Robert F. Berkhofer

Position title: Solmsen Fellow (2008-2009)

History, Western Michigan University

Portrait image of Robert F. Berkhofer

Fabricating Histories

Berkhofer is completing a book manuscript, “Fabricating Histories,” which considers the relationship between forgeries and historical writing in the high Middle Ages. This project uses forgeries to examine medieval mentalité, which supposed a different relation between text, memory, and the past than in modern times. Based on comparative archival research, the work uses traditional methods, information technology, and post-linguistic turn theory. When completed, it will provide the first synthetic analysis of medieval forgery in a transnational European context.

Robert F. Berkhofer III is an associate professor of medieval history at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo. His work focusses on northwestern Europe, particulary France, England, and the Low Countries in the period from ca. 900 to 1250. He is the author of Day of Reckoning: Power and Accountability in Medieval France (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004) and the co-editor of The Experience of Power in Medieval Europe, 950-1350 (Ashgate Publishing, 2005). From 2001 to 2006 he was co-editor of the The Medieval Review, an electronic book review journal for all fields of Medieval Studies with more than 2500 subscribers. Berkhofer, who earned his Ph.D at Harvard University, has received support for his current project from the American Philosophical Society and the Institute of Historical Research in London.