Oklahoma Baptist University

Dr. Karen Youmans

Professor of English

Owens Hall 207

OBU Box 61249
500 W. University
Shawnee, OK 74804


Dr. Karen Youmans studies medieval hagiography and rhetoric with a particular interest in Middle English and Chaucerian studies. She has also presented and published on Anglo-Saxon prose and poetry. In addition to teaching courses in the university's core curriculum and courses on early British literature for the English major, she also directs the university's Honors Program.

Youmans is an active member of the Conference on Christianity and Literature, an allied society of the Modern Language Association, and has served two terms on the organization's board of directors. She is also involved with the National Collegiate Honors Council, serving on their Small Colleges Committee. She also currently serves on the advisory board for SCIO (Scholarship and Christianity in Oxford), which runs both the CCCU's Scholars' Semester in Oxford and the Oxford Summer Programme.


B.A., Louisiana State University
Ph.D., University of North Texas
Dissertation: “Chaucer and the Rhetorical Limits of Exemplary Literature”

Courses Taught

ENGL 1153: English Composition: Exposition and Argument
ENGL 1163: English Composition and Classical Literature
ENGL 2013, 2023: Western Civilization
HON 1013: Honors Critical Skills
HON 1163: Honors English: Composition and Classical Literature
HON 2119: Colloquium in Humanities: The Bible as Literature
HON 2119: Colloquium in Humanities: The Cult of the Saints in Medieval Europe
ENGL 2043: Literature of the Western World I
ENGL 2053: Literature of the Western World II
ENGL 2513: Survey of English Literature I
ENGL 3213: Shakespeare
ENGL 4713 Major Authors: British Poetry
ENGL 4329 Authority and Authorship in the Works of Geoffrey Chaucer
ENGL 4903: Critical Perspectives

Honors Program Handbook Word | PDF

Selected Publications

"An Invitation to Pilgrimage: Establishing the Foundation for Holistic Learning in the Freshman Honors Intro Course," with Andrew Armond. Spirituality and Honors Education: A Symposium on Holistic Learning, Indiana Wesleyan University, May 2012.

Review of Patricia Badir, The Maudlin Impression: English Literary Images of Mary Magdalen, 1550-1700. Christianity and Literature 60 (2011): 660-64.

"The Hospitable Text on Pilgrimage: Dialogism, Open Endings, and Fideism in The Canterbury Tales." The Hospitable Text Conference: New Approaches to Religion and Literature. Notre Dame London Centre, London, UK, 2011.

"'Listeth of my drem to lere': Can Chaucer's House of Fame Engage a Postsecular Christian Poetics?" The Southwest Conference on Christianity and Literature. Houston Baptist University, October 2009.

"Small College Thesis Projects: Special Challenges and Rewards," with Nicholas Hunt-Bull, Southern New Hampshire University. The National Collegiate Honors Council Annual Conference, San Antonio, TX, October 2008.

"Growing in Honors: The Freshman Year Experience," with Michael Tabor, St. Mary's College Maryland and John Eby, Loras College. The National Collegiate Honors Council Annual Conference, Denver, CO, November 2007.

"Curriculum in the Small College Honors Program," with Aron Reppman, Trinity Christian University. The National Collegiate Honors Council Annual Conference, Philadelphia, PA, November 2006.

Review of Velma Bourgeois Richmond. Chaucer as Children's Literature: Retellings from the Victorian and Edwardian Periods. Christianity and Literature 55 (2006): 592-95.

"Chaucer's Staged Readings of Exemplary Literature." Southwest Conference on Christianity and Literature. Abilene Christian University, September 2006.

"Chaucer and the Uses of Hagiographic Discourse." New Chaucer Society Biennial Congress, University of Glasgow, UK, July 2004.

"Asser's Life of Alfred and the Rhetoric of Hagiography." Medievalia 22.2 (1999): 291-305.

Honors Theses Directed:

Kallie Engle, "Rereading the "pleyn text" in Chaucer's Legend of Good Women." 2013.

Chera Cole, "'If the wyf have maisterie': Marriage, Consent, and the Ideal Wife in The Clerk's Tale and The Franklin's Tale." 2007.

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