Fisher, Matthew

Associate Professor

Kaplan 196
Tel: 310.825.4173 / Fax: 310.267.4339 / E-mail


BA, English, University of California, Berkeley
M.Phil and D.Phil, English Language and Literature, University of Oxford

Research Interests

Matthew Fisher is Associate Professor in the Department of English at UCLA, where he teaches courses on medieval literature and book history.

He is currently at work on a book about the Cotton Library fire. The book traces the long history of medieval manuscripts in England from the Dissolution of the Monasteries to the founding of the British Museum.

His first book, Scribal Authorship and the Writing of History in Medieval England (2012), reconceptualizes medieval writing and the work of medieval scribes. Using evidence from history writing in later medieval England, the book rejects the axiomatic division between scribe and author. Exploring the peculiarities of authority and intertextuality unique to medieval historiography, Scribal Authorship exposes the rich ambiguities of what it means for medieval scribes to “write” books, thus framing the composition, transmission, and reception – indeed, the authorship – of some medieval texts as scribal phenomena.

He is the editor of the journal Viator.

Selected Publications

Richard Sotheworth, Chancery Clerks, and a Discourse of Books,” Studies in the Age of Chaucer 45  (2023).

“Salve, Viator!,” Viator 50 (2021).

“Vernacular Historiography,” in Medieval Historical Writing: Britain and Ireland, 500-1500, ed. E. Steiner, E. Tyler, and J. Jahner  (Cambridge University Press, 2019)

St. Albans and the Markyate Psalter: Seeing and Reading in Twelfth-Century England, ed. M. Fisher and K. Collins (Medieval Institute Publications, 2017).

“The Auchinleck Manuscript,” in the Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Medieval British Literature, ed. R. Rouse and S. Echard (Wiley-Blackwell, 2017).

“Encountering the Dartmouth Brut in the Midst of History,” in Digital Philology: A Journal of Medieval Cultures 3:2 (2014), 323-330.

“The Archive,” in Medievalism: Key Critical Terms, ed. E. Emery and R. Utz (Woodbridge: Boydell and Brewer, 2014), 11-18.

“When Variants Aren’t: Authors as Scribes in Some English Manuscripts,” in Probable Truth: Editing Medieval Texts from Britain in the Twenty-first Century, ed. A. Hudson and V. Gillespie (Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols, 2013).

“Dismembered Borders and Treasonous Bodies in Anglo-Norman Historiography,” in Commemorating Violence: The Writing of History in the Francophone Middle Ages, ed. Z. Stahuljak and N. Guynn (Woodbridge: Boydell and Brewer, 2013), 83-97.

“Authority, Interoperability, and Digital Medieval Scholarship,” Literature Compass 9:12 (December 2012), 955-964.

“Genealogy Rewritten: Inheriting the Legendary in Insular Historiography,” in Broken Lines, ed. R. Radulescu and E.D. Kennedy (Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols, 2009), 123-141.

Interest Areas
• Visual Culture / Media Studies / Digital Humanities
• Medieval Studies