Kelsey L. Bennett

Kelsey L. Bennett
Lecturer in English
B.A., Saint John's College, Santa Fe
Ph.D., University of Denver
(970) 943-2585
Office Location: 
Taylor Hall 208A
Communication Arts, Languages & Literature Department
Academic Program: 


In my teaching and research, I am interested in the transatlantic intersections of art and ideas as they manifest themselves in literature.  My book Principle & Propensity (2014) provides a critical reassessment of the bildungsroman, beginning with its largely overlooked theological premises: bildung as formation of the self in the image of God. Further, it examines the dynamic differences, tensions, and possibilities that arise as interest in spiritual growth, or self-formation, collides with the democratic and quasi-democratic culture in the nineteenth-century British and American bildungsroman.

I have received a two-year grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, and my essays, articles, and reviews appear in The New Criterion, BrontëStudies, The Colorado Review, Notes on ContemporaryLiterature, Gunnison Valley Journal, and elsewhere. My current work continues the interdisciplinary focus, with projects that include an investigation into the ways in which nineteenth century authors, such as Henry James, engaged the visual cultures of their time, and a monograph on the Colorado-based painter, David Klingsmith.

Kelsey Bennett

Selected Publications:

-- Principle & Propensity: Experience and Religion in the Nineteenth-Century British and American BildungsromanColumbia: University of South Carolina Press, 2014.

-- Review of Julie Wosk’s Breaking Frame: Technology, Art, and Design in the Nineteenth CenturyThe Victorian Web: Literature, History, and Culture in the Age of Victoria. (January 2015).

-- “Beauty is Not for Us to Make.” The New Criterion 30.9 (May 2012).

-- “Exile and the Reconciling Power of the Natural Affections in Jane Eyre.” Brontë Studies 37.1 (January 2012): 19-29.

-- “Baudelaire’s Dark Mirror.” The New Criterion 29.5 (January 2011).

-- Review of Michael D. Burke’s The Same River Twice: A Boatman’s Journey HomeColorado Review (Summer 2010).

-- “Ethics in John Fowles’s The Collector.” Notes on Contemporary Literature 37.4 (Sept. 2007).


Undergraduate courses taught at Western:

Word & Image: Writers on Art (Honors); Shakespeare’s Outcasts and Dreamers; Tolstoy and the Ethics of Fiction; Literary Culture of the American West; Women and Literature; Introduction to Literature; Introduction to the Great Conversation (Honors)

Teaching Experience:

2003-2010: Adjunct lecturer in English, University of Denver

2011-present: Lecturer in English, Western State Colorado University


Person Type: