Faculty Profiles

Sarah Noonan

Sarah Noonan

Associate Professor


PhD, Washington University in St. Louis

Areas of Expertise 

Sarah specializes in medieval English literature, manuscript studies, and the digital humanities. Her research and teaching display an on-going fascination with how reading early literature inspires us to reevaluate our present cultural moment with renewed vigor and from diverse perspectives. Sarah guides students in investigating how literary works, from the classical era through the early modern period, illustrate evolving social, philosophical, and religious structures of thought. Such study encourages students to grapple with the persistent questions that haunt these works, such as: what are the qualities of a good life?—how can we make sense of suffering, and how should we respond to joy?—and how should individual desires be balanced against the common good and/or social expectations?

Research Interests 

  • Book History
  • Manuscript Studies
  • Digital Humanities
  • 14th and 15th c. Devotional Literature
  • Medieval Reading Practices

Courses Recently Taught 

  • ENLT 109W: Imagining the End
  • ENWR 151W: Metamorphosis of the Self
  • ENLT 205: Contemporary Women Writers
  • ENLT 232: Arthurian Literature
  • ENLT 290: Digital Humanities Project Lab
  • ENLT 303: The History of the Book
  • ENLT 304: The History of the English Language
  • ENLT 312: Chaucer
  • ENLT 314: 16th/17th Century British Literature
  • ENLT 378: Medieval Literature
  • ENLT 495: Senior Seminar
  • ENLT 413: Shakespeare

Creative and Scholarly Work 

  • “Listening for the Scribe: Punctuation and the Voicing of Late Medieval Devotional Literature,” in Medieval Literary Voices: A Festschrift for David Lawton, eds. Sif Ríkharðsdóttir and Louise D’Arcens, Manchester University Press, 2022. 150-71.
  • With David Lawton, “Introduction: Manuscripts of Chaucer’s Works,” The Norton Chaucer: Complete Works, ed. David Lawton. New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 2019. 26-33.
  • “Encountering the History of the English Language through the History of the Book,” in Teaching the History of the English Language, Options for Teaching Series, eds. Collette Moore and Chris Palmer, The Modern Language Association of America, 2019. 170-77.  
  • “Yielding the Floor: Production, Craft, and Materiality in the College Classroom,” Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Teaching 25.2 (2018): 43-52. 
  • “‘Bycause the redyng shold not turne hem to enoye’: Reading, Selectivity, and Pietatis Affectum in Late Medieval England,” New Medieval Literatures 15 (2013, published 2015)
  • “A Translation of Body and Form: Setting the Short Charter of Christ to Music in BL Additional MS 5465,” Viator 45.2 (Summer 2014): 335-55
  • “Private Reading and the Rolls of the Symbols of the Passion,” Journal of the Early Book Society 15 (2012): 289-304