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Faculty Profiles

Susan Dunn Hensley

Susan Dunn-Hensley, Ph.D.

Visiting Assistant Professor of English


630.752.7102



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Dr. Dunn-Hensley’s interests include Late Medieval and Early Modern English literature, Renaissance Drama, Early Modern Queenship, Children’s and Adolescent Literature, Composition, Feminism, and Performance Theory.

University of Kansas
Ph.D.

University of Kansas
M.A., English

University of Central Arkansas
B.A., English

  • Performance Theory
  • Renaissance Drama
  • Late Medieval Literature
  • Early Modern English literature
  • Early Modern Queenship
  • Pilgrimage Studies

Return to the Sacred: The Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham and Contemporary Christianity
Sacred Journeys: Religious Tourism and Pilgrimage 4th Global Conference, Beijing, China, October 2017.

Wooed with the Sword: Violence and the Restoration of Patriarchy in Late Elizabethan Literature
Gloriana Conference, London, England, November 2016.

Sacred Spaces and Threatening Enclosures: Early Modern Queens and Diabolical Witches
South Central Renaissance Conference, Queen Elizabeth I Society, Raleigh, NC, March 2015.

From London to England's Nazareth: Memory of Pilgrimage and the Sacred Feminine in Elizabeth I's Progress Entertainments.
Midwest Modern Language Association, Detroit, November 2014.

Wielding Virginity: Representations of Sacred Virginity and Power in the Royal Entertainments of Elizabeth I, Anna of Denmark, and Henrietta Maria.
South Central Renaissance Conference, Queen Elizabeth I Society, Tucson, AZ, April 2014.

Elizabeth I and Female Sovereignty: Malory, Spenser, and Tolkien
South Central Renaissance Conference, Queen Elizabeth I Society, Omaha, March 2013.

Empowering Ophelia: Shakespeare’s Tragic Heroine in Young Adult Fiction
Midwest Modern Language Association, Milwaukee, November 2013.

Reigning in a New Generation: Elizabeth I in Adolescent Literature
South Central Renaissance Conference, Queen Elizabeth I Society, New Orleans, March 2012.

Real Presences: Protestantism, the Body, and the Virgin Queen
South Central Renaissance Conference, St. Louis, Missouri, March 2011.

Leaving London: Memory of Pilgrimage and the Sacred Feminine in Elizabeth I’s Progress Entertainments
South Central Renaissance Conference, Corpus Christi, Texas, April 2010.

Shakespeare’s Sacred Virgins: Shadows of Catholicism on the Early Modern Stage
South Central Renaissance Conference, San Antonio, TX, March 2007.

Reading Beneath the Praise: Lyly’s Endymion as Criticism of Elizabeth I
Queens and Power in Medieval and Early Modern England Conference, Lincoln, Nebraska, March 2006.

Sacred Spaces and Threatening Enclosures: Healing Virgins and Contaminating Whores on the Jacobean Stage
British Seminar, University of Kansas, March 2004.

Addressing the Performance Text: Teaching Drama in the English Classroom
Conference on Composition and Literature, University of Kansas, October 1999.

Disciple of Pan: Thoreau and the Feminized Body of the Earth.
Conference on Composition and Literature, University of Kansas, October 1997.

Performing Beauty and Race in The Masque of Blackness
Shakespeare Association of America, St. Louis, April 2014.

Strong Chastity: Virginity and the Gendering of Childhood. Seminar on Gendering of Childhood.
Thirty-eighth Annual Meeting of the Shakespeare Association of America, Chicago, Illinois, April 2010.

Into my mother’s bosom: The Restorative Power of Sacred Female Community in Shakespeare’s Later Plays.
Thirty-seventh Annual Meeting of the Shakespeare Association of America, Washington, D.C., April 2009.

Must Sacred Virgins Become Chaste Wives?: Reading Isabella’s Choice in Measure for Measure. Seminar in “Shakespeare and Catholicism.”
Thirty-fifth Annual Meeting of the Shakespeare Association of America, San Diego, California, April 2007.

The Sacred Virgin in Early Modern Literature. Seminar in Shakespeare and Reformation
Thirty-Fourth Annual Meeting of the Shakespeare Association of America, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, April 2006.

Constructing Masculinity in Coriolanus. Seminar on Masculinity and Violence
Thirtieth Annual Meeting of the Shakespeare Association of America, Minneapolis, March 2002.

From Paganism to Christianity in Antony and Cleopatra and Cymbeline. Seminar on Shakespeare and Religion
Twenty-seventh Annual Meeting of the Shakespeare Association of America, San Francisco, March 1999.

Invited Speaking Engagement
Negotiating Dynasty: Anna of Denmark and the Marriage of Princess Elizabeth,
Crossing the North Sea: Anna of Denmark, Cultural Transfer and Transnational Politics. Jesus College, Oxford, 11 May 2019.

Select Presentations and Conference Papers
Staging the Sacred Virgin in All’s Well that Ends Well,
Sixteenth Century Society and Conference, St. Louis, Missouri, October 2019.

 Warrior Queen: Henrietta Maria as Military Leader in The King’s Cabinet Opened, Renaissance Society of America, Toronto, March 2019.

Staging Sacred Queenship: Memory of Pilgrimage and the Sacred Feminine in Elizabethan Progress Entertainments, ANZAMEMS (Australian and New Zealand Association of Medieval and Early Modern Studies), Sydney, Australia, February 2019.

  • Composition and Research (English 103 and 104)
  • Children’s Literature
  • Adolescent Literature
  • History of the English Language
  • John Donne
  • Modern Western Literature
  • Studies in Western Literature
  • Multicultural Literature in Education (independent study)
  • Global Literature
  • Renaissance Drama

Conniving Queen, Frivolous Wife, or Romantic Heroine? The Afterlife of Queen Henrietta Maria, Remembering Queens & Kings in Early Modern England and France: Reputation, Reinterpretation, Reincarnation.  Ed. Estelle Paranque. New York:  Palgrave MacMillan, 2019.

Agnes Baynton, The Biographical Encyclopedia of Early Modern Englishwomen. Susan Dunn-Hensley, 2016.

“Agnes Baynton” and fourteen other entries, A Biographical Encyclopedia of Early Modern Englishwomen: Exemplary Lives and Memorable Acts, 1500-1650. Ed. Carole Levin and Anna Riehl Bertolet., Routledge, 2016.

The Emblematic Queen: Extra-Literary Representations of Early Modern Queenship, Clio: A Journal of Literature, History, and Philosophy
Susan Dunn-Hensley, Review

Return of the Sacred Virgin: Memory, Loss, and Restoration in Shakespeare’s Later Plays., Walsingham in Literature and Culture from the Middle Ages to Modernity. Hampshire, UK: Ashgate, 2010. 185-198.

Whore Queens: The Sexualized Female Body and the State, High and Mighty Queens” of Early Modern England. Ed. Carole Levin, New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2003. 101-116

The Emblematic Queen: Extra-Literary Representations of Early Modern Queenship, Clio: A Journal of Literature, History, and Philosophy. 43:3. 6-11.

New Journal Articles
Queenship and Sexual Violence: Henry VIII and the “Bewhoring” of the Petrarchan Beloved, Explorations in Renaissance Culture. 46.1 (2020): 2-16.

Virtual Pilgrimage in a Time of Pandemic: Lessons from the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham, The International Journal of Religious Tourism and Pilgrimage 8.7 (2020): 121-129.

Forthcoming Book Chapters:
Henrietta Maria: Dangerous Consort, Tudor and Stuart Consorts, Vol. III. Ed. Aidan Norrie. Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming. Print. English Consorts: Power, Influence, Dynasty Series [Forthcoming]

Sacred Queenship: Elizabethan Progress Entertainments and Memory of Pilgrimage, Women and Pilgrimage. Ed. Moore Quin and Alison Smith. CABI. [Forthcoming]