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Tufts University
Department of English
6 The Green
Room 209, East Hall
Medford, MA 02155

Office: 617.627.2455
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John M. Fyler
Professor, Department Chair


Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, 1972
M.A., Berkeley, 1967
A.B., Dartmouth College, 1965


Born in Chicago. Taught at Tufts since 1971; at the Bread Loaf School of English (summer) since 1995; on-site director, Bread Loaf, Lincoln College, Oxford (2001-2, 2005-6, 2009-10). Fellowships: Chancellor's Traveling Fellowship in English (1969-70); National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipend (1973); American Council of Learned Societies (1975-76); John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation (1982-83); ACLS Travel Grant (1984); Tufts Summer Faculty Fellowship (1992); Camargo Foundation, Cassis, France (fall 2002); Clare Hall, University of Cambridge (winter 2003); Bogliasco Foundation Fellowship, Liguria Study Center, Bogliasco, Italy (September-October 2008); Andrew M. Mellon Fellowship, Huntington Library, San Marino, CA (Spring 2009).

Research Interests

  • Chaucer
  • Medieval literature (including Dante and the Roman de la Rose)
  • Latin classics and the classical tradition
  • Biblical commentary
  • Gender issues in medieval literature

I am completing two books: a collection of essays on Troilus and Criseyde, and a second book on medieval ideas about language, supplementing Language and the Declining World (2007).

Courses Taught

  • English 101 Old English
  • English 105 Middle English Literature
  • English 107 Chaucer
  • English 108 Virgil and Dante
  • English 109 Ovid and the Ovidian Tradition
  • English 191, 291 Seminars in various topics (e.g., Virgil and Ovid; Troilus and Criseyde; The Canterbury Tales; Spenser; Romance)

Publication Highlights


  • Language and the Declining World in Chaucer, Dante, and Jean de Meun. Cambridge Studies in Medieval Literature 63, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007.
  • Chaucer and Ovid (Yale University Press, 1979). Chapter One rpt. in Ovid: The Classical Heritage, ed. William S. Anderson (1995).
  • Editor, The House of Fame, for The Riverside Chaucer, 3rd ed., ed. Larry Benson (Houghton Mifflin, 1987).

Selected Articles

  • "The Fabrications of Pandarus," Modern Language Quarterly 41 (1980), 115-30.
  • "Auctoritee and Allusion in Troilus and Criseyde," Res Publica Litterarum 7 (1984), 73-92.
  • "Love and Degree in the Franklin's Tale," Chaucer Review 21 (1987), 321-37.
  • "Love and the Declining World: Ovid, Genesis, and Chaucer," Mediaevalia 13 (1987), 295-307.
  • "Domesticating the Exotic in the Squire's Tale," ELH 55 (1988), 1-26. Rpt. in Chaucer's Cultural Geography, ed. Kathryn Lynch (Routledge & Garland, 2002).
  • "St. Augustine, Genesis, and the Origin of Language," in Saint Augustine and His Influence in the Middle Ages, ed. Edward B. King and Jacqueline T. Schaefer (1988).
  • "Man, Men, and Women in Chaucer's Poetry," in The Olde Daunce: Love, Friendship, Sex, & Marriage in the Medieval World, ed. Robert R. Edwards and Stephen Spector (1992).
  • "Chaucerian Romance and the World Beyond Europe," in Literary Aspects of Courtly Culture, ed. Donald Maddox and Sara Sturm-Maddox (1994).
  • "Froissart and Chaucer," in Froissart Across the Genres, ed. Donald Maddox and Sara Sturm-Maddox (1998).
  • "Pagan Survivals," in A Companion to Chaucer, ed. Peter Brown (Blackwell, 2000).