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Faculty and Staff


Office: Kirby Hall

Room: 302

Phone: 5704084549

Email: sean.kelly@wilkes.edu

Dr. Sean J. Kelly

Associate Professor



Dr. Sean Kelly teaches courses in American literature, literary theory, and composition. His primary research interests focus on nineteenth-century American literature and culture. Dr. Kelly has recently published scholarly articles on the works of Nathaniel Hawthorne, Washington Irving, and Edgar Allan Poe. Recent courses include: Seminar in Nathaniel Hawthorne, American Romantics, and Studies in the American Novel. Along with Dr. Mischelle Anthony, Dr. Kelly also serves as a faculty advisor for the Manuscript Society, a creative writing collective that produces Manuscript, a biannual publication that showcases student creative writing and visual art.

Before transitioning to English as a major, Dr. Kelly studied jazz guitar and music composition at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. After becoming an English major, he applied his interest in jazz aesthetics to a study of African American authors, including Toni Morrison and Amiri Baraka. Dr. Kelly received his M.A degree from the University of Pittsburgh and his Ph.D. from the State University of New York at Buffalo.



“I blush, I burn, I shudder, while I pen the damnable atrocity”: Penning Perversion in Poe’s

     “The Black Cat.” Edgar Allan Poe Review: “Theory Mad beyond Redemption”: The Post-Kantian

     Poe (2013):73-97.

“American Idle: Washington Irving, Authorship, and the Echoes of Native American Myth

     in ‘Rip Van Winkle.’” Short Story 19.1 (2012):  

“Hawthorne’s ‘Material Ghosts’: Photographic Realism and Liminal Selfhood in The

     House of the Seven Gables.” Papers on Language and Literature 47.3 (2011): 227-260.

The Scarlet Letter,” Masterplots II: Christian Literature. Vol. 3. Ed. John K. Roth. New York:

     Salem P., 2007. 1549-1552.



Conference Papers

“American Idle: Irving, Authorship, and Echoes of Native American Myth in ‘Rip Van Winkle,’” Northeast Modern Language Association Convention (NeMLA), New Brunswick, NJ, April 7-10, 2011.

“A Fearful Sympathy: Poe’s Metaphysics of Dissolution in Eureka and ‘The Fall of the House of Usher,’” Poe Studies Association Third Annual Edgar Allan Poe Conference: The Bicentennial, Philadelphia, PA, October 8-11, 2009.

“The Art of Sympathy: Hawthorne and the Pre-Raphaelites,” Northeast Modern Language Association Convention (NeMLA), Boston, MA, February 26-March 1,2008.

“Hawthorne and the Obscene: Radical Otherness and ‘The Minister’s Black Veil,’” Northeast Modern Language Association Convention (NeMLA), Buffalo, NY, April 10-13, 2008.

“Poe and Ideological Anamorphosis: Sentimental Violence and ‘The Black Cat," Modern Language Association Conference (MLA). Chicago, IL, December 27-31, 2007.

"Allegory and Alienation: The Problem of Language in Emerson," Northeast Modern Language Association Convention (NeMLA), Baltimore, MD, 2007

"The Human as Instrument of Power: Rethinking Subjection in Response to Cindy Patton’s Analysis of the National Pedagogy for Safe-Sex,” 2001 Popular Culture Association (PCA), Philadelphia, PA, 2001.

“Gazing Olympia: Interpellation and the Social Construction of the Visual,” Society for the Interdisciplinary Study of Social Imagery (SISSI), Colorado Springs, CO, 2000.






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