Kelsey L. Bennett, Ph.D.
Honors Program Director
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 19th-century British and American bildungsroman.
I have received a two-year Enduring Questions grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities that supports the development and teaching of a new undergraduate seminar, designed primarily for Honors students, to explore the purpose of art. My essays, articles and reviews appear in New England Review, The Hopkins Review, The New Criterion, Brontë Studies, The Colorado Review, Notes on Contemporary Literature, Gunnison Valley Journal and elsewhere. My ongoing work includes a novel project, regular contributions to Ploughshares literary blog, and research into the literary history of midwifery.
- Principle & Propensity: Experience and Religion in the Nineteenth-Century British and American Bildungsroman. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 2014.
- “On Not Knowing Knausgaard.” The Hopkins Review 12.1 (Winter 2019).
- "Everything That Cannot Be Undone: On Reading and the Poetry of David Yezzi." New England Review 37.4 (December 2016).
- Review of Julie Wosk’s Breaking Frame: Technology, Art, and Design in the Nineteenth Century. The 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 Home. Colorado Review (Summer 2010).
- “Ethics in John Fowles’s The Collector.” Notes on Contemporary Literature 37.4 (Sept. 2007).
- 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)
- The Gateway (Honors)
- Honors Forum
- Oxford Tutorial (Honors)
2016-present: Honors Program Director
2011-present: Lecturer in English, Western Colorado University
2003-2010: Adjunct Lecturer in English, University of Denver