Professor Simon holds degrees from Columbia College and from Harvard, where he has taught since 1964. He offers Core Curriculum courses on European court culture and its literature (1100-1250) and on medieval theater (plays in performance). In the department he introduces undergraduates to medieval and early modern German literary culture, and teaches courses on Middle High German language and literature and the cultural history of the German language.
In his research, Professor Simon has studied the textual and iconographic reception of court poetry and theater as a medium of early urban culture. He has identified and described medieval manuscripts, some in Houghton Library, edited newly discovered texts, and contributed to such reference works at the Dictionary of the Middle Ages and the new Verfasserlexikon. He has written books on the court poet Neidhart and on an early Gutenberg imprint, and on the records of early German drama and theater (Die Anfänge des weltlichen deutschen Schauspiels, 1370-1530, 2003). He edited the research survey The Theatre of Medieval Europe for Cambridge University Press (1991). He is currently writing a history of early German theater and researching a study showing the role theater played as a public medium during the Reformation (The Reformation on Stage). Guggenheim, Fulbright, and NEH fellowships have supported his work.