The Commons in Walwood Hall.

Walwood Commons

The Medieval Institute at Western Michigan University fosters research on various aspects of medieval studies and hosts the annual International Congress on Medieval Studies.

Research activities and resources include:

Find bibliographies, indices, articles, and a collection of essays of the Early, Drama, Art, and Music project on ScholarWorks at WMU, the University's digital commons.

Image of a spyglass. Search the Medieval Institute libraries' holdings of books, offprints, microforms, and video and audio.


Digital projects

WMU Special Collections is currently developing two digital projects related to Cistercians in the Middle Ages using legacy collections at WMU acquired from 1973 to 2022, when the Medieval Institute administered various programs in Cistercian Studies:

  • The Monastic Gazetteer Project is creating a Linked Open Data set describing religious foundations in the West from the Middle Ages to the present. The project is exploring ways to use this technology to accurately represent monasteries and changes to their identities, networks, and locations over time.
  • The Janauschek Portal is a collaboration with the Transkribus Project at the University of Innsbruck, the Verein zur Gründung und Förderung der "Europäischen Akademie für Cistercienserforschung" im ehemaligen Kloster Lehnin and the compilers of Cistopedia: Encyclopedia Cisterciensis. The portal will provide access to unpublished manuscripts by Leopold Janauschek (1827–1898).

Affiliated faculty research interests

  • Jeffrey Angles—gender in modern Japanese literature and culture, history of translation in modern Japan
  • Luigi Andrea Berto—medieval Venice and early medieval Italy; the perception of war, violence, and "others"; historiography; relations between Christians and Muslims
  • Lofton L. Durham III—cultural importance of performance in late medieval France
  • Joyce Kubiski—French and Italian manuscript illumination from the fourteenth to the sixteenth century, portraiture, representations of the body
  • David Kutzko—continuity of literary traditions, Hellenistic poetry, Latin literature of the late republic and the early empire
  • Molly Lynde-Recchia—Old French literature, poetry and translation
  • Mustafa Mirzeler—African historical tradition and folktales, African historiography, Turkish folklore and literature
  • Natalio Ohanna—Spanish Golden Age and Spanish American colonial literatures
  • James Palmitessa—transitional era of the late Middle Ages and early modern period in Europe, especially in Central Europe
  • Pablo Pastrana-Pérez—Spanish medieval literature and historical linguistics
  • Jana K. Schulman—Law and literature in medieval Iceland and early medieval England, comparative medieval literature, and Old English and Old Norse-Icelandic
  • Larry J. Simon—medieval history, especially Spain, Italy and the Mediterranean; Islamic and Jewish history
  • Susan Steuer—devout medieval women and manuscripts
  • Anise K. Strong—Roman social history, gender and sexuality in the ancient world, classical culture in modern mass media
  • Nathan Tabor—Urdu and Persian literatures and their patronage from the early modern period to the present
  • Grace Tiffany—Renaissance history and culture
  • Kevin J. Wanner—medieval Christianity, with a particular focus on the pre- and post-conversion religion and culture of Scandinavia
  • Victor C. Xiong—Chinese history and archaeology (especially the Sui Tang period with an emphasis on urban, social and cultural history)