Kelly Scott Franklin

Kelly Scott Franklin

Assistant Professor of English
“Why do I study literature? First of all, because I love it. But more importantly, I think literature, like all art, speaks not simply to the rational part of people but to the whole person—the heart included.”
— Kelly Scott Franklin

Faculty Information

Additional Faculty Information for Kelly Scott Franklin


Ph.D. in English, the University of Iowa

M.A. in Spanish, Middlebury College

M.A. in English, the Catholic University of America


Presidential Fellowship, the University of Iowa

Summer Leave Funding Award, Hillsdale College

Selected Publications

“In Praise of Walt Whitman.” National Review Online. Aug. 17th, 2019.

“An American Bard.” Claremont Review of Books. XIX.3 (Summer 2019).

“A House, A Curse and a Moral Dilemma.” The Wall Street Journal. May 24th, 2019.

“The Battle Seen from Both Sides.” Review of McCurry, Stephanie. Women’s War. The Wall Street Journal. April 13th-14th, 2019.

“Rules for Christian Intellectuals, Part I.” The Catholic World Report. April 5th, 2019.

“Master of the Frontier.” National Review LXX.18, (Oct. 1st, 2018).

“Peripatetic Ponderings.” Review of Dann, Kevin. The Road to Walden. The Wall Street Journal. July 13th, 2018.

Review of Twain, Mark. Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc. The Catholic World Report. June 29th, 2018.

The Shattered Fountain: Selected Tales of Nathaniel Hawthorne. Ed. with introduction by Kelly Scott Franklin. Providence, RI: Cluny Classics, 2018.

“‘I Should be Glad of Another Death’: T.S. Eliot’s timeless poem for Epiphany.” The Catholic World Report. Jan. 5th, 2018.

Review of Karbiener, Karen, ed., Poetry for Kids: Walt Whitman. Walt Whitman Quarterly Review 35 (2017).

“Much More Than a Glance at the Bad Old Days.” The Wall Street Journal. Aug. 26th-27th, 2017.

“A Translation of Whitman Discovered in the 1912 Spanish Periodical Prometeo.” Walt Whitman Quarterly Review 35 (2017).

“‘Harmonious Household’: Homer’s Odyssey on the Breakdown of Marriage and Family.” The Public Discourse. July 14th, 2017. 

Review of Rev. James Sheeran, C.Ss.R., The Civil War Diary of Father James Sheeran. Ed. Patrick J. Hayes. The Catholic World Report. June 14th, 2017.

“Stand and Wait: Understanding Milton Anew.” Commonweal Magazine. Jan. 26th, 2017.

“Faith and Sci-Fi: The Christian Universe of ‘A Wrinkle in Time.’” The Catholic World Report. June 25th, 2016.

“Why I Teach Uncle Tom’s Cabin.”The American Conservative. June 14, 2016.

“How and Why We Remember the Dead: A Memorial Day Lesson from Walt Whitman.” Public Discourse. May 27th, 2016.

“Reading Flannery O’Connor for the First Time.” The Catholic World Report. May 20th, 2016.

“‘Nicaraguan Words’: José Coronel, the Vanguardia, and Whitman’s ‘Language Experiment.’” Walt Whitman Quarterly Review 34 (2016).

“‘Without Being Walt Whitman’: Vicente Huidobro, Whitman, and the Poetics of Sight,” Comparative American Studies 12.4 (2014).

Interviews & Media

Episode, “Walt Whitman Served the Union . . . And the Confederate!” Our American Stories, Aug. 20th, 2019.

Interview, National Review Great Books Podcast, Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The House of the Seven Gables. Mar. 5th, 2019.

Interview, National Review Great Books Podcast, Henry David Thoreau’s Walden. May 1st, 2018.

Interview, National Review Great Books Podcast, Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Feb. 13th, 2018.

Interview, Radio Free Hillsdale, “Professor Perspective,” Dec. 15th, 2017.

Interview, National Review Great Books Podcast, Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself.” Sept. 26th, 2017.

Hillsdale College Online Courses: Mark Twain. Fall 2017.

Interview, The Eric Metaxas Show, Homer’s Odyssey. July 31st, 2017.


I’ve always loved to read and write, but I’ve been serious about literature since high school. I am a chess player and an amateur book artist. I’ve studied English as well as Spanish, two passions I inherited from my parents, a Spanish teacher and an author. I play the guitar and the ukulele. I root for the Kansas City Royals.

I have taught in the Hillsdale College English department since 2014, and it is a special privilege to be here, because teaching here allows me to live out what I believe about education, the world, and God. We have amazing intellectual freedom, and with that freedom we are at liberty to pursue the good, the true, and the beautiful.

I firmly believe that the purpose of higher education is to form the whole human person. Aristotle defines human beings as rational animals, and I believe that intellectual formation helps us to live fully human lives. We’re born with an insatiable desire to know. It’s as innate as breathing. And higher education helps exercise all the many powers of the mind and heart—to help us fulfill our final cause as fully-developed, healthy, and happy human beings.

The way to do that is through discussion, which is how I lead my classes. So much learning happens in conversation. It’s the way that Socrates explored philosophy. I also teach through modeling the act of interpretation. I work my way through a literary text in class sometimes to model the ways to approach and think about a text and to act out the questions we need to ask when we encounter literature.

Why do I study literature? First of all, because I love it. But more importantly, I think literature, like all art, speaks not simply to the rational part of people but to the whole person—the heart included. And we need the truth: what we take into our minds and hearts shapes and determines who we become.