FAQ

Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about the International Congress on Medieval Studies. Please check to see if there is an answer to your question before contacting us. Your question may also be answered in one of our other sections, such as The Hybrid Experience, On-Site Logistics (including lodging), Policies, Registration or Travel. If you still have questions, please contact the Medieval Institute.

  • Registration

    Is there a discounted registration rate for virtual attendees?

    No. The registration fee is the same no matter whether you attend sessions in person, online, or both.

    I am a student/retired/underemployed. Can you waive my registration fee?

    A limited number of subsidized registrations are available through our Sponsor a Graduate Student/Early Career Researcher Program, established in 2024. Applications for subsidized registrations are due Feb. 29.

    A family member is coming to Congress with me. Do they need to register?

    Accompanying adult family members who plan to attend any Congress events or stay in on-campus housing must register for the Congress. Accompanying children do not need to be registered, but they must be under adult supervision at all times. Parents are solely responsible for their children's safety and wellbeing.

  • COVID

    What protocols are in place regarding COVID-19?

    As part of Western Michigan University, the Congress follows University policies and guidelines regarding COVID-19. WMU’s campus guidelines are aligned with the public health guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the state of Michigan and Kalamazoo County.

    Is vaccination required?

    WMU recommends all members of the campus community get fully vaccinated against COVID-19. We encourage Congress attendees to do the same.

  • Hybrid conference

    What is a hybrid session?

    Hybrid sessions are scheduled in classrooms with large screens, cameras and microphones. Participants in these sessions may present on the ground in Kalamazoo (livestreamed for remote attendees) or online (displayed on the screen for in-person attendees). During the discussion period, remote attendees will be able to ask presenters questions directly or join the conversation over text by using the chat box. A presider will be present in the classroom to take questions from in-person attendees.

    Why aren’t all sessions offered in a hybrid format?

    Our staffing and our classroom technology are both limited. We want to ensure that the hybrid sessions run smoothly rather than try to host more than we are capable of at this time. Future Congresses may be able to support additional hybrid sessions.

    Will there be any technical support?

    Confex tech support personnel will monitor all virtual and hybrid sessions. They will be able to help troubleshoot issues like having problems logging on to the meeting site or sharing slides over Zoom. Congress personnel will be available to help in-person attendees connect to wifi and use classroom A/V technology.

    Will sessions be recorded?

    If all participants in a virtual or hybrid session agree, the session will be recorded and made available to Congress attendees for a limited period of time after the Congress. In-person sessions will not be recorded.

    If I plan to attend Congress in person, can I still go to virtual sessions?

    Yes! We expect that most in-person attendees will wish to participate in one or more virtual sessions. To attend a virtual session, you will need an internet connection and a device such as a laptop, tablet or smartphone. Free wifi will be provided on the campus of Western Michigan University for all registered attendees.

    Rooms (for up to 8 participants) are available in Sangren Hall to reserve for participation in virtual conference sessions.

    Attendees without laptops can attend virtual sessions in the Waldo Library computer labs (bring your own headphones). Please be considerate of others in your vicinity and use headphones whenever listening to virtual sessions.

    Learn more about the hybrid Congress experience and see key dates for attendees.

  • Policies concerning participation

    Can I present a paper at the Congress that I've already given or published somewhere else?

    All papers are expected to present unpublished original research never before offered at a national or international conference.

    Can I propose multiple papers?

    You are invited to propose one paper (as a sole author or as a co-author) for one session of papers. You may propose a paper for a sponsored or special session or for the general sessions, but not both. You may propose an unlimited number of contributions to roundtables and poster sessions, but you will not be scheduled to actively participate (as paper presenter, roundtable discussant, poster author, presider, respondent, workshop leader, demonstrator or performer) in more than three sessions.

    Who is eligible to present at the Congress?

    All those working in the field of medieval studies, including graduate students and independent scholars and artists, are eligible to give a paper, if accepted, in any session. However, enrolled undergraduate students may only give a paper, if accepted, in the “Papers by Undergraduates” special sessions.

    How many times can I "appear" at the Congress?

    Each participant may give only one paper (as sole author or co-author). Plenary and Reception of the Classics in the Middle Ages lecturers may give another paper in addition to their lectures, for a total of two papers. You may appear as an active participant (paper presenter, roundtable discussant, poster author, presider, respondent, workshop leader, demonstrator or performer) in a maximum of three sessions. Organizers may organize as many sessions as the committee approves.

    Learn more about our other policies and guidelines for Congress participation.

  • Congress programs

    How can I get a printed copy of the Congress program?

    The Medieval Institute sends Congress programs beginning in February to all U.S. addresses on its active mailing list via bulk mail but limits the initial international mailing of programs (including Canada) to individuals whose names appear in the program for that year. In-person attendees registering after Apr. 15 and international attendees who did not receive a program in the mail will be able to pick up a copy of the printed program on site.

    I left my Congress program at home. Can I get another copy?

    Additional print copies of the program are available for purchase at registration for $15 per copy while supplies last. The program can also be downloaded as a PDF.

  • On-site logistics

    Are lactation rooms available?

    The Medieval Institute provides designated lactation rooms. More details will be posted as they become available.

    I'm traveling with my child(ren). Is child care available while I'm in sessions?

    Arrangements for child care are the responsibility of the parent(s). We recommend that you go directly to Care.com, which background checks its caregivers. Account creation is required.

    I have limited mobility. How can I get around campus?

    Congress locations are located on the hilly campus of Western Michigan University. Medieval Institute shuttle buses provide transportation among Congress locations.

    Are the dorms wheelchair accessible?

    The Western Heights complex is fully wheelchair accessible. 

    The Goldworth Valley complexes have a limited number of wheelchair accessible rooms, assigned upon request and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Please include your request for an accessible room in the notes field when registering for the Congress. Find more about on-campus housing options here.

    Find out more about on-site logistics, including lodging and dining options.

  • Travel

    How can I get to Kalamazoo?

    Kalamazoo is located at the crossroads of Interstate 94 and US Route 131 in Southwest Michigan, roughly halfway between Chicago and Detroit. Learn about your travel options here.

    I'm staying off-campus. How can I get to campus from my hotel?

    The Medieval Institute provides shuttle service to campus and back from the Radisson/downtown.

    Where can I park on campus?

    Parking for Congress attendees is available in selected parking lots near Congress venues on campus for all registered participants. Please do not park at meters or in prohibited areas.

    How can I get around campus to attend sessions?

    The Medieval Institute provides shuttle service to Congress locations.

    Explore your options for air travel, ground transportation from the airport, train and bus travel, and driving to Kalamazoo.

  • Proof of participation

    Can you provide official documentation that I will present at Congress?

    We understand that you may need written confirmation of your planned participation in Congress to support a visa application or a request for travel funding, or to meet other requirements from your university or other institution. We are happy to provide official letters confirming that your paper or other contribution to the Congress has been accepted; please contact the Medieval Institute to request a letter.

  • Supporting the Congress

    How can I help support the Congress?

    There are several ways you can support the Congress!

    Make a gift to the Medieval Institute or to one of the endowments that fund the travel awards and the Reception of the Classics in the Middle Ages Lecture.

    Nominate yourself as a contributing reviewer to evaluate proposals for sponsored and special sessions. Contributing reviewers hold two-year terms and we accept self-nominations each year in the spring.

    Volunteer to preside over general sessions. You do not need to be delivering a paper at the Congress in order to preside over a general session. We solicit offers to preside over general sessions each year in the fall.

  • Food

    Where can I purchase food?

    Food can be purchased on campus through various venues. 

    Student Center Dining

    The Student Center Dining (SCD) offers all-you-care-to-eat dining with a variety of fresh food options in a restaurant-style environment. Congress meals begin with dinner Wednesday and end with Sunday brunch.

    Other Student Center Options

    • Starbucks Cafe
    • ReFresh Market
    • Mi Pi
    • Fuego Verde

    Sangren Hall Options  

    • Flossie's Cafe

    Waldo Library Options

    • Bookmark Cafe

    Downtown Kalamazoo also offers a variety of restaurants and breweries.

    What are the dining hours for meal tickets at the Student Center? 

    • Breakfast (Thursday–Saturday): 7 – 9 a.m.
    • Lunch (Thursday–Saturday): 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
    • Dinner (Wednesday–Saturday): 5 – 7:30 p.m.
    • Brunch (Sunday): 8 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

    What are the costs of meal tickets? 

    Advance meal tickets can be purchased as part of Congress registration and cost $17 per ticket. These advance tickets can be used for any meal served at the SCD during Congress.

    Meals can also be purchased individually at the door (cash, MasterCard, VISA, or Discover). Prices are:

    • Breakfast: $14
    • Lunch: $17.50
    • Dinner: $19.50

    I have special dietary requirements. What are my options for food on campus?

    The "Hand Picked" station inside Student Center Dining offers gluten-free food and dedicated equipment to minimize cross-contamination. Any specific questions or concerns can be sent by email to Dining Services staff.