Colleen Donnelly

Two shelties

Mailing Address:
Department of English
Campus Box 175 
P.O. Box 173364
Denver, CO 80217-3364

Physical Location:
1015 Ninth Street Park, Office 203
Denver, CO 80217

Online by Appointment

About Dr. Colleen Donnelly:

I have taught for the English Department for over 20 years in the areas of medieval literature, modernism, critical theory and medical humanities. I am particularly interested in the lives of women in medieval and early Western cultures. Beyond medieval literature, my favorite writers to teach are modernists such as Faulkner and Joyce, and I also teach speculative fiction. In my research, I am currently returning to my previous training and interests in medicine and biology, and I am doing research and teaching in mental disorders and disabilities.



2016   The Marys of Medieval Drama: The Middle English Digby and N-Town in Translation. (Leiden: Sidestone), 200 pages.

1994   Linguistics for Writers. (Albany: SUNY Press), 278 pages. Two printings.


2021 “Claiming Chaos Narrative, Emerging from Silence,” Disability and Society,   DOI: 10.1080/09687599.2021.1983420.

“Culture Frames the Experience and Responses to Psychotic Delusions.” Hektoen International: A Journal of Medical Humanities

2020  "COVID-19 Challenges to OCD and ED Recovery." PsychCentral,

2020  “Homeschooling the Village.”  PsychCentral, online. . Also in Mines and Associates Tips for Wellbeing.

2020  “Amorphous Pain.”  Society for the Advancement of Psychotherapy.

2020  “A Singular Choice: Considerations in using they in referring to  LGBTQ+ individuals.” Language 34-38.

2019  “Language Matters: You are not an Illness.”  PsychCentral, online.

2017  “Apocrypha Literature, the Characterization of Satan, and the Descensus ad Inferos Tradition in England in the Middle Ages.”  Religion and Theology 24(3-4), 321-349.

2017  “Actively Engaging Students in Medieval Literature and Medieval Culture.” CEA Forum 46(1):29-41.

2017 “Singing and Survival: Empowering the Female Voice in Harriet Prescott  Spofford’s “Circumstance.”  CEA Critic 79(2):167–176. 

2017 "Public Attitudes Toward Disclosure of Mental Health Conditions.”  Social Work in Mental Health 15(5), 588-599 and online. 

2016 “Witches and Dwarves: Disability, Deformity, and Re-visioning Negative Archetypes in Wicked, Maleficent, and Game of Thrones.” Disabilities Studies Quarterly 36(4), 9000+ words, online.        

2015 “Oliver Sacks and Seeing Beyond Synecdoche.” Hektoen International: A Journal of Medical Humanities, Fall, 1200 words, online.

2014 “The Medieval Fate of Apocrypha Stories of First Century Women—The Marys.” The International Journal of Philosophy and Theology 2(3):1–22.

2011 “Teaching Religion: Disrupting Students’ Notions of Authoritative Texts and Placing Religion into an Interdisciplinary Context.”  Arts and Humanities in Higher Education 10:269–277.

2007 “Feudal Values, Vassalage, and Fealty in The Lord of the Rings.”  Mythlore  25:17–27.

2005 “Menopausal Life as Imitation of Art: Margery Kempe and Lack of Sorority.”  Women’s Writing 12:419–432.

2003 “Blame, Silence, and Power: Perceiving Women in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.” Mediaevalia et Humanistica 24:279–298.

2003 "The Nonhomogeneous I: Desire, Pleasure and Fragmentation" in Barthes' A Lover's Discourse Sage Masters of Modern Social Thought: Roland Barthes, (Sage: London).

1997 "Aristocratic Veneer and the Substance of Verbal Bonds in The Weddynge of Sir Gawen and Dame Ragnell and Gamelyn," Studies in Philology 94:321-343.

1995 “Withoute Wordes: A Medieval Lady Dreams in The Assembly of Ladies," Journal of the Rocky Mountain Medieval and Renaissance Society 16:35-55.

1991 "Compelled to Believe in Absalom, Absalom." Style 25:104-122.

1991 "Silence and Shame: How Women’s Speech Contributes to Generic Conventionality and Generic Complexity in The Canterbury Tales," Language and Style, 24:433-443.

Areas of Expertise: medieval literature and women's lives, James Joyce, William Faulkner, modernism, critical theory, disability studies, health humanities, speculative fiction

Courses Taught:

  • ENGL 3001, Critical Writing
  • ENGL 3300 Dystopic Science Fiction
  • ENGL 4/5000, James Joyce
  • ENGL 4/5000, Margaret Atwood
  • ENGL 4/5235, Faulkner
  • ENGL 4/5500, Medieval Lit
  • ENGL 4/5510, Whores and Saints: Medieval Women
  • ENGL 4/5600, Modernism
  • ENGL 4/5730 and 4/5731, Chaucer
  • ENGL 4/5770  Mental Differences and Disabilities
  • ENGL 4/5770 Illness and Disability Narratives