Ph.D., Duke University, 1994
Office: Alumni 101
Dr. Kathryn West is Professor of English and currently serves as the Chair of the Department. She majored in English as an undergraduate at Texas A&M University and received her M.A. and Ph.D. from Duke University; she also earned a Graduate Certificate from the Women’s Studies Program at Duke. Her research interests span American Literature from 1865 to the present, with a particular emphasis on Contemporary and Multicultural Writing; Women’s Literature; and Contemporary International Writing (particularly from Latin America and India). In addition, she confesses to a fascination with the American Modernists and (some—but not all—of the) British Modernists; the former probably goes back to an eighth-grade research paper on Faulkner.
In 1996 she published Women Writers in the United States: A Timeline of Literary, Cultural, and Social History (Oxford University Press). She co-authored a second book in 2010, Contemporary American Literature, 1970 to the Present, as part of the Research Guides to American Literature series (Bruccoli-Clark-Layman); it was named one of the Best Reference Works of 2010 by Library Journal. She has published articles on Pam Houston, Toni Morrison, and Mystery and Detective Fiction, and has delivered papers at over 30 conferences. She is currently working on a book-length project on Ojibwe writer and recent National Book Award winner Louise Erdrich. Edited and written with frequent collaborator Linda Trinh Moser, American Multicultural Identity was published in 2014 by Salem Press in their Critical Insights series. It includes her article on the role of double-consciousness in Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.
A second Critical Insights volume is appearing in 2016, featuring essays on Maxine Hong Kingston's The Woman Warrior.
During her time at Bellarmine, Dr. West has taught both the early and the late survey of American Literature, Composition, and upper level courses in Contemporary American Fiction; American Modernism; Multicultural American Lit; Toni Morrison and Friends; the Native American Renaissance: Louise Erdrich and Sherman Alexie; Women’s Literature; Contemporary International Fiction; Twentieth-Century American Novel; IDC courses on Native American Cultures and Global Storytelling: Narrative and Identity; and the Integrative Seminar, our capstone course for English majors, among others.
When not teaching, writing, or doing administrative work, she can be found with her son Adam West, her Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Elsie, and/or her parakeet Fleur. You might also try the garden or a local bookstore.