WMU News

Seiler honored for work in medieval scholarship

May 2, 2002

KALAMAZOO -- A recently retired professor from Western Michigan University was named the first recipient of the Award for Outstanding Service to Medieval Studies given by the Centers and Regional Associations, a standing committee of the Medieval Academy of America.

Dr. Thomas H. Seiler, professor emeritus of English and medieval studies, received the award April 6 at the Medieval Academy's annual meeting in New York City. CARA consists of members representing 90 medieval programs across North America, and the award was created to recognize individuals who have provided leadership in developing, organizing, promoting and sponsoring medieval studies.

Seiler, who retired from WMU in January after more than three decades, was honored for his many contributions to the field of medieval studies, including serving as managing editor of WMU's Medieval Institute Publications. According to the committee's citation, Seiler is credited with making Medieval Institute Publications "one of the most important publishers in medieval studies." Each year, the press produces 15 to 18 books designed to be affordable for teachers and students.

In addition, Seiler has been instrumental in establishing or reviving several specialized journals serving medieval scholarship including Medieval Prosopography, Studies in Iconography and The Yearbook of Langland Studies. He was the coeditor of "The Study of Chivalry " and recently received the Special Provost's Award from WMU for his contributions to the University, Department of English and the Medieval Institute.

Seiler's career achievements will further be recognized at the 37th International Congress on Medieval Studies held at WMU May 2 through 5. Three sessions of the congress will be presented in his honor, including one that will explore Medieval Institute Publications' impact on the field of medieval studies. "Studies in Medieval Institute Publications: A Session in Honor of Thomas Seiler on his Retirement" will feature presentations on such topics as "The Sound of Seiler: MIP as Publishers of Studies in Iconography" and "Life Before MIP: Was It Nasty, Brutish and Short?"

A specialist in medieval and British literature, Seiler taught at the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Toledo prior to coming to WMU. He earned a bachelor's degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, a master's degree from the University of Toledo and a doctoral degree from the University of Texas. Seiler resides in Kalamazoo.

Media contact: Marie Lee, 269 387-8400, marie.lee@wmich.edu

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