Bonnie Wheeler

Associate Professor Director of Medieval Studies


Office Location

DH 259




Ph.D., Brown University

Bonnie Wheeler’s major interests are medieval narrative (especially Arthurian romance), Chaucer’s poetry, medieval gender studies, and interdisciplinary pedagogy. She simultaneously taught at Columbia University and Case Western University before moving to SMU in 1975. At SMU she has founded and is active in various intellectual projects, including international programs. She is founder of Arthuriana, the first peer-reviewed journal of Arthurian studies, which she edited from 1994–2009. In addition to several articles on medieval Latin, English, French, and Japanese literature, Professor Wheeler has edited, co-edited, or co-authored eleven peer-reviewed books of essays, most of which kaleidoscope divergent theoretical and biographical information to provoke richer understandings of significant medieval women. She is series editor for two book series, Arthurian and Courtly Cultures and The New Middle Ages (with more than 250 peer-reviewed books in print). She is active in local historic preservation and in second-wave feminism. She was a founder and is elected board member of Veteran Feminists of America, which preserves the history of American feminism and advocates for constitutional implementation of the Equal Rights Amendment.

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 initiate its 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 A&E, the History Channel, and the British Broadcasting Corp., she was selected as a “Great Teacher” for the distinguished Teaching Company. An international committee of professional colleagues and friends founded the Bonnie Wheeler Fund (, which supports women faculty, in her honor in 2010. A festschrift in her honor—Magistra Doctissima: Essays in Honor of Bonnie Wheeler—was published in 2013. At the May 2023 International Congress on Medieval Studies, the world’s largest medieval conference, she received a multitude of honors for her lifelong contributions to the field of Medieval Studies, including the 2023 Medieval Foremother Prize for her extensive publications and support for research on medieval women. A national “Bonnie Wheeler Outstanding Professor Award” was announced that will be presented annually at the International Congress on Medieval Studies.

Selected Publications

  • 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.

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).

Courses Taught

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


Bonnie wheeler portrait