Robert Berkhofer

Robert Berkhofer

Robert Berkhofer

Dr. Robert Berkhofer

Associate Professor
Ph.D., Harvard University (1997)
Medieval France and England; Historiography

Office: (269) 387-4650
Web page

4424 Friedmann Hall

Mailing Address
Department of History
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo, MI 49008-5334

I teach a variety of courses in medieval European history. For undergraduates, I offer advanced courses such as the Early European Family, Power and Society, and the Transformation of Medieval Europe, as well as surveys of the Early Western World (to 1500) and the Medieval World. For graduate students, I teach readings seminars on Medieval France, Rulers and Regions in Northern Europe, Law and Power in Medieval England and Medieval Social History. I offer research seminars on Writing and Reckoning in the Middle Ages and Medieval Historical Writing. I also regularly teach the required methods course, Research Techniques of Medieval History, and have taught the departmental core course in Historiography. Learn about my courses.

My research centers on medieval France and England in the period circa 900 to 1200. My current book project is a study of medieval forgeries and historical writings, which explores the relationships between texts, archives, and the senses of the past in the central Middle Ages. It adopts a comparative approach, using documents and narratives from several prominent Benedictine monasteries in medieval England, France, and the county of Flanders, and seeks to provide a synthetic treatment of medieval forgery in a transnational context. Much of my previous work focused on power in medieval France; please see selected publications below.

Professional Activities
I am currently Vice-President for North America of the Charles Homer Haskins Society, which seeks to promote the study of medieval history through its annual conference, particularly among early career professionals. I am currently organizing Haskins Society sponsored sessions at the annual conferences of the American Historical Association and the International Congress of Medieval Studies here in Kalamazoo. Scholars interested in presenting papers at these conferences should email me. I am an affiliated faculty member of the WMU Medieval Institute and actively involved in teaching MA students in Medieval Studies.

Selected Publications

  • Day of Reckoning: Power and Accountability in Medieval France (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004).
  • Robert F. Berkhofer III, with Alan Cooper and Adam J. Kosto, eds., The Experience of Power in Medieval Europe, 950-1350 (Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing, 2005).

Articles, Chapters, and Bibliographies

  • Annotated bibliographies of “Medieval France,” “Regions of France,” and “Saint-Denis.” Oxford Bibliographies Online (October, 2010).
  • “The Canterbury Forgeries Revisited,” The Haskins Society Journal 18 (2006): 36-50.
  • “Marriage, Lordship, and the ‘Greater Unfree’ in Twelfth-Century France,” Past and Present 173, no. 1 (2001): 3-27.
  • “Inventaires de biens et proto-comptabilités dans le nord de la France,” Pratiques de l’écrit documentaire au XIe siècle, Bibliothèque de l'École des Chartes 155 (1997): 339-49.


Department of History
4301 Friedmann Hall
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5334 USA
(269) 387-4650 | (269) 387-4651 Fax