06 Sheila McAvey 120 x 180Marion Sheila McAvey, M.A., Ph.D.

Chair, Department of Humanities and Languages; Professor of English
Division: General Education
Office Location: 36 Roxbury Street
Phone: 508.373.9745
Email: sheila.mcavey@becker.edu

Dr. Marion Sheila McAvey takes keen delight in reading and teaching literature. Since earning a Ph.D. in English literature from the University of Massachusetts, her research has centered on Anglo-Irish novels and culture, British and American short fiction, obsession and violence in Shakespearean and Jacobean drama, and literature by women.

A member of the Becker College faculty since 1993, Dr. McAvey has taught a range of courses: Introduction to Literature, Contemporary American Drama, Women’s Literature, and Irish Literature. She has also developed online courses for composition, writing about literature, the short story, and drama, and works as an advisor to freshmen and to students majoring in liberal arts. Dr. McAvey is a member of the College’s Curriculum Committee, First-Year Advisors Group, and the Joint Faculty-Trustees Committee. She is also on the Faculty Development Committee of the Colleges of Worcester Consortium.

Prior to joining the Becker College community, Dr. McAvey was an instructor of English at Framingham State College and an editor at the American Antiquarian Society in Worcester. As a freelance editor, she has worked on grant proposals, journal articles on engineering, dissertations, and books, including From Protest to Politics: The New Black Voters in American Elections, by Katherine Tate, and Assumption College: A Centennial History, 1904 – 2004, by Kenneth J. Moynihan. Dr. McAvey also holds a master’s degree in English Renaissance literature from Syracuse University and a bachelor’s degree in English/American literature.

Professional memberships

American Conference on Irish Studies, 2006 to present
Irish-American Cultural Institute, 2006 to present
Massachusetts Cultural Council, Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, 2001- 2008
MLA, 1983 to present
Who’s Who in America, 2009
New England Popular Culture Association, 2003 to present


“Brenda Starr” and “Mother Frances Xavier Cabrini,” The Forties in America, Salem Press, 2011.

“Femme Sole,” “Irish Women Immigrants,” and “Sob Sisters,” American Women’s History: An Encyclopedia, Fact on File, 2009.

“Abby Sage Richardson,” Great Lives from History: The Nineteenth Century, Salem Press, 2009.

“Thomas Middleton,” Great Lives from History: The Seventeenth Century, Salem Press, 2008.

“ ‘The Smallest Woman in the World,’ ” in “In Worcester, Massachusetts”: Essays on Elizabeth Bishop from the 1997 Elizabeth Bishop Conference at WPI (Laura Jehn Menides and Angela Dorenkamp eds.), New York: Peter Lang, 1997.

“Research and Publications,” in Collections and Programs of the American Antiquarian Society, Lunenburg, Vermont: Meriden-Stinehour Press, 1991.


“Sensational Behavior: Masculinity and Female Desire in Charles’ Lever’s Sir Brooke Fossbrooke,” American Conference on Irish Studies National Convention, May 8, 2010

“Female Desire in the Anglo-Irish Novel,” The Irish Studies Colloquium, Boston College, April 18, 2009

“Secrets of the Big House: Misogyny as Narrative Strategy in The Real Charlotte,” Paper, Mid-Atlantic ACIS, October 26, 2007

“Research in Women in Somerville and Ross,” The Irish Colloquium at BC: A Forum for the Exchange of Ideas, April 7, 2007

“Longing and Female Desire in An Irish Cousin,” Paper, PCA/ACA National Conference, Boston, Massachusetts, April 7, 2007

“Gender and Existentialism in Elizabeth Bishop’s Translation of Clarice Lispector,” Paper, at New England Popular Culture Association Annual Conference, November 1, 2003