger 601)The Nibelung Legend & the Imaginary Middle Ages (Ger/Comp. Lit. 650)Parsifal: Myth and Medieval Culture (Ger 659/Comp. Lit. 650)The Icelandic Sagas (Ger/Comp. Lit. 659)Reading Medieval German (Ger 664)A Brief History of Doom[Coming soon: Tristan]