UW News

May 10, 2007

Memorial planned for David Fowler June 1

A public memorial gathering honoring David C. Fowler, a professor emeritus of English who died on April 30, will be held at noon on Friday, June 1, in the Walker Ames Room, Kane.

Fowler joined the UW in 1952, after earning a doctorate in English from the University of Chicago. His specialty was the works of the Middle Ages, and in his dissertation he completed the first critical edition of the earliest version of the Middle English alliterative poem Piers Plowman. He went on to a distinguished career as a scholar, with books on: Piers Plowman (1952, 1961, 1992); the Perceval of Chrétien de Troyes (1959); the literary history of the English ballad (1968); the Bible in medieval English literature (1976, 1984); and John Trevisa (1993, 1995, 1997, and forthcoming) as well as more than 250 articles and reviews.

Fowler continued as an active researcher after his retirement from teaching in 1986. At the time of his death, he was engaged in tying up the last loose ends for the second volume of his edition of John Trevisa’s monumental The Governance of Kings and Princes, on which he was collaborating with his UW English Department colleague Paul G. Remley and with Charles F. Briggs (Department of History, Georgia Southern University).

In addition to his faculty role, Fowler served in a variety of leadership positions — as chair of the Faculty Senate, associate dean of the Graduate School, and director of graduate studies in English. He was a central figure in defending the UW’s right to offer a course on the Bible as literature, which was challenged in court by two ministers, and which was decided (in the University’s favor) by the State Supreme Court in the mid-sixties.

For more information on the memorial, contact Miceal Vaughan, miceal@u.washington.edu.