Departmental Directory

Bonnie Wheeler

Associate Professor and Director of Medieval Studies

Ph.D., Brown University


Bonnie Wheeler’s major interests are medieval romance (especially Arthurian), Chaucer, gender studies, and pedagogy. She taught at Columbia University and Case Western University before moving to SMU.  She is founding editor of Arthuriana, the quarterly journal of the International Arthurian Society/North American Branch (1994-2009). Professor Wheeler has edited, co-edited, or co-authored thirteen essay collections. She is series editor for two Palgrave Macmillan’s peer-reviewed series, The New Middle Ages and Arthurian and Courtly Cultures.

Dr. Wheeler has received SMU’s Outstanding Teacher Award six times, and she is a recipient of the Phi Beta Kappa Perrine Prize for excellence in scholarship and teaching. She was appointed by the Medieval Academy of America to found TEAMS (Committee on Teaching Medieval Studies) and has been elected to many professional leadership positions (Councillor of The Medieval Academy of America, President of the Council of Editors of Learned Journals, Council Nominating Committee for the national Phi Beta Kappa Society, etc.) A frequent historical and literary consultant for the A&E, the History Channel, and BBC, she was also selected as a “Great Teacher” for the distinguished Teaching Company. An international committee of professional colleagues and friends founded the Bonnie Wheeler Fund (www.bonniewheelerfund.org), which serves to support women faculty, in her honor in 2010. A festschrift in her honor—Magistra Doctissima: Essays in Honor of Bonnie Wheeler—was published in 2013.



Courses taught

  • Chaucer
  • Middle English Literature
  • The World of King Arthur
  • Joan of Arc
  • Medieval Pilgrimage
  • Medieval Romance

Publications (selected)

  • Feminea Medievalia I: Representations of the Feminine in the Middle Ages, Texas Medieval Association (Cambridge, UK and Dallas: Academia Press, 1993).
  • Medieval Mothering, co-edited with John Carmi Parsons (New York: Garland, 1996).
  • Fresh Verdicts on Joan of Arc, co-edited with Charles T. Wood (New York: Garland, 1996).
  • Becoming Male in the Middle Ages, co-edited with Jeffrey Jerome Cohen (New York: Garland, 1997).
  • Listening to Heloise: The Voice of a Twelfth-Century Woman (New York: St. Martin’s, 2000). co-edited with Robert L. Kindrick and Michael N. Salda (Cambridge, UK: D.S. Brewer, 2000).
  • On Arthurian Women: Essays in Memory of Maureen Fries, co-edited with Fiona Tolhurst (Dallas: Scriptorium Press, 2001).
  • Eleanor of Aquitaine: Lord and Lady, co-edited with John Carmi Parsons (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003).
  • Joan of Arc and Spirituality, co-edited with Ann Astell (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003).
  • Mindful Spirit in Late Medieval Literature: Essays in Honor of Elizabeth D. Kirk, ed. Bonnie Wheeler (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006).
  • The Letters of Heloise and Abelard: A Translation of Their Collected Correspondence and Related Writings, trans. and edited by Mary Martin McLaughlin with Bonnie Wheeler (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, Dec. 2009), 366 pp.

Selected Journal Articles

  • “Dante, Chaucer and the Ending of Troilus and Criseyde,” Philological Quarterly (Spring, 1982).
  • “From Achilles to the Heel: Masculinity in Western Masterpieces” co-authored with William Beauchamp, in Women’s Studies Quarterly (January, 1989), repr. Men’s Studies Review (Fall, 1989).
  • “The Masculinity of King Arthur: from Gildas to the Nuclear Age,” Arthurian Interpretations (Winter 1992).
  • “The Prowess of Hands: Alchemical Psychology in Malory’s Tale of Sir Gareth,” in Culture and the King: The Social Implication of Arthurian Literature, ed. James Carley and Martin Shichtman (Binghamton: SUNY Press, 1993).
  • “Romance and Parataxis and Malory: The Case of Sir Gawain’s Reputation,” in Arthurian Literature XII (Cambridge: Boydell and Brewer, Winter, 1993).
  • “Trouthe without Consequences: Rhetoric and Gender in Chaucer’s Franklin’s Tale,” in Feminea Medievalia I: Representations of the Feminine in the Middle Ages (Cambridge, UK and Dallas: Academia Press, 1993), pp. 91–116.
  • “Grammar, Genre, and Gender in Chaucer and Murasaki Shikibu,” Poetica 44 (Dec 1995).
  • “Origenary Fantasies: Abelard’s Castration and Confession,” in Becoming Male in the Middle Ages (New York: Garland, 1997).
  • “Models of Pilgrimage: From Communitas to Confluence,” Journal of Ritual Studies 13.2 (1999).
  • “The Project of Arthurian Studies: Quondam et Futurus,” in New Directions in Arthurian Studies, ed. Alan Lupack (Woodbridge: Boydell and Brewer, 2002).
  •  “The Legacy of ‘New Criticism’ in the Study of Chaucer: Revisiting E. Talbot Donaldson,” Chaucer Review 41.3 (2007).
  • “‘As the French Book Seyeth’: Malory’s Morte Darthur and Acts of Reading,” in L’Héritage de Chrétien de Troyes, Cahiers de Recherches Médiévales 14, ed. William B. Kibler and Bernard Ribémont (Paris: Honoré Champion, 2007).
  • “The Sic et Non of Andreas Capellanus’ De Amore,” in Words of Love and Love of Words, ed. Albrecht Classen (Arizona Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 2008).
  • “Memory in Feminist Cultures,” Medieval Feminist Forum 45.1 (Summer 2009).
  • “Go litel blog, go litel thys comedye!,” in Brantley Bryant, Geoffrey Chaucer Hath a Blog Hath a Book: What's So Fun About the Middle Ages? (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010).