Kathryn Stelmach Artuso
Assistant Professor of English
Phone: (805) 565-6839
Office Location: Reynolds Hall 204
TuTh 3:15 - 4:15 PM
20th-century literature, transatlantic modernism, Anglophone and world literature
Thrilled to be joining the English Department at Westmont College, Kathryn Stelmach Artuso brags humbly to family and friends about the joys of living and teaching in coastal paradise. You can often find her visiting Mt. Calvary’s Monastery on a contemplative retreat, where she follows in the footsteps of Madeleine L’Engle and watches the sun rise over the ridges to burn off the morning fog. Having completed her Ph.D. at UCLA, Kathryn studies the transatlantic and diasporic intersections between the literatures of Ireland, Africa, the Caribbean, and the American South. She has several projects simmering on a diverse range of back burners, including an interest in the ekphrastic interplay of verbal and visual art in literary modernism, as well as an interest in world literature that addresses issues of religious and social justice. She has experienced a new heart for service over the past few years and has volunteered as a facilitator of poetry workshops at inner city ministries. In her spare time, she likes to jog on the beach and swim in the ocean—well, just as soon as she purchases a wetsuit.
- Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles, 2005
- M.A., University of California, Los Angeles, 2000
- B.A., Centre College, 1996
- Transatlantic Renaissances: Literature of Ireland and the American South, forthcoming with the University of Delaware Press, 2013.
- Critical Insights: William Faulkner. Ed. Kathryn Artuso. Pasadena, CA: Salem Press, 2013 (forthcoming).
- "Transatlantic Rites of Passage in the Friendship and Fiction of Eudora Welty and Elizabeth Bowen," forthcoming in the Eudora Welty Review. Essay was awarded the Ruth Vande Kieft Prize.
- “Transatlantic Tara: Irish Maternalism and Motherland in Gone with the Wind,” forthcoming in Mississippi Quarterly.
- Review of Crawford Gribben’s Writing the Rapture: Prophecy Fiction in Evangelical America. Christianity and Literature 60:4 (Summer 2011).
- “Ambivalence at a Crossroads in Literary Modernism.” Essay-review in Studies in the Novel 41.1 (Spring 2009): 116-120.
- “Dead Deirdre? Myth and Mortality in the Irish Literary Revival.” Myth in Celtic Literatures. Celtic Studies Association of North America Yearbook 6. Dublin: Four Courts, 2007.
- “From Text to Tableau: Ekphrastic Enchantment in Mrs. Dalloway and To the Lighthouse.” Studies in the Novel 38.3 (Fall 2006): 304-326. Selected for reprinting in Critical Insights: Virginia Woolf. Pasadena: Salem Press, 2011.
- Various book reviews for Comitatus, 2004-2006.
- “‘September 1913’ and ‘Easter, 1916’ by William Butler Yeats.” World Literature and its Times for British and Irish Literature and its Times. Ed. Joyce Moss. Detroit: Gale Group, 2001.
- Reporter for The Californian, a daily newspaper affiliated with the North County Times; Temecula, CA, 1997. Readership: approximately 100,000. Completed over 125 news and features articles as the beat reporter covering the town of Murrieta, CA, averaging two articles per day and averaging three to four articles each Saturday as the sole reporter.
- Staff writer for the Lexington Herald-Leader, Lexington, KY, Spring 1995.
- “From Pentecost to Purgatory: Journeys with John Donne and George Herbert in T. S. Eliot’s Four Quartets,” Conference on Christianity and Literature at Vanguard University, Costa Mesa, CA, 2011.
- “Subalternatives to Paternalism in Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind,” Conference on Christianity and Literature at Cal Baptist University, Riverside, CA, 2010.
- “‘A Communication which Spans Oceans’: A Survey of the Irish, Harlem, and Southern Renaissances,” Biola University’s Zeitgeist Interdisciplinary Conference, La Mirada, CA, 2009 (keynote speaker).
- “Breaking Down the Binaries: The Secular as Sacred in Literary Art,” Westmont College’s Faith-Learning Seminar, 2009 (invited speaker).
- “Lost Colonies: Ireland and the American South,” symposium on Irish-American Studies, sponsored by the Watson-Brown Foundation, Thomson, GA, 2008 (invited speaker).
- "Manifestation and Proclamation in the Poetry of William Butler Yeats." Paper presented at the meeting of the Conference on Christianity and Literature, La Mirada, 2008.
- “‘A Child of this Century’: Juvenilia in the Short Fiction of Eudora Welty and Elizabeth Bowen.” Paper presented at the meeting of the American Literature Association, Boston, 2007.
- “Minor Literature Comes of Age: The Childhood State(s) in Lady Gregory’s Drama.” Paper presented at the meeting of the Modern Language Association, Philadelphia, 2006.
- “‘More than the ear could bear to hear’: Initiations and Hybridity in the Fiction of Eudora Welty and Elizabeth Bowen.” Paper presented at the meeting of the Modern Language Association, Philadelphia, 2004.
- “The Boyhood of a Nation: Cú Chulainn’s Coming of Age in the Works of Yeats, Gregory, O’Grady, and Synge.” Paper presented at the Celtic Studies Conference of the University of California. Los Angeles, 2002.
- “From Text to Tableau: Images of Ekphrastic Enchantment in Mrs. Dalloway and To the Lighthouse.” Paper presented at the Humanities Graduate Symposium, UCLA, 2000.
- “The Flesh and the Word: Incarnation and Sacrifice in the Poetry of William Butler Yeats.” Paper presented at the Southland Conference, UCLA, 1999.
FELLOWSHIPS AND AWARDS
- Recipient of the Ruth Vande Kieft Award for the best annual essay on Eudora Welty by a junior scholar, presented by the Eudora Welty Society, 2011.
- Westmont College Professional Development Grants, Spring 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2012.
- Outstanding Teaching Award, UCLA, 2002-2003, for teaching evaluations in the top two percent of the English Department.
- Chancellor’s Dissertation Fellowship, UCLA, 2004-2005.
- Member of Phi Beta Kappa honorary society.
- The Empire Writes Back: Anglophone and World Literature. This course explores the transatlantic intersections between African, Irish, and Caribbean literature, as we pair canonical British texts with their postcolonial revisionist counterparts. Authors will include Brontë and Rhys, Conrad and Achebe, Synge and Matura, Bowen and Cliff.
- Black Atlantic and African Diaspora literature. This course examines depictions of the diasporic Middle Passage in African and African American literature and film. Representations of the slave trade, slavery, colonialism, and postcolonialism will be scrutinized, as we discover how the hybridizing process of colliding cultures causes wholly new cultural forms to emerge. Authors will include Chinua Achebe, Michelle Cliff, Caryl Phillips, Charles Johnson, Paule Marshall, Mary Seacole, Jamaica Kincaid, Paul Gilroy, Aimé Césaire, and Frantz Fanon.
- Southern Literary Renaissance. This course explores the literary renaissance that exploded in the American South between the 1920s and the 1960s, as writers sought to challenge earlier local color fiction that perpetuated the “moonlight and magnolias” myth of Old South. In addition to the dominant triad of the Fugitive Poets, Agrarians, and New Critics, authors as diverse as Faulkner, Hurston, Toomer, O’Connor, Welty, and Williams sought to prove that their region was indeed the cultural equal of greater America, despite the harsh realities of political defeat, economic scarcity, and racial strife.
- Irish Literary Revival. This course examines the Irish Revival at the turn of the twentieth century, when Ireland sought to demonstrate its cultural equality with any European nation and disentangle itself from English-imposed stereotypes codified by Matthew Arnold, which pitted the rational, mature, and masculine Saxon against the superstitious, childish, and feminine Celt. Irish revivalists such as Yeats, Gregory, Synge, and O’Grady elevated the distinct folklore, legends, and oral traditions of a golden Gaelic past in an effort to awaken nationalist fervor, while James Joyce blatantly parodied their attempts.
- Anatomy of Fiction: The Short Story Cycle. This course investigates the contested genre of the “short story cycle,” a series of stories unified not by plot but by pattern. Authors include Joyce, Anderson, Hemingway, Toomer, Faulkner, Welty, O’Connor, Tan, Cisneros, and Erdrich.
- Woolf, Faulkner, and Joyce. This course offers a comparative study of the three authors’ experimental narrative techniques, investigating how and why these authors have dominated our understanding of literary modernism. How do their works estrange and redefine formal, generic, and thematic conventions? In what ways do their novelistic narratives seek to re-enchant a desacralized world?
- Harlem Renaissance. This interdisciplinary class explores the literature, art, music, history, and politics of the Harlem Renaissance, examining the artistic creations in relation to literary modernism, to political radicalism, and to the historical context of America in the 1920s. Authors include Jean Toomer, Zora Neale Hurston, Alain Locke, James Weldon Johnson, Langston Hughes, Nella Larsen, and Claude McKay.
- Texts and Tableaux. This course investigates the interplay of verbal and visual art in world literature, using ekphrastic poems such as Homer’s “Shield of Achilles,” Keats’s “Ode on a Grecian Urn,” and Auden’s “Musée de Beaux Arts” as the starting point, and then moving on to novels such as Mrs. Dalloway and Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.
“For most of us, there is only the unattended
Moment, the moment in and out of time,
The distraction fit, lost in a shaft of sunlight,
The wild thyme unseen, or the winter lightning
Or the waterfall, or the music heard so deeply
That it is not heard at all, but you are the music
While the music lasts. These are only hints and guesses,
Hints followed by guesses; and the rest
Is prayer, observance, discipline, thought and action.
The hint half guessed, the gift half understood, is Incarnation.
Here the impossible union.”
–T.S. Eliot, “The Dry Salvages”