Due to the ongoing health crisis, the 56th International Congress on Medieval Studies (2021), hosted by Western Michigan University's Medieval Institute, will be held virtually.
The 56th Congress will be live on the internet Monday through Saturday, May 10 to 15, 2021, with sessions and other activities scheduled at 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m., 5 p.m., and 7 p.m. EDT each of the six days. Sessions in which all participants have agreed to be live recorded will be recorded, and the recordings will be made available to Congress registrants for the two following weeks, Monday through Saturday, May 17 to 29. There also will be some pre-recorded special features that will be available for viewing for the entire three-week period (May 10 to 29).
Concerning future in-person congresses
The campus of Western Michigan University, site of the International Congress on Medieval Studies, is located in Kalamazoo in southwest Michigan, 142 miles west of Detroit and 138 miles east of Chicago.
Kalamazoo/Battle Creek International Airport (AZO) is served by Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, and United Airlines. Detroit and Minneapolis (Delta Airlines) and Chicago (American Airlines and United Airlines) are the major hubs offering air connections.
Some congress attendees find it convenient to fly to Grand Rapids, South Bend, Detroit or Chicago and rent a car. Driving time from the Gerald R. Ford International Airport (Grand Rapids) and from South Bend Regional Airport is less than two hours. Driving time from Detroit Metro Airport is about two-and-a-half hours, from O'Hare (Chicago) at least three hours. Kalamazoo (Eastern Time) is always one hour ahead of Chicago (Central Time). Metro Cars, at (800) 456-1701, offers taxis from Detroit Metro Airport to Kalamazoo (ca. $335; advance reservation strongly recommended).
Ground transportation from the airport
Medieval Institute buses meet all incoming flights at Kalamazoo/Battle Creek International Airport on Wednesday and Thursday and transport passengers to congress registration (Eldridge-Fox lobby of the Goldsworth Valley 3 residence halls). On Sunday, bus transportation to the airport is provided from 4 a.m. until 3 p.m., departing approximately every 40 minutes.
The Radisson Plaza Hotel and Suites, the main off-campus site, Four Points by Sheraton and the Delta by Marriott provide shuttle service to and from the airport, which will be the most convenient option for congress attendees staying at those hotels.
Taxi service is also available at the Kalamazoo/Battle Creek International Airport. Kalamazoo Metro Transit offers very limited service between the airport and the Kalamazoo Downtown Transportation Center (bus #12—Duke).
Train and bus travel
Amtrak trains (Chicago-Detroit-Pontiac and Chicago-East Lansing-Port Huron routes), as well as Greyhound and Indian Trails buses, serve Kalamazoo daily, arriving at the Kalamazoo Downtown Transportation Center.
Medieval Institute shuttle buses travel between congress locations on the Western Michigan University campus and the Radisson Plaza Hotel and Suites, a three-block walk on Rose Street from the Kalamazoo Downtown Transportation Center (483 meters, 6 minutes).
- Wednesday, 7 to 11 p.m.
- Thursday through Saturday, 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.
On Sunday morning, Radisson Hotel shuttle service is combined with campus shuttle service between on-campus housing locations and the Valley Dining Center.
Kalamazoo Metro Transit bus #16—Lovell (departing from the transportation center) stops near congress registration (limited Sunday service), and taxi service is also available at the transportation center.
Driving to WMU
Kalamazoo is located at the crossroads of Interstate-94 and US Route 131 in Southwest Michigan, a two-and-a-half hour drive from Chicago or Detroit.
Driving from I-94 to congress registration
Take exit 74B onto US-131 north. Travel 2.8 miles on US-131 to exit 36 (Stadium Drive). Take Stadium Drive east (right) 2.2 miles to Howard Street. Turn left onto Howard Street and travel one mile to Goldsworth Valley Drive. Turn right onto Goldsworth Valley Drive into the WMU campus, turn left onto Ring Road West, and follow the signs to congress registration.
You can also get turn-by-turn directions to or from any building using WMU campus maps with the familiar Google interface. For directions to congress registration, choose Eldridge Hall or Fox Hall from the "Select a Building" drop down box. Keep in mind, however, that parking is extremely limited near congress registration.
Parking for Congress attendees is available in selected parking lots near Congress venues on campus. Parking permits ($15 in 2019) are available through pre-registration and at registration in the Eldridge-Fox lobby of the Goldsworth Valley 3 residence halls. Please do not park at meters or in prohibited areas.