Elizabeth Schirmer

Image of Elizabeth-Schirmer.jpg

Biographical Statement: 

Liz Schirmer teaches and writes about Middle English poetry, gender theory, and border pedagogies, late-medieval and 21st c. Her current book project, Chaucerian Borderlands, explores the embodiment of teachers in, and of, late-medieval English poetry. She teaches a wide range of courses in medieval studies, early English poetry, queer theory, and medieval rhetoric. Dr. Schirmer has served as Head of the English Department since 2017, after serving many years as the undergraduate major advisor.


  • PhD in English, University of California, Berkeley, 2001
  • A.B. in English and French Literatures, Stanford University, 1993

Research Interests:

  • Late medieval English poetry
  • Lollardy and vernacular religious culture
  • Gender/queer/trans* theories
  • Border pedagogies, late-medieval and 21st c.

Courses Taught:

  • ENGL 271: Survey of British Literature I (Beowulf through the 18th c.)
  • HON 239: Medieval Understandings
  • ENGL 4/505: Chaucer
  • ENGL 525, WS 550: Medieval Women Reading the Bible
  • ENGL 4/522, WS 4/550: Dying for Love: Sex and the Spirit of Early English Poetry
  • ENGL 4/517: Queer Theory
  • ENGL 4/593: Middle English Textual Cultures
  • ENGL 5/690: Medieval Rhetoric
Selected Publications:
  • “Borderlands Chaucer”, New Chaucer Society: Pedagogy and Profession 2.2, forthcoming Spring 2022.
  • Schirmer, Elizabeth and Avilah Getzler, “The Word Project: Teaching Early British Literature Through Language Change.” Pedagogy 20.2 (2020), 349-74
  • Raschko, Mary and Elizabeth Schirmer, Introduction and eds., Forms of Faith: Lollardy and Late Medieval Textual Culture (essay cluster). Yearbook of Langland Studies 31 (2017), 121-130
  • “Form and Sign in the Margins: Annotating Oon of Foure.” Yearbook of Langland Studies 31 (2017),193-229.
  • “Conversational Lollardy: Key-Object Annotation in MS Bodley 978.” Manuscript Studies 2.2 (Fall 2017), 328-368.
  • “Representing Reading in Dives and Pauper.” Devotional Literature and Practice in Medieval England: Readers, Reading, and Reception. Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols, 2017. pp. 87-115.
  • “Canon Wars and Outlier Manuscripts: Gospel Harmony in the Lollard Controversy.” Huntington Library Quarterly. 73 (2010). pp. 1-36.
  • “William Thorpe’s Narrative Theology”. Studies in the Age of Chaucer. 31 (2009). pp. 267-99.
  • “‘Trewe Men’: Pastoral Masculinity in Lollard Polemic.” In Masculinities and Femininities, ed. Fred Kiefer (Brepols, 2009). pp. 117-30.
  • “Reading Lessons at Syon Abbey: The Myroure of Oure Ladye and the Mandates of Vernacular Theology.” In Voices in Dialogue: Reading Women in the Middle Ages, ed. Linda Olson and Kathryn Kerby-Fulton (U of Notre Dame P, 2005). pp. 345-76.
  • “Orthodoxy, Textuality, and the ‘Tretys’ of Margery Kempe.” Journal x. 1.1 (1996). pp. 31.56.


Contact: eschirme@nmsu.edu or 575-646-1733