Kevin Seidel

Kevin Seidel

Office Phone: (540) 432-4570


Main Campus, Harrisonburg

Office Location: RLN 218

Assistant Professor

Language & Literature Dept

A native of California, Kevin Seidel came to EMU from the University of Virginia, where he received his Ph.D. in English Literature and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture. He is working on a book project that uses original research on the eighteenth-century English Bible to open up new ways of thinking about the history of the English novel. He is also actively involved in Scriptural Reasoning. His teaching and scholarship both explore the changing relationship between religion, secularism, and literature.


University of Virginia
Ph.D. in English Language and Literature

Regent College, Vancouver, British Columbia
M.A. in interdisciplinary Christian studies

University of California, Berkeley
B.A. in English Literature


Robinson Crusoe as Defoe’s Theory of Fiction,” Novel: A Forum on Fiction, 44.2 (2011) 165-185.

Pilgrim’s Progress and the Book,” English Literary History, 77.2 (2010) 509–534.

“Beyond the Religious and the Secular in the History of the Novel,” New Literary History 38.4 (2007).

“Anglicanism” in The Encyclopedia of British Literature 1660–1789, Basil–Blackwell [forthcoming].

“Inhuman Sounds: on Israeli Composer Oded Zahavi’s ‘Psalm 42,’” The Journal of Scriptural Reasoning 12.1 (2013).

Review: “New Testaments: Cognition, Closure, and the Figural Logic of the Sequel, 1660–1740, by Michael Austin,” in Restoration: Studies in English Literary Culture, 1660-1700, 37.2 (2013)

Review: Roger Lundin: Beyond Belief, The Cresset, Michaelmas (2010).

Review: Plausible Worlds: Human Genetics in Fiction, Culture 1.2 (2007).

Review: Talal Asad: Genealogies of Religion and Formations of the Secular, Iowa Journal of Cultural Studies 7 (2005).

Scholarly Presentations and Abstracts

“Two Visions of the Secular: Orhan Pamuk’s Snow and Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead,” paper presented at The Religious Turn in Literary Studies, the Conference on Christianity and Literature, Westmont College, Santa Barbara, California, May 2014.

“Why It’s Hard to Read Scripture after the King James Bible,” opening lecture for the library exhibit Manifold Greatness: The Creation and Afterlife of the KJB, Eastern Mennonite University, January 2013.

“The Bible, the Book of Pilgrim’s Progress, and the Book of Culture,” paper presented at The King James Bible and Its Cultural Afterlife, Ohio State University, Columbus, May 2011.

“Reading Novels, Reading Bibles: The Rise of the English Novel and the Authority of Scripture,” paper presented at The King James Bible and the World it Made, 1611–2011, Baylor University, Waco, April 2011.

“How Defoe’s Fiction Works: A Better Secular,” paper presented at the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies conference, Albuquerque, March 2010.

“A Quantitative Analysis of the English Bible Trade: Comparing the Records of John Baskett to the ESTC,” paper presented at the British Society of Eighteenth-Century Studies conference, St. Hugh’s College, Oxford, January 2008.

Church, Community and Professional Service

Executive Director of the 1,000 Cities Project for the Society of Scriptural Reasoning

President, McIntire Little League, 2011

Professional Memberships

Modern Language Association
American Academy of Religion

Professional Conferences Attended

The Conference on Christianity and Literature, Westmont College, Santa Barbara, CA, May, 2014.

The American Academy of Religion, Baltimore, November 2013.

New Courses Taught
  • Global Conflicts, Global Novels
  • Global Literatures 1 (from Gilgamesh to The Arabian Nights)
  • Ecology and Science Fiction
  • Intro to Critical Theory
  • Romanticism
  • College Writing