DELANY, Sheila

Author Tags: Fiction, Literary Criticism, Women

Medievalist and political activist Sheila Delany's 1991 collection of fiction and non-fiction, Telling Hours: Journal Stories, followed and preceded various academic works of feminist criticism.

Professor emerita Dr. Sheila Delany retired from SFU as an English department instructor in September, 2006. Two medieval journals, an American and a Canadian, marked the occasion with special issues honoring her career: "Exemplaria" 19 (2007), ed. Lynn Arner, and "Florilegium" 23 (2008 for 2006), ed. Christa Canitz.

She spends as much time as possible in the East Bay (Berkeley-Oakland) where her son and grandson live. In autumn of 2009 she travelled to Cassis (Provence) to complete a project under the auspices of the Camargo Foundation.

In the early days of the French Revolution, poet and journalist Sylvain Maréchal wrote satirical, skeptical studies of the lives of female saints to discourage religion. Sheila Delany has retrieved his audacious work from obscurity for Anti-Saints: The New Golden Legend of Sylvain Maréchal (U. of Alberta $34.95). Delany previously rescued another author from obscurity when she translated a late Middle English text by Osbern Bokenham. She later continued with a translation of Sylvain Maréchal's novella La femme abbé, The Woman Priest.


Counter-Tradition. The Literature of Dissent and Alternatives. Basic Books, 1970. Edited with Introduction and notes by S. D.

Chaucer's House of Fame. The Poetics of Skeptical Fideism. University of Chicago Press, 1972; reprinted University Press of Florida, 1994.

Writing Woman. Women Writers and Women in Literature, Medieval to Modern. Schocken, 1983. Collection of essays by S. D.

Medieval Literary Politics. Shapes of Ideology. Manchester University Press and St. Martin's Press, 1990. Collection of essays by S. D.

Telling Hours and other journal stories. Vancouver: New Star, 1991.

A Legend of Holy Women. University of Notre Dame Press, 1992. Translation of a late Middle English text by Osbern Bokenham, with Introduction and notes by S. D.

The Naked Text. Chaucer's Legend of Good Women. University of California Press, 1994.

Impolitic Bodies. Poetry, Saints and Society in Fifteenth Century England. The Work of Osbern Bokenham. Oxford University Press, 1998. (This book won the first Labarge prize for best book in medieval studies, awarded by the Canadian Society of Medievalists in 1999.)

'Turn it and turn it again': Medieval Jewish studies and literary theory. Special issue of Exemplaria 12 (Spring, 2000), ed./intro. S.D.

Chaucer and the Jews: Sources, contexts, meanings, ed. S.D. Routledge (2002). This is an edited collection. I have written the introduction and contributed an essay.

"The Jewish Connection: Chaucer and the Paris Jews, 1394”. In Locating the Past/Discovering the Present. Perspectives on Religion, Culture, and Marginality (University of Alberta Press 2010).

Anti-Saints: The New Golden Legend of Sylvain Maréchal (U. of Alberta 2012)

The Woman Priest (U. of Alberta 2016) Translated and introduced by Sheila Delany $19.95 978-1-77212-123-0

[BCBW 2016] "Women" "Fiction"


from Sheila Delany
Curriculum vitae and publications as of July 2002


PLACE OF BIRTH: New Haven, Connecticut
RANK: Full Professor



B.A. Wellesley College, Wellesley, Massachusetts, 1961.
M.A. University of California at Berkeley, 1963.
Ph.D. English and Comparative Literature, Columbia University, New York City, 1967.


Woodrow Wilson Fellow, 1961-62.
Fiction Award, Berkeley, 1963.
Teaching Assistant, Berkeley, 1964.
New York State Regents Fellow, 1965-66 and 1966-67.
Invited participant in ACLS international conference on science, humanities and technology, Dromoland, Ireland, 1972.
Canada Council Leave Fellowship, 1975-76.
SSHRCC (Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada) release time stipend, 1987-88.
President's Research Grant (SFU), 1988.
SSHRCC release time renewal, 1989-90.
SFU Publications Grants, 1990, 1992.
Creative non-fiction prize from Event 1993, for "Alibis."
Killam Senior Research Fellowship, 1993-95.
SSHRCC grant for travel, etc., 1993-6.
Faculty Member, Green College, UBC, 1996-7.
SFU travel grant, 1996.
SFU/SSHRCC research grant, 1996-7
SFU/SSHRCC research grant, 1997-8
SSHRCC research grant, 1998-2001
SFU travel grant, 1999.
Society of Canadian Medievalists, first Labarge Prize for best book in medieval studies, 1999, for Impolitic Bodies: Poetry, saints and society in
fifteenth-century England.


Queens College, CUNY, 1967-69. Courses taught include freshman and advanced composition, poetry survey, novel survey, Middle English survey.

Columbia University Summer School, 1970: Evolution of the Hero in Medieval Literature.

Simon Fraser University, 1970-present: undergraduate and graduate courses in poetry survey, novel survey, studies in the essay, Introduction to prose genres, Tudor studies, Chaucer, Middle English literature, Old Testament studies, Classical Literature in Translation, Versions of Utopia, Marxism and the Arts, Women in Medieval Literature, Medieval Women Writers, The Judaeo-Christian Tradition in Western Culture, The Big Renaissance Book (Rabelais, Sidney, Cervantes), Creative Writing (prose fiction), Literatures of Metamorphosis, Literatures of Sexual Politics, Medieval Marriage: Theory, Practise, Representation, Chaucerian Dreaming, Cultural Contact and Conflict in Early Western Literature, Medieval Jewish Literature, Medieval Lyric, Four Jewish Poets, Yiddish Literature in Translation, Prison Writing, and numerous uncredited directed reading courses in related areas.

University of British Columbia, 1987: comparative literature graduate course, "Women and Word in Medieval Society".



Current member: Medieval Association of the Pacific, New Chaucer Society, Modern Language Association, Hagiography Society, Christine de Pizan
Society, ACCUTE (Association of Canadian College and University Teachers of English), Society of Canadian Medievalists, Association for
Jewish Studies.
MLA Academic Freedom Committee (appointed), 1973-76.
MLA Special Interest Delegate (elected), 1974-77.
PAPC Chaucer session secretary (1985) and head (1986).
MAP Executive Committee, 1988-89; Program Committee for joint MAP/MAA conference in Vancouver, 1990.
Field Editor, The Chaucer Encyclopedia.
Founder (1988), organizer and member, Vancouver Medieval Symposium.
Organize and chair sessions for ACCUTE, 1974 (jointly with Historical Association); MLA 1975; MLA 1983;
New Chaucer Society 1984, 1986 (by invitation), 1990; ACCUTE, 1992.
Nominating Committee, Society of Canadian Medievalists.
Advisory reader for Chaucer Review, Signs, PMLA, Science & Society, Style, Mediaevalia, Feminist Studies, Assays, PLL,
Exemplaria, Studies in the Age of Chaucer, Cultural Anthropology, university presses including Oxford U.P., Cambridge U. P., University Press
of Florida, Stanford U.P., non-university presses. Consulting editor for Science & Society from 1982 and full ed. board member 1994-5 and when
resident in New York; advisory board member for ExemplariaL A Journal of Theory in Medieval and Renaissance Studies from 1988. Editorial
board of English Studies in Canada from 1994. Editorial board of The Chaucer Review from 1996. Advisory board of Disputatio.
Chair (by invitation) two sessions at Kalamazoo Medieval Congress, 1994.
Organize session on "The Politics of Hagiography" and present paper, MLA (San Diego), 1994.
Adjudicator, NEH (National Endowment for the Humanities), 1995.
Adjudicator, SSHRCC (Social Sciences for the Humanities Research Council of Canada), 1991 and 1992. SSHRCC local feedback group, 1995.
Evaluator for Dictionary of Old English project for SSHRCC, 1996, 1998.
Evaluator for Canadian Federation for the Humanities (Aid to Scholarly Publications Programme), 1996.
Faculty member, Green College, UBC, 1996-7.
Invited panelist at Chaucer forum, "Millenium Chaucer", MLA, Chicago, 1999.
Organize and chair session, "Representing Jews", for Exemplaria at Kalamazoo, 2000.
Adjudicator for Israel Science Foundation, 2001.
Member, Academic Committee at Green College, UBC, 2001-2.
External Ph. D. examiner or tenure referee: UBC, U. of Calgary, U. of Melbourne, Dartmouth College, U. of Colorado, (both Denver and Boulder), U. of
Massachusetts at Amherst, U. of Windsor, SUNY Binghamton, Lewis & Clark College, Louisiana State U., Dalhousie, U. of Alberta, Wilfrid Laurier.
General editor, Medieval Intersections series at Routledge, 2001-present.
Adjudicator for Canadian Asssociation of Graduate Studies Prize, 2002.



Miami University, Ohio, 1980; McMaster University Feminist Criticism Conference, 1983; University of Washington Medieval Seminar and Institute for Research on Women, 1984; Australia and New Zealand Association for Medieval and Renaissance Studies Conference in Melbourne, 1986; James Cook University of North Queensland, Australia, 1986; Stanford University, University of Notre Dame, University of California at Berkeley,Wellesley College, 1987-88; "Reconceiving Chaucer" conference, Rochester, 1988; Delaware Valley Medieval Association, Rutgers University, Columbia University, University of Southern California, UC San Diego, Claremont Graduate Center, 1989; University of London Old and Middle English Research Seminar, Cambridge University, 1989. Invited speaker and respondent at MLA, 1987 and 1989; "Women in the Middle Ages" conference, York University (England), 1990; "A Wyf Ther Was" international conference, Li觥 (Belgium), 1990. Universities of Amsterdam, Utrecht, Leiden and Nijmwegen, 1990. Humanities Institute Conference "New Studies in the Middle Ages", Claremont, California, 1991. Baruch College (CUNY), 1991. SCM inaugural conference, 1993 (Ottawa Learneds); Wellesley College, U. of Rochester faculty/grad symposium, 1995.
Keynote speaker at South African Society for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Pretoria, 1994, followed by guest lectures at Universities of
Witwatersrand, Durban, Durban-Westville, Pietermaritzburg, Cape Town and Stellenbosch.
Invited paper at ninth J. A. W. Bennett Memorial Symposium, Perugia, 1995; New York Medieval Club conference, 1995.
Plenary speaker at ACCUTE meeting (Learneds), Montr顬, 1995.
Plenary speaker at SCM (Learneds), Brock U., 1996.
Keynote speaker, Montana Medieval Round-up, Fall, 1996.
Two invited talks at Green College, UBC. Spring, 1997.
Rossell H. Robbins annual lecture at New York Medieval Club, Spring, 1998.
Lecture at Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Spring, 1998.
Invited paper at Leeds International Medieval Congress, 1998; and invited panelist at New Chaucer Society International
Congress, Paris, 1998.
Green College, UBC, October, 1998: "Dating the Prioress".
Panelist at MLA, Chicago, 1999: "Chaucer and the millennium".
Ben Gurion U. of the Negev, February 2000: "Chaucer and the Paris Jews, 1394"; "Jews in Medieval England".
Co-organizer and speaker at "Medieval language, literature and culture" conference commemorating Margaret Schlauch, at Adam Mickiewicz University,
Poznan, Poland, 2002. Followed by lectures at University of Warwaw, Jagiellonian University (Krakow) and Central European University (Budapest)
in May, 2002.
Keynote speaker at SASMARS (Pretoria, South Africa), 2002.



Writer and staff member, Grape/Western Voice (Vancouver political-cultural newspaper), 1972-73.
Speaker at UBC panel on "Literature and Social responsibility", Vancouver Public Library lecture series, "Art--For Whose
Sake?", seminar leader at SFU Counselling Service, "Toward a Radical Therapy," lecture for SFU Chaplaincy, all in
1972; lectures and forums at UC Berkeley, San Francisco State University, California State U at LA, sponsored by
International Spartacist Tendency, 1976.
SFU University Speakers Bureau: volunteer lectures on various topics for church groups, senior citizens' groups, etc.
Lecture to Canadian Authors Association, 1984; Kootenay School of Writing, 1985.
Author's readings at Octopus Books, Coburg Gallery, and Kootenay School of Writing, 1985; Co-op Radio, 1986 and other
occasions; R2B2 Books, 1987; SFU campus bookstore on various occasions, Harbour Centre, 1996; Participant in
group benefit readings at Western Front 1989, 1990.
Interviewed for CBC "Ideas" program on Trotsky , aired January 1981. Short story dramatized on CBC, October 1987. Interviewed on Vicky Gabereau
show, CBC, 1993 re: Legends of Holy Women.
Participant (lecturer) in SFU Headstart Program, July, 1993.
SFU mentoring program for faculty applicants to funding agencies.
Harlem Tutorial Program, International House, Manhattan, 1994-5.
Editorial collective and Book Review Editor, OUTLOOK: Canada's progressive Jewish magazine. 1997-99.
Peretz Centre for Secular Jewish Culture,: Program Committee Chair.
Initiator, Centre for Jewish cultural studies at SFU