Kevin Seidel

Kevin Seidel

Office Phone: (540) 432-4570


Main Campus, Harrisonburg

Office Location: CC 341

Assistant Professor

Language & Literature Dept

A native of California, Kevin Seidel came to EMU in 2008 from the University of Virginia, where he was a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture. He received his Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of Virginia in 2007. His dissertation, “Leisure to Repent: Essays on the Bible at the Origins of the English Novel,” used original research on the history of the English Bible to open up new ways of thinking about the history of the English novel. His scholarly work continues to 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).

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

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

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

Scholarly Presentations and Abstracts

“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

Co-organizer of the JMU-EMU Scriptural Reasoning Group

President, McIntire Little League, 2011

Professional Memberships

Modern Language Association
American Academy of Religion
American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies
Society for Novel Studies

Professional Conferences Attended

The American Academy of Religion Chicago, November 2012.

The Music of Scripture: The Society for Scriptural Reasoning Conference and Training Sessions, University of Virginia, Eastern Mennonite University, and George Mason University, June 2012.

Novel Worlds: Biennial Conference of the Society for Novel Studies, Duke University, April 2012.

Mennonite/s Writing VI: Solos and Harmonies, Eastern Mennonite University, March 2012.

New Courses Taught

* Global Literatures 1
* Ecology and Science Fiction
* Intro to Critical Theory
* Romanticism
* College Writing