University Colloquium: Kevin Seidel

Ecotones of Scripture and Literature

An ecotone is a landscape ecology term for the zone where two neighboring habitats interact. In his presentation, Kevin will explore how ecotones might help us think about the interactions between our readings of scripture and of literature. He will draw on his recent sabbatical-year experience teaching at the Oregon Extension, share a little about his forthcoming book with Cambridge University Press titled Rethinking the Secular Origins of the Novel: The Bible in English Fiction, 1678–1767, and look ahead to his next writing project on ecology, scripture, and science fiction by discussing Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower

Dr. Kevin Seidel is an Associate Professor of English at Eastern Mennonite University. He teaches first-year college writing, a number of general education and humanities classes, and a wide range of literature, from ancient epics to contemporary poetry and science fiction. Originally from California, Kevin 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. Before that he earned a master’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia. He teaches and writes about the changing relationship between religion, secularism, and literature. He is a long-time practitioner of Scriptural Reasoning, where Jews, Christians, and Muslims gather to read each other’s scripture. And his book tentatively titled Rethinking the Secular Origins of the Novel: The Bible in English Fiction, 1678–1767 will be published by Cambridge University later this year.