College of Arts and Science - where great minds meet

Sarah Powrie, STM

Sarah Powrie, STM

B.A., Hons. (Saskatchewan), M.A. (Queen's), M.A. (Toronto), Ph.D. (Toronto)

Associate Professor

Office: St. Thomas More 226
Phone: 966-8935

Teaching & Supervision

Recipient of USSU Teaching Excellence Award, 2010
Courses Taught
English 112.3 Reading Drama
English110.6 Literature and Composition
English 272.3 Literary Uses of Mythology
English 311.3 Chaucer                                                  
English 314.3 Medieval Drama  
English 313.3 Middle English Literature
English 393.3 Medieval Devotional Literature
English 402.3/CMRS 401.3 Dante and Aquinas

English 803.3 Medieval Dream Visions


Sarah Powrie's research investigates thresholds of medieval and early modern thought, specifically the revival of medieval metaphysics during the Scientific Revolution. In “The Celestial Progress of a Deathless Soul” and “Transposing World Harmony” she identifies medieval sources informing John Donne's metaphysical conceits, arguing that Donne transforms medieval metaphysics into an ornamental poetic architecture.  A more recent article, “Spenser's Mutabilitie and the Indeterminate Universe,” argues that the Mutabilitie Cantos represent Spenser's poetic response to the scientific debates generated by Giordano Bruno and Tycho Brahe. “The Importance of Fourteenth-Century Natural Philosophy for Nicholas of Cusa’s Infinite Universe” claims that Cusa's infinite universe is indebted to fourteenth-century discussions of incommensurability and infinite set theory. 

She also studies medieval dream visions and is currently writing about Chaucer’s Parliament of Fowls.


"The Importance of Fourteenth-Century Natural Philosophy for Nicholas of Cusa's Infinite Universe," The American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 87.1 (2013): 33-53.

"Spenser's Mutabilitie and the Indeterminate Universe," Studies in English Literature 53.1 (2013): 73-89.

"Alan of Lille's Anticlaudianus as Intertext in Chaucer's House of Fame," Chaucer Review 44.3 (2010): 246-67.

"Transposing World Harmony: John Donne's Creation Poetics in the Context of a Medieval Tradition," Studies in Philology 107.2 (2010): 212-35.

"Science in the Middle Ages," "Pierre Duhem," "Anneliese Meier," and "Raymond Klibansky," in A. Classen, ed., Handbook of Medieval Studies (Berlin and New York: de Gruyter, 2010).

"The Celestial Progress of a Deathless Soul: John Donne's Second Anniversarie," John Donne Journal 26 (2007) 73-101.