Gründler Book Prize

2019 Competition

Photo portrait of Otto Gruendler.

Otto Gründler

The Medieval Institute at Western Michigan University announces the twenty-third Otto Gründler Book Prize to be awarded in May at the 54th International Congress on Medieval Studies. It consists of an award of $1,000 to the author of a book or monograph in any area of medieval studies that is judged by the selection committee to be an outstanding contribution to its field.

The Prize, instituted by Dr. Diether H. Haenicke, then president of Western Michigan University, honored and now memorializes Gründler for his distinguished service to the University and his lifelong dedication to the international community of medievalists. The first award was made in 1997.


Authors from any country are eligible. The book or monograph may be in any of the standard scholarly languages. To be eligible for the 2019 prize the book or monograph must have been published in 2017.


Readers or publishers may nominate books. Letters of nomination, two to four pages in length, should include sufficient detail and rationale so as to assist the committee in its deliberations. Supporting materials should make the case for the award. Readers' reports, if appropriate, and other letters attesting to the significance of the work would be helpful.


Send letters of nomination and any supporting material by Nov. 1, 2018, to:

Secretary, Gründler Prize Committee
The Medieval Institute
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5432 USA

Further notes

  • For the purpose of this competition collections of essays, bibliographies, editions and reference tools are not defined as books.
  • The prize is not a life achievement award.
  • Typically, the book will have one sole author.
  • The selection committee needs four copies of any book to pursue its work efficiently. All materials submitted become property of the Gründler Prize Committee.
  • No student, staff or faculty member at Western Michigan University, past or current, may receive the Otto Gründler Book Prize.

Past winners of the Otto Gründler Book Prize


Image of the cover of Jonathan Sumption's book "Cursed Kings."Jonathan Sumption, "The Hundred Years War, Volume IV: Cursed Kings" (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2015). Press release.


Maureen C. Miller, "Clothing the Clergy: Virtue and Power in Medieval Europe, c. 800–1200" (Cornell University Press, 2014).


Robert Bartlett, "Why Can the Dead Do Such Great Things? Saints and Worshippers from the Martyrs to the Reformation" (Princeton University Press, 2013).


Ronald G. Witt, "The Two Latin Cultures and the Foundation of Renaissance Humanism in Medieval Italy" (Cambridge University Press, 2012).


Max Harris, "Sacred Folly: A New History of the Feast of Fools" (Cornell University Press, 2011).


Margot E. Fassler, "The Virgin of Chartres: Making History through Liturgy and the Arts" (Yale University Press, 2010).


Thomas F. X. Noble, "Images, Iconoclasm, and the Carolingians" (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2009). Press release.


John Van Engen, "Sisters and Brothers of the Common Life: The Devotio Moderna and the World of the Later Middle Ages" (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008). Press release.


Caroline Walker Bynum, "Wonderful Blood: Theology and Practice in Late Medieval Northern Germany and Beyond" (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2007). Press release.


William Caferro, "John Hawkwood: An English Mercenary in Fourteenth-Century Italy" (The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006). Press release.


Charles McClendon, "The Origins of Medieval Architecture: Building in Europe A.D. 600-900" (Yale University Press, 2005).


Dyan Elliot, "Proving Woman: Spirituality and Inquisitional Culture in the Later Middle Ages" (Princeton University Press, 2004).


Thomas F. Madden, "Enrico Dandolo and the Rise of Venice" (The John Hopkins University Press, 2003). Press release.


Geraldine Carville, "The Impact of the Cistercians on the Landscape of Ireland" (K. B. Publications, 2002). Press release.


David Burr, "The Spiritual Franciscans: From Protest to Persecution in the Century after Saint Francis" (Pennsylvania State University Press, 2001). Press release.


John Lowden, "The Making of the Bible Moralisées" (Pennsylvania State University Press, 2000). Press release.


Paul Freedman, "Images of the Medieval Peasant" (Stanford University Press, 1999). Press release.


Gordon Kipling, "Enter the King: Theatre, Liturgy and Ritual in the Medieval Civic Triumph" (Oxford University Press, 1998). Press release.


Jeffrey Hamburger, "Nuns as Artists: The Visual Culture of a Medieval Convent" (University of California Press, 1997). Press release.


Diane Cole Ahl, "Benozzo Gozzoli" (Yale University Press, 1996)
Judith M. Bennett, "Ale, Beer, and Brewsters in Medieval England: Women's Work in a Changing World, 1300–1600" (Oxford University Press, 1996).
Press release.


Amy Hollywood, "The Soul as Virgin Wife" (University of Notre Dame Press, 1995). Press release.