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Karen Shaw
Professor of English


My addiction to language began a long time ago, perhaps as far back as “see Spot run.”  The deceptive simplicity of those first sentences led to the “harder stuff”–the intricacies of Shakespeare’s sonnets, the craft of Austen’s novels, the keen edge of Byatt’s satire.  Yes, definitely addicted. I love language–its beauty, its nuance, its ability to make thought concrete, its power to move and challenge the human soul.

This addiction led naturally enough to degrees in English literature, first a bachelor’s from King and then a master’s and a Phd from Drew University in Madison, New Jersey.  Following graduate school, I returned to King where I began teaching ESL.  In those years, I was privileged to work with students from more than 50 different countries.  That early experience continues to shape my work at King.  Thus, while I now teach English literature rather than ESL, the richness of my interaction with the international students contributes to my teaching of the interdisciplinary course Cultural Identity, to my interpretation of literature, and to my passion for study abroad.

  • Ph.D. Drew University
  • M.Phil. Drew University
  • B.A. King University
Recent Publications and Presentations


King College, Bristol, Tennessee. “Nuns and a Persian Queen: Sensuality and Power in

Charlotte Brontë’s Villette.” King College Faculty Symposium, February 25, 2004.


King College, Bristol, Tennessee. “Narrative, Racism, and Cross-Cultural Encounter.” King

College Faculty Symposium, March 18, 2003.


West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia. “Narrative, Racism, and Cross-Cultural

Encounter.” 2002 WVU Colloquium on Literature and Film, October 2002.


West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia. “Wildfell Hall and the Artist as a

Young Woman.” 2000 WVU Colloquium on Literature and Film, October 13, 2000.


Taejon, South Korea. “Hannam Exchange Students and International Student

Programs at King College.” Hannam University Consortium Meeting, May 1999.



“A Space and Time to Work and Think: Faculty and Administrator Reflections.” Creating Sites

of Global Citizenship: The Mellon Fellow Community Initiative (2013): 86. Print.


“The Woman Question.” Barter Insider 2.1 (Spring 2011): 4. Print.


Republication of “Wildfell Hall and the Artist as a Young Woman” in Nineteenth-Century

Literature Criticism: Excerpts from Criticism of the Works of Nineteenth-Century

Novelists, Poets, Playwrights, Short-Story Writers, and Other Creative Writers. Vol.

236. Gale/Cengage Learning, 2011. Print.


Wildfell Hall and the Artist as a Young Woman.” West Virginia Philological Papers 48

(2001): 9-17. Print.

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