Date: March 16, 2006
Dr. Fish, author of more than a dozen books and hundreds of articles on law as well as literature, is currently the Davidson-Kahn Distinguished University Professor of Humanities and Law at the Florida International University College of Law. From 1999 to 2004, he served as the dean of the University of Illinois -- Chicago College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
Dr. Fish is best known for his work on interpretive communities, which examines how the interpretation of a text by a reader depends on the reader's acceptance of a common set of foundational assumptions.
Dr. Fish has also written extensively on the politics of the university, commented on campus speech codes, and criticized political statements by university or faculty bodies on matters outside their professional areas of expertise. He has challenged traditional ideological constructs in books such as There's No Such Thing as Free Speech, and It's a Good Thing, Too (1994) and The Trouble with Principle (1999)
Considered a leading scholar on English poet John Milton, Dr. Fish's reputation was cemented by his book, How Milton Works (2001). He is a regular contributor to publications such as The Chronicle of Higher Education and The New York Times and has been the subject of four books and some 200 articles, including profiles in The New Yorker, The New York Times , Chicago Tribune and The Chronicle of Higher Education.
Dr. Fish earned his Ph.D. in English literature from Yale University in 1962. He served as executive director of Duke University Press from 1993 to 1998.
He was born in Providence, Rhode Island.