woman with blonde hair

Ilse Schweitzer

Assistant Professor
Office: 290 Bessey Hall
Email: schwei53@msu.edu
Alternate Email: ilse.s.vand@gmail.com
Website: ilseschweitzer.com

Research Areas

Environmental Humanities, Place-based Writing, Medieval Studies, Literary Studies, Academic Publishing, Editing, Ecocriticism 


Ilse holds a Ph.D. in English Literature and an M.A. in Medieval Studies and has taught a variety of courses including First-year Writing, Medieval Literature, World Mythologies, and Environmental Humanities at various universities in Michigan and Maryland. She has also served as Acquisitions Editor and Proofreader for international academic/university presses (Amsterdam University Press, Arc-Humanities Press, and Medieval Institute Publications), and currently serves on the advisory board for the book series Environmental Humanities in Premodern Cultures and for the new journal, Medieval Ecocriticisms. Her own research explores ideas of movement and stasis, home and exile in Old English poetry and culture, as well as representations of death in Anglo-Saxon and Old Norse literatures.


Ph.D., Western Michigan University

Representative Work

“Asgardians in the East: Norse Gods in Japanese Popular Culture” —co-presenter with Sarah Kelley Brish, International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, MI, May 2019

“Bringing Murder to Light: Death, Publishing, and Performance in Icelandic Sagas.” In Murder Most Foul: Medieval and Early Modern Homicide, edited by Larissa Tracy. Boydell and Brewer, 2018.

“The Old English Soul and Body I and II” (invited contribution). In The Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Medieval British Literature, edited by Robert Rouse and Sian Echard. Blackwell, 2017.

Langan, Kathleen, and Ilse Schweitzer VanDonkelaar. “Deciphering and Moderating Meaningful DH Conversations for Graduate Students in Humanities-based Disciplines.” In Digital Humanities in the Library: Challenges and Opportunities for Subject Specialists, edited by Arianne Hartsell-Gundy, et. al. American Library Association, 2015.

Sample Courses Taught

WRA 101: Writing as Inquiry

IAH 221: The Modern World: Environmental Imagination in the Anthropocene

Research or Academic Affiliations

Advisory Board member for Medieval Ecocriticisms, a peer-reviewed journal (2019–current)

Advisory Board member for Environmental Humanities in Premodern Cultures, a peer-reviewed book series published by Amsterdam University Press (2019-current)

PhD Comprehensive Examination Committee and MA Exam Committees for WMU English Department and Medieval Institute (2019-2020)

Social Media 

Twitter: @ilsesvand