CARA News: Western Michigan University

The Medieval Institute and the medievalist community at Western Michigan University enjoyed in 2016-2017 a year of activities, accomplishments, and accolades.

In June/July 2016, our Richard Rawlinson Center for Anglo-Saxon Studies and Manuscript Research, in collaboration with the Department of English, hosted “Teaching <em>Beowulf</em> in the Context of Old Norse-Icelandic Literature,” a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute for College and University Faculty.

Melissa Mayus joined us for the year as a post-doctoral fellow/instructor, teaching the introduction to Old English and a seminar on religion and Old English literature.

The Institute sponsored a lecture by Andrew Scheil (University of Minnesota, Twin Cities) in its distinguished lecture series ( and co-sponsored a lecture by David M. Perry (Dominican University) in the Department of History’s Burnham-Macmillan Lecture Series.

The Institute hosted the 52nd International Congress on Medieval Studies (May 11-14, 2017), which attracted 2,842 medievalists to the campus ( The Institute’s two research centers, the Richard Rawlinson Center for Anglo-Saxon Studies and Manuscript Research ( and the Center for Cistercian and Monastic Studies (, both sponsored sessions at the Congress.

Nine students completed the M.A. in medieval studies in April (, and three more M.A. candidates are expected to finish their degrees before the end of the summer.

Medieval Institute Publications (MIP) is in the middle of negotiating an ambitious ten-year growth plan. Already MIP has signed up over 100 new titles in 2016 and is due to publish 24 titles in 2017 alongside its existing three journals. MIP has expanded its coverage to include both the late antique and early modern periods, partly thanks to recruiting several experienced acquisitions editors who had formerly worked for Ashgate. Meanwhile, the new “Past Imperfect” series of short-form publications, available for $14.95 and as e-books, seems to have captured the imagination of authors and reviewers alike. The volumes support medievalists’ attempts to engage with a broader public (

The press has welcomed a new staff member, Nicole Eddy, a recent PhD from Notre Dame who manages peer-reviewing and oversees the press’s accounts. Nicole received an award to attend the recent annual meeting of finance officers of the Association of American University Presses in St. Petersburg, FL. Long-standing managing editor, Theresa Whitaker, represented the press in Wellington, New Zealand in February at the biennial ANZAMEMS meeting. Director, Simon Forde, delivered a plenary at the annual meeting of the Taiwanese medievalists and attended meetings in China and Argentina last fall.

MIP continues to work closely in a consortium partnership with Amsterdam University Press and Arc Humanities Press, the publishing arm of the CARMEN Worldwide Medieval Network, of which the Medieval Academy is a member.

Medieval Institute affiliated faculty member Jeffrey Angles (World Languages and Literatures) won the prestigious Yomiuri Prize for Literature in poetry (, and Lofton Durham (Theatre) won a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipend (

M.A. candidate Erin S. Lynch won an All-University Graduate Student Teaching Effectiveness Award.

Affiliated faculty members Robert Felkel (Spanish), Natalio Ohanna (Spanish), Pablo Pastrana-Pérez (Spanish) won College of Arts and Sciences faculty achievement awards ( , and Anise Strong (History) won the college’s Gender Scholar Award.

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