Therese Novotny, Carroll University

Dr. Therese Novotny

Lecturer of English and Writing 262.524.7256 MacAllister Hall 302


English and Writing


Dr. Novotny’s educational, business and personal experiences have given her the opportunity to write and conduct research in academic and non-academic sectors. In addition to her early work writing materials for clients in the healthcare, energy, and manufacturing industries, she has spent more than twenty academic years teaching literature and writing courses at Marquette University, where she completed her doctoral studies in medieval English literature. Dr. Novotny continues to write, research, and travel, while analyzing the changing roles of women and religion from medieval periods through the twenty-first century. She has presented at national and international conferences, and her articles are featured in Canadian (2016), Italian (2019), and British (2019) publications. Her personal travels and interests include Native American historic sites linked to the spirituality of indigenous people.


  • Marquette University, Ph.D. in Medieval Literature; minor concentration: Rhetoric, 2015
  • Marquette University, M.A. in English and American Literature, 1984 
  • Marquette University, B.A. English/Education; Certification Secondary Ed.,1982 
  • Marquette University’s Study Abroad program in Limoges, France, 1982

Areas of Specialization

Medieval English literature, medieval art, rhetoric, contemporary intersections of feminism and spirituality 

Scholarly and Professional Achievements

Research Publications

Edited Collections

“Mothers of Spiritual Change: Julian of Norwich, Mary Magdalen, and Mother Teresa.” Angels
on Earth. Ed. Vanessa Reimer. Bradford, ON: Demeter Press, 2016. 

“Speaking for Themselves: Women and the Virgin in Fourteenth Century East Anglia” 
Motherhood and Monotheisms. Ed. Giulia Pedrucci., Italy: Quasar. Forthcoming in 2019.


“A Queen’s Two Bodies: ‘Pressed Grass’ and Deferred Physicality in Spenser’s Faerie Queene.”  Proceedings 24 Nov. 2015. Web. 5 Oct. 2012. 

“Julian of Norwich: How Did She Know What She Knew?” In editorial stages at History of 

Conference Presentations

International Conference Presentations

“(Re)Imagining Motherhood and Spiritual Health: The Medieval N-Town Play.” Motherhood 
Initiative for Research and Community Involvement (MIRCI), York University, Toronto, 
CA., Apr. 2019 

“The Visitation: Visual and Oral Representations in 14thCentury English Parish Churches.” 
International Medieval Conference, Kalamazoo, MI. May 2019

 “How Shall This Be? The Annunciation in Medieval English Wall Painting.” International 
Medieval Conference, Kalamazoo, MI. 2018.

“Politics and the Cathedral: Remembering and Forgetting Narratives of Secular and Ecclesiastic Tensions in Norwich.” International Medieval Conference, Kalamazoo, MI. 2016.

“Who’s Talking Now? Dialogues in the Works of Julian of Norwich and Margery Kempe.” International Medieval Conference, Kalamazoo, MI. 2014.

“A Queen’s Two Bodies: ‘Pressed Grass’ and Deferred Physicality in Spenser’s Faerie Queene.”European Studies Conference, Omaha, Neb. 2011.
National Conferences

“Redefining Augustine to Cross the Border: Julian of Norwich and Margery Kempe Negotiate the Barriers in the Rhetorical Tradition.” Rhetoric Society of America (RSA) Conference, San Antonio, TX. 2014.
Regional Conferences

“Reframing the Female Body: The N-Town Play as Script for Medieval Women.” Illinois 
Medieval Association Meeting, Chicago, IL. 2018.

“The N-Town Crucifixion: Marginalized Voices Performing in East Anglia.” Sewanee Medieval Colloquium, University of the South, Sewanee, TN., 2017.

“Unnatural Motherhood: Julian of Norwich and the Feminine Jesus.” Sewanee Medieval Colloquium, University of the South, Sewanee, TN., 2016.

“The City of Norwich: Julian’s Non-Textual Influences.” Midwest Modern Language Association (MMLA) Conference, Detroit, MI. 2014.

“Julian of Norwich, Orality and Medieval Literacy Practices.” Multidisciplinary Graduate Student Conference at Newberry Library, Chicago, IL. 2013.

“Negotiating the Feminine in the Medieval and Modern Church: Julian of Norwich’s Lessons of Performative Dialogue.” MMLA Conference, Milwaukee, WI. 2013.

“Julian of Norwich: The Intersection of Voice and Space in The Revelations of Love.” Medieval     Society of America Conference (MAM) Conference, Terra Haute, IN. 2013.

“A Queen’s Two Bodies: ‘Pressed Grass’ and Deferred Physicality in Spenser’s Faerie Queene 
As a Debt to the Past.” MMLA Conference, Cincinnati, OH. 2011.

“The Good Name and Credit of Mercie Locke: Reputation and Economic Stability.” Multidisciplinary Graduate Student Conference at the Newberry Library, Chicago, IL. 2011.

Professional Service


Mentorship Program, Marquette University, 2017-2018   
Rhetoric & Composition 2 Pilot Course and Curriculum Participant, 2016-2017   
Graduate Student Writing Center Working Group Member, Marquette English Dept., 2014-2015   
Writing Center Publicity Committee, 2014-2015   
Writing Center Retreat Participant, 2014-2015   
Writing Center Research Collaborator, Video Sessions, 2014-2015  
Graduate Student Mentor for First Year Students, 2011-2013   
Publicity, FAME (Friends and Alums of Marquette English), 2010-2011   

University Academic Senate Rep., Part-Time Faculty Rep, Marquette University, 2016-2017    
Core Curriculum Revision Committee, S 2016                                                           
Professional Associations

Motherhood Initiative for Research and Community Involvement (MIRCI), 2018-2019
Modern Language Association (MLA), 2017-2018
Association of Writers and Writing Programs, 2016-2019
International Dyslexia Association (IDA), 2016-2017
Rhetoric Society of America (RSA), 2014-2016
Association of English Graduate Students (AEGS), 2011-1015
Midwestern Modern Language Association (MMLA), 2012-2014   

Community Outreach

Co-Director, Prison Ministry Program, Vel Phillips Milwaukee County Juvenile Detention Center, 2009-2017
Retreat Co-Director, Jesuit Retreat House, Oshkosh, WI, Feb. 2013
St. Mary’s Visitation Parish Council Officer, 2000-2010 

What is your teaching style?

In the classroom, I nurture a community of learners whose curiosity is actively rewarded. I build trust at the beginning of the semester by doing introductory activities, collaborative writing projects and small group work. These classroom practices facilitate learning through active listening and fun discussions. Above all, I allow students to learn at their own pace, to pursue their own interests, but still provide a challenging environment where questions of all kinds are valued.  

Why do you do what you do?

My interest in writing and in English literature began from my early years in high school and continued through college and in graduate school. Even when I worked in public relations, I wanted to write because I learned about new industries and the employees who wanted their stories told. The time that I have spent researching, in and beyond academic settings, has cultivated my passion for learning and writing. I want to continue sharing my love of ongoing learning with my students.

How do you make learning engaging?

I employ a range of activities to support diverse viewpoints and learning styles for writers and readers at all levels. I share my own experiences with writing and researching, and I encourage students to understand and articulate their own processes as they explore new modes of communication. Group activities and shared writing, along with an open discussion of the “peaks and valleys” of the learning process help students emerge with improved self-confidence and greater communication skills.  I also include multi- media materials and encourage students to produce their own digital presentations that can be shared on websites, social media, and online platforms.

What should students know about you?

I love to learn about language, writing, and literature in cultures, both old and new. I especially enjoy finding connections between ancient stories and twenty-first century events. 

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