Western welcomes medieval scholars to ‘heart of campus’ for 2024 International Congress

Contact: Deanne Puca

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—More than 2,000 medieval scholars from around the world will convene on Western Michigan University’s campus Thursday through Saturday, May 9-11, for the 59th meeting of the International Congress on Medieval Studies.

This year, the physical footprint of the Congress includes the WMU Student Center and Sangren Hall, as well as Waldo Library and Kanley Chapel. The event continues to be held in a hybrid format, including 330 traditional in-person sessions, 105 virtual sessions and 48 hybrid sessions, which make it possible for in-person and virtual speakers and audiences to interact.

“The new footprint brings the Congress to the heart of campus,” says Dr. Robert F. Berkhofer III, director of the WMU Medieval Institute. “We have improved access in many ways, including moving the Exhibits Hall to the second floor of the WMU Student Center and making it open to the WMU community and the public.”

Dr. Carissa Harris

The Exhibits Hall showcases a diverse international selection of academic presses, artisans, used booksellers and purveyors of medieval sundries. Special events this year include a concert by the Pneuma Ensemble on Friday, May 10, at 7 p.m. at Kanley Chapel in the Upper Chapel. Concert tickets cost $20, and patrons may purchase online in advance or at the door. There is also a presentation exploring the use of multispectral imaging and other digital approaches to recover lost, damaged and illegible medieval manuscripts. This presentation is free and open to the public and will take place on Waldo Library’s Lower Level on Saturday, May 11, at noon.

Plenary Lectures

Dr. Paul Freedman

Dr. Carissa Harris

Harris of Temple University is speaking on “Medieval Reproductive Justice” on Friday, May 10, at 8:30 a.m. in Room 1910 of Sangren Hall.

Dr. Paul Freedman

Freedman of Yale University is speaking on “Catalan National Identity and the Image of the Middle Ages, from 1714 to the Present” on Saturday, May 11, at 8:30 a.m. in Room 1910 of Sangren Hall.

Reception of the Classics Lecture

Dr. Jan Ziolkowski

Dr. Jan Ziolkowski

Ziolkowski of Harvard University is speaking on “The Classical Tradition in the Middle Ages: Pasts and Futures” on Thursday, May 9, at 7 p.m. in Room 1910 of Sangren Hall.

A selection of virtual and hybrid sessions will be recorded and posted on the Congress meeting site and made available for viewing by registrants May 13-31. The plenary lectures and the Reception of the Classics lecture will be broadcast live. View schedule of events

Anyone with a WMU email address can register for free, and any city of Kalamazoo resident can register for a discounted price of $25. Other registration rates are based on annual income. Advance registration closes Sunday, April 21. Continuing registration for those attending the Congress in person is available through the end of the Congress but is subject to a $50 late fee. Continuing registration for those attending the Congress online is available through May 31, when recorded sessions and other content are removed from the meeting site. The late fee does not apply for online attendees. Find information, costs and register

The 60th International Congress also is planned for a hybrid format and will be held May 8-10, 2025.

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