WMU News

Medieval Congress makes international news

May 15, 2001

KALAMAZOO -- Western Michigan University's International Congress on Medieval Studies draws global attention each year, and not just from the more than 3,000 medieval scholars from around the world who descend upon campus to attend.

This year, the 36th congress, held May 3-6, also drew the interest of media including National Public Radio, the New York Times and Britain's weekly magazine, The Economist.

Some of the online versions of news articles may no longer be available, depending on when you read this story. The coverage generated by the congress included:

Morning Edition, National Public Radio, May 3, featuring a 6-minute interview with Congress attendee Arthur Samplaski of Ithaca College about his presentation on "Music History at 10 Years a Minute." For an online version of the story, titled "Medieval Music," click here.

The Economist article, "Kalamazoo, forsooth!" appeared in both the British and Australian editions on May 10 and provides a snapshot of the congress with comments from attendees and Paul Szarmach, director of WMU's Medieval Institute. For the online version, click here.

The New York Times ran "An Improbable Sequel: Harry Potter and the Ivory Tower" in its Saturday, May 12, Arts & Ideas section. The story examines how the popular children's books have components reminiscent of Arthurian tales from the Middle Ages, and features comments from Szarmach and several Congress attendees. For the online version of the article, which was one of the most e-mailed articles for that day, click here. [You will need to register for a free subscription, if you are not already an online Times subscriber.]

The Bruce and Colin Show on WTIC News Talk AM 1080 in Hartford, Conn., interviewed Szarmach on May 15 about medieval influences on pop culture as related to the movie "A Knight's Tale." The show contacted Szarmach as a result of seeing The New York Times article.

Media contact: Marie Lee, 616 387-8400, marie.lee@wmich.edu

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