WMU Medieval Institute wins NEH grant for summer institute

Contact: Olga Bonfiglio
Photo of Dr. Jana K. Schulman.


KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Dr. Jana K. Schulman, professor of English and director of the WMU Medieval Institute, has received a $180,000 award from the National Endowment for the Humanities. 

"Teaching 'Beowulf' in the Context of Old Norse-Icelandic Literature" is one of the Summer Seminar and Institute Awards for College and University Teachers Grants. It will take place in Kalamazoo in summer 2016.

"The grant projects represent the very best of humanities scholarship and programming," says NEH Chairman William Adams. "NEH is proud to support programs that illuminate the great ideas and events of our past, broaden access to our nation's many cultural resources, and open up for us new ways of understanding the world in which we live."

About the institute

National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institutes are two- to five-week projects to which interested college and university faculty members from all over the United States may apply. 

In her four-week institute, Schulman, together with guest lecturers in the fields of medieval archaeology, folklore and oral tradition, "Beowulf," Old Norse-Icelandic literature, and Scandinavian and Anglo-Saxon religions, will engage 25 summer scholars with more detailed background information about the culture, religions and history of Anglo-Saxon England and medieval Iceland. Schulman and her colleagues will provide them with a greater and synergetic awareness of and appreciation for the literature of Anglo-Saxon England and medieval Iceland.

The institute is the first NEH Summer Institute to be held in Kalamazoo since Dr. Paul Szarmach, former director of the Medieval Institute, directed one in 1999 on Anglo-Saxon England.

A great opportunity

"These NEH grants are great opportunities for Western Michigan University to affirm its commitment to the humanities and demonstrate its support for faculty members across the country engaged in such important liberal arts traditions and transmission," says Dr. Keith Hearit, interim dean of the WMU College of Arts and Sciences. "Hosting such an institute is an honor for WMU and represents the very best of humanities scholarship and programming."  

Schulman is one of only four recipients in Michigan of this NEH grant this year. The other three are at Calvin College, Ferris State University and Grand Valley State University.

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