Gründler Book Prize

2025 Competition

Photo portrait of Otto Gruendler.

Otto Gründler

The Medieval Institute at Western Michigan University announces the twenty-eighth Otto Gründler Book Prize to be awarded at the 59th International Congress on Medieval Studies (May 9-11, 2024). It consists of an award of $1,000 to the author of a monograph in any area of medieval studies that is judged by the selection committee to be an outstanding contribution to its field.

The Prize, instituted by Dr. Diether H. Haenicke, then president of Western Michigan University, honored and now memorializes Gründler for his distinguished service to the University and his lifelong dedication to the international community of medievalists. The first award was made in 1997.


Authors from any country are eligible. To be eligible for the 2024 prize the book must have been published in 2022. Collections of essays, bibliographies, editions and reference tools are not eligible.


Readers or publishers may nominate books. Letters of nomination, two to four pages in length, should include sufficient detail and rationale so as to assist the committee in its deliberations. Supporting materials should make the case for the award. Readers' reports, if appropriate, and other letters attesting to the significance of the work would be helpful.

The selection committee needs five copies of any book to pursue its work efficiently. If a book is nominated by a reader, the Medieval Institute will reach out to the book's publisher to request copies of the book. Publishers should send copies of the book directly to the Medieval Institute with their nomination. All materials submitted become property of the Gründler Prize Committee.


Send letters of nomination and any supporting material by Nov. 1, 2023, to:

Secretary, Gründler Prize Committee
The Medieval Institute
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5432 USA

or as email attachment to

Further notes

  • The prize is not a life achievement award.
  • Typically, the book will have one sole author.
  • No student, staff or faculty member at Western Michigan University, past or current, may receive the Otto Gründler Book Prize.

Past winners of the Otto Gründler Book Prize


Jonathan R. Lyon, "Corruption, Protection, and Justice in Medieval Europe: A Thousand-Year History" (Cambridge University Press, 2022).


Elina Gertsman, "The Absent Image: Lacunae in Medieval Books" (Penn State University Press, 2021).


Dyan Elliott, "The Corrupter of Boys: Sodomy, Scandal, and the Medieval Clergy" (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2020).


Marion Turner, "Chaucer: A European Life" (Princeton University Press, 2019).


Geraldine Heng, "The Invention of Race in the European Middle Ages" (Cambridge University Press, 2018).


Kathryn Blair Moore, "The Architecture of the Christian Holy Land: Reception from Late Antiquity through the Renaissance" (Cambridge University Press, 2017).


Richard Firth Green, "Elf Queens and Holy Friars: Fairy Beliefs and the Medieval Church" (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016).


Jonathan Sumption, "The Hundred Years War, Volume IV: Cursed Kings" (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2015).


Maureen C. Miller, "Clothing the Clergy: Virtue and Power in Medieval Europe, c. 800–1200" (Cornell University Press, 2014).


Robert Bartlett, "Why Can the Dead Do Such Great Things? Saints and Worshippers from the Martyrs to the Reformation" (Princeton University Press, 2013).


Ronald G. Witt, "The Two Latin Cultures and the Foundation of Renaissance Humanism in Medieval Italy" (Cambridge University Press, 2012).


Max Harris, "Sacred Folly: A New History of the Feast of Fools" (Cornell University Press, 2011).


Margot E. Fassler, "The Virgin of Chartres: Making History through Liturgy and the Arts" (Yale University Press, 2010).


Thomas F. X. Noble, "Images, Iconoclasm, and the Carolingians" (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2009).


John Van Engen, "Sisters and Brothers of the Common Life: The Devotio Moderna and the World of the Later Middle Ages" (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008).


Caroline Walker Bynum, "Wonderful Blood: Theology and Practice in Late Medieval Northern Germany and Beyond" (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2007).


William Caferro, "John Hawkwood: An English Mercenary in Fourteenth-Century Italy" (The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006).


Charles McClendon, "The Origins of Medieval Architecture: Building in Europe A.D. 600-900" (Yale University Press, 2005).


Dyan Elliot, "Proving Woman: Spirituality and Inquisitional Culture in the Later Middle Ages" (Princeton University Press, 2004).


Thomas F. Madden, "Enrico Dandolo and the Rise of Venice" (The John Hopkins University Press, 2003).


Geraldine Carville, "The Impact of the Cistercians on the Landscape of Ireland" (K. B. Publications, 2002).


David Burr, "The Spiritual Franciscans: From Protest to Persecution in the Century after Saint Francis" (Pennsylvania State University Press, 2001).


John Lowden, "The Making of the Bible Moralisées" (Pennsylvania State University Press, 2000).


Paul Freedman, "Images of the Medieval Peasant" (Stanford University Press, 1999).


Gordon Kipling, "Enter the King: Theatre, Liturgy and Ritual in the Medieval Civic Triumph" (Oxford University Press, 1998).


Jeffrey Hamburger, "Nuns as Artists: The Visual Culture of a Medieval Convent" (University of California Press, 1997).


Diane Cole Ahl, "Benozzo Gozzoli" (Yale University Press, 1996)
Judith M. Bennett, "Ale, Beer, and Brewsters in Medieval England: Women's Work in a Changing World, 1300–1600" (Oxford University Press, 1996).


Amy Hollywood, "The Soul as Virgin Wife" (University of Notre Dame Press, 1995).