Past Professor

James Marchand

CAS Professor Emeritus of Germanic Languages & Literatures

Professor Marchand is arguably best known for using computer technology to decipher early manuscripts, particularly palimpsests, opening new areas of inquiry and drawing wide attention to his work. His reputation as a scholar rested largely on his publications in linguistics and philology, and he was acknowledged as the most original personality in the study of Gothic for many years. Among the subject matters he taught were older Germanic literatures, Celtic literature, medieval music, the Western texts of Matthew, New Testament Greek, Medieval Latin, Old Irish, mechanical aids for teaching, mathematical models for linguists, computer programming, Dante, Wolfram von Eschenbach, Arthurian romance, and college-level German. In May 2003, the 38th International Congress on Medieval Studies (Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo) included a session and reception held in his honor. He has published in English, German, French, Spanish, Swedish, and Yiddish, and his work has been translated into German, French, Italian, Russian, and Japanese. He was a Guggenheim Fellow (1958) and received a research scholarship from the National Endowment for the Humanities (1975-76). After the internet’s widespread introduction, he began to publish mainly on the World Wide Web, starting the listservs gerlingl (Germanic linguistics) and medtextl (medieval studies) in 1990.