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Mark Johnson Headshot Lezlie Knox Headshot Jennifer Vanderhayden Headshot

Beyond the Classroom: Immersive Learning in the St. Joan of Arc Chapel


Presenters: Dr. Mark F. Johnson, Associate Professor, Theology Department (Historical Theology), Marquette University; Dr. Lezlie Knox, Associate Professor, Department Chair, History, Marquette University; Dr. Jennifer Vanderheyden, Associate Professor of French and Francophone Studies, Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures, Marquette University

Learn how Marquette Humanities faculty incorporate the cultural and historical contexts of the St. Joan of Arc Chapel in their classes. In addition to serving as a site for student and alumni spiritual engagement, the reconstructed chapel and its complex past allow multiple opportunities for hands-on learning about literature, history, and theology. This valued campus site demonstrates Jesuit education in action.

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Dr. Mark F. Johnson, (Ph.D., Medieval Studies, University of Toronto [1990], MSL, Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies [1988]), specializes in the life and thought of St. Thomas Aquinas, especially his moral thought.

His ongoing research aims towards two books: 1) a monograph called Nature, Grace, Sin, and Glory: The Moral Universe of Thomas Aquinas, which examines Aquinas’s moral teaching in its full historical, church law, and theological context—no effort to make his teaching palatable to our philosophy-first world, but rather an account of life and action that seemed natural to Thomas and his world; 2) a critical edition of the early Dominican, Paul of Hungary’s Summa de penitentia, which could well be the first manual of moral theology in the young Dominican Order (produced between 1220–1221 in Bologna). To prepare this edition Dr. Johnson has consulted medieval Latin manuscripts from Dublin to Berlin to Munich to Rome and Monte Cassino.

Dr. Lezlie Knox brings an interdisciplinary perspective to the study of the Middle Ages drawn from her undergraduate majors in history and art history (at the University of Wisconsin-Madison) and her graduate training at Notre Dame’s Medieval Institute.

She teaches broadly in medieval history, regularly offering a survey course, as more specialized classes focusing on the Crusades, the Black Death, manuscripts, and gender in the pre-modern world, and the Italian Renaissance.

Her research has focused particularly on the Franciscan Order in later medieval Italy. She is currently working on a biographical project focusing on the prolific chronicler Mariano of Florence (d. 1523) as a lens for exploring the experience of being Franciscan as the Order's major factions fought for status in the towns and ecclesiastical centers of late fifteenth- and early sixteenth-century Italy. A long-term project, focusing on prisons and imprisonment practices within the medieval mendicant orders, will receive attention again in the future. Her research has been supported by the Fulbright program, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the National Endowment for the Humanities (for a summer seminar).

Dr. Jennifer Vanderheyden, focuses her research and teaching interests on eighteenth-century French literature, history and culture, and theories of theatrical and artistic representation (mimesis). She also teach courses on the representation of women in writing, art and film. Her approach to research is multidisciplinary: philosophical, anthropological, artistic and psychoanalytical.

Dr. Vanderheyden holds a doctorate in french literature from the University of Washington, and a master’s degree in French literature and civilization from the University of Cincinnati. She received her undergraduate degree in French and education from Otterbein College, as well as a supervisor’s certificate in secondary foreign language education from the University of Cincinnati. She teaches courses that range from elementary and intermediate French language instruction to advanced courses on French classical theatre, he representation of French and Francophone women in film and literature, French history and culture, and The History of French Feminism.

She published two books on the eighteenth-century writer, philosopher and art critic Denis Diderot and is presently working on a comparative study of Jeanne d’Arc and Olympe de Gouges: Engendered Heroines: The Trials, Sacrifices and Legacies of Jeanne d’Arc and Olympe de Gouges.

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