Maria Novotny

Assistant Professor, Plan Coordinator


PhD, Rhetoric and Writing, Michigan State University
MA, Critical Studies in Literacy and Pedagogy, Michigan State University

Courses Taught

  • ENG 207 Health Science Writing
  • ENG 427 Writing for Nonprofits: Social Media Content
  • ENG 430 Advanced Writing Workshop
  • ENG 443 Grant Writing
  • ENG 444 Technical Editing
  • ENG 449 Internship in the Humanities
  • ENG 701 Writing Pedagogies
  • ENG 712 Cultural Rhetorics
  • ENG 713 Research Methods in Rhetorics, Litearcies, and Community Engagement
  • ENG 749 Advanced Internship in Writing and Community Engagement
  • ENG 755 The Social Justice Turn in Technical and Professional Communication
  • ENG 854 Community Litearcies & Writing

Research Interests

As a scholar trained in writing, rhetoric, and professional communication, my interdisciplinary research agenda considers the nexus of reproductive loss and infertility, reproductive health technologies and data collection, health advocacy, and patient lived experience. Through community-engaged methods, my scholarship articulates a rhetorics of care framework that centers the knowledge-making practices of reproductive health communities in rhetorical research and identifies community-based methodologies to enhance the decision making and consent practices of research subjects and communities. My focus on care is intentional given the prevalence of healthcare across my research paradigm. Three primary questions orient the inquiry that I conduct:

  • How do persons use writing and rhetoric tools to navigate barriers to reproductive care?
  • How may writing, rhetoric, and technical communication research effectuate care in reproductive health communities?
  • What new methods/olgies, practices, and/or forms of scholarship may be required to support care as an outcome in humanities-based research?

These guiding research questions informing my scholarship reflect the publications I have produced in the fields of rhetoric of health and medicine, cultural and feminist rhetorics, and technical and professional communication.

Selected Publications

Novotny, M. (2023). Misconception Fatigue: Towards an Embodied Rhetoric for Infertility AdvocacyRhetoric Review42(3), 184-215.

Hartline, M. and Novotny, M. (2023). Coalitional Accountability for Feminist Rhetoricians in a Post-Roe World. Peitho, a special issue on “Coalition as Commonplace: Centering Feminist Scholarship, Pedagogies, and Leadership,” 25(4).

Horn, E., Novotny, M., & Silbergleid, R. (2023). Infertilities, A Curation. Detroit, MI: Wayne State University Press.

Novotny, M., Grobel, M., Davis, G., & Vesbit, J. (2023). Community-Driven Concepts to Support TPC Coalition Building in a Post-Roe World. Communication Design Quarterly, a special issue on “Making Coalitional Practice Visible in Community-Engaged Communication Design and Research”, 11(2).

Novotny, M., De Hertogh, L.B., Arduser, L., Hannah, M., Harper, K., Pigg, S., Rysdam, S., Smyser-Fauble, B., Stone, M., & Yam, S.S. (2022). Amplifying Rhetorics of Reproductive Justice within Rhetorics of Health and Medicine. Rhetoric of Health & Medicine, 5(4), 374-402.

Gagnon, J. and Novotny, M. (2020). Revisiting Research as Care: A Call to Decolonize Narratives of Trauma. Rhetoric Review, 39(4), 486-501.

Novotny, M. and Hutchinson, L. (2019). Data Our Bodies Tell: Towards Critical Feminist Action in Fertility and Period Tracking Applications. Technical Communication Quarterly, 28(4), 332-360.