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