Sheila M Fisher
Professor of English, Emerita
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Trinity College faculty member since 1984
General ProfileTeachingResearchPublications/PresentationsHonors/Awards
Ph.D., Yale Univ.
M.Phil., Yale Univ.
M.A., Yale Univ.
B.A., Smith College

Sheila Fisher received her B.A. summa cum laude with Highest Honors in English from Smith College, where she majored in English and Latin, and her M.A., M.Phil., and Ph.D. from Yale University.  She joined the English Department at Trinity in 1984 and served as Chair of the Department from 2005-2008.  As a medievalist who specializes in Chaucer, late fourteenth-century English literature, and medieval women writers, Sheila has published a book on Chaucer and articles on the Gawain-poet and medieval romance, as well as co-editing a volume of feminist contextual essays on medieval and renaissance writings.  Her Selected Canterbury Tales: A New Verse Translation, was published by W.W. Norton in Spring 2011 and will be featured in the inaugural series of five translations of major world texts to be published in Spring 2020 as the launch of the new Norton Library Series. She is currently at work on a translation of Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde and is nearing completion of an historical novel on the medieval English mystics, Julian of Norwich and Margery Kempe. 

The winner of the Prize Teaching Fellowship at Yale and the Brownell Prize for Distinguished Teaching at Trinity, Sheila believes that the richest and most challenging teaching in her field engages students fully in the complexities and difficulties of the text, at the same time that it cultivates in them ways of asking hard questions of the works they examine.  She is convinced that she can convince anyone that s/he can read Chaucer in Middle English and have fun doing it.

Sheila was associate dean of the faculty with primary responsibilities for the curriculum from September 2009-June 2013. Currently, she is co-coordinator of the Humanities Gateway Program. 

Sheila's new area of programming, teaching, and research involves prison studies. She is co-founder and now director of the Trinity Prison Seminar Series, which, since 2012, has offered credit-bearing college-level courses at the York Correctional Institution, the only women's prison in Connecticut, as well as the Free to Succeed Program that offers mentoring to citizens in re-entry as they seek to complete their college education after prison. In addition, Sheila now offers a Community Learning Initiative course, English 209, Prison Literature in her home department.