Johnson Program

The Medieval Institute at Western Michigan University is delighted to announce the Wallace Johnson Program for First Book Authors, a new program designed to provide support and mentorship to scholars working towards the publication of their first book on the law and legal culture of the early middle ages. In conversation with peers and with the advice of senior scholars, participants will develop and revise book proposals and sample chapters, and they will meet with guest editors to learn about approaching and working with publishers. Application deadline: Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020.

The program

The program includes:

  • a two-day workshop at the Medieval Institute on the Tuesday and Wednesday before the start of the International Congress on Medieval Studies (May 5 and 6, 2020): at this workshop, participants meet with senior scholars and discuss their projects with commissioning editors
  • pairing with a senior scholar as a mentor who, over the course of a year, helps participants pursue a book contract and shape their project for publication
  • periodic web "meet ups," both one-on-one with mentors and as a group, that will enable participants to workshop chapters and proposals


Participants will receive a stipend to cover the housing and meal expenses involved in attending the initial two-day workshop. This stipend can also be used to partially subvene participant's travel expenses.


Participants must be:

  • early career scholars who will have their Ph.D. in hand by the start of the program
  • untenured or in a non-tenurable position (including adjuncts and full-time term faculty)
  • working on first book projects related to the law and legal culture of the middle ages prior to the year 1200.

For the purposes of this program, "law" is broadly defined and need not be limited to legislation, legal documentation, or specific forms of legal process. Applications are welcome from all disciplines and, though the project must concern law, participants need not self-identify as legal scholars.


A complete application comprises:

  • cover letter (single spaced, not exceeding two pages) describing the applicant’s professional trajectory to date and reasons for interest in the Johnson Program
  • curriculum vitae (including contact information)
  • project description (single spaced; not exceeding 750 words)
  • two letters of recommendation (either included with other application materials or sent directly to the Medieval Institute as email attachments to

Application deadline: Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020


Questions should be directed to Andrew Rabin ( or Jana Schulman (

2019 Selection Committee

  • Robert Berkhofer (Western Michigan University)
  • Kristen Carella (Assumption College)
  • Abigail Firey (University of Kentucky)
  • Stefan Jurasinski (The College at Brockport, SUNY)
  • Andrew Rabin (University of Louisville)
  • Jana Schulman (Western Michigan University)
  • Anders Winroth (Yale University/University of Oslo)