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 13 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 A&E, the History Channel and the British Broadcasting Corp., 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 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.

In 2018 Dr. Wheeler won the Robert L Kindrick-CARA Award for Outstanding Service to Medieval Studies. As the award citation notes, “Professor Wheeler has been a powerful shaping force in our discipline for the past thirty years. Inspiring and cultivating young scholars, fostering their intellectual growth and mentoring their professional possibilities, she is an award-winning teacher and a galvanizing mentor.”

What Colleagues and Students Have Said About Bonnie Wheeler

Her Contribution

Bonnie Wheeler continues to make a signal contribution to Medieval Studies, both through her own scholarly publications and by her other publishing activities. Sparked by her energy and initiative, the study of medieval literature and history in this country has gained depth and variety.

†Giles Constable, PhD, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, New Jersey


My gratitude for having Bonnie in my life is boundless. She has been my teacher and she has become my friend. Her inspiration led me to a new vocation and a new life of fulfillment and happiness; her belief in me has gotten me through moments when my own confidence flagged.I always knew with certainty that if she said something was possible, it was. She always challenged me to fulfill my potential. From Bonnie I learned to be a strong woman, to embrace my intellect and never to hide it, to be confident in my abilities, and to always use a finger bowl after eating asparagus. What more can a woman need?

--Stephanie Hayes-Healy, PhD, Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies, Toronto, Canada


I heard of Bonnie Wheeler long before I met her or, rather, was swept up by her presence one year at the Medieval Congress at Kalamazoo. Her generosity, humor, drive, and commitment—not just to academic life but to life in general—were and are irresistible. Renowned for her largeness of mind, she has always been a tremendous example to the rest of us on how to take our subjects forward and how to take people forward, too.

Extracting the Very Best from Students

Bonnie has been my mentor and friend through 24 years of life experience, from the angst of freshman writing assignments to my first trip abroad without my parents, from my graduate school oral exams to completion of a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. She has a way of looking into the hearts and minds of students and extracting the very best they have to offer—sometimes despite their best efforts to the contrary. Bonnie demands excellence from everyone and is as challenging a teacher in every way as I have ever had the privilege to know. She genuinely loves her students, and we adore her in return. With Bonnie, teaching in the classroom is only the beginning.

Inspiring her Friends and Students

Bonnie Wheeler is a model of scholarly generosity. She has the most generous imagination of any scholar I know—always open, curious and excited about new ideas. This in itself is an inspiration. But even more remarkable is her unfailing generosity toward fellow scholars, especially younger ones.

Why Bonnie Wheeler is my Hero

I don't know if it's possible to ever express my gratitude for the gift of Bonnie Wheeler to our profession with words that would be adequate to how much she has blessed my and others' careers. What I can say is that, for those of us situated in university careers where we are often made to feel as if we must swim or sink on our own, and where a terrible level of anxiety and fear and self-loathing is the result of that professional zeitgeist, Bonnie Wheeler has inspired and orchestrated endless spontaneous acts of the fostering of individual [hopes and] careers, but more importantly, of a collective good will that has been infectious and spread to many dark corners.


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.

Courses Taught

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