Dr. Karen Swallow Prior is Professor of English at Liberty University, where she has won multiple teaching awards. She writes frequently on literature, culture, ethics, and ideas. Her writing appears at Christianity Today, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, First Things, Vox, Think Christian, The Gospel Coalition, Books and Culture and other places. She is the author of Booked: Literature in the Soul of Me (T. S. Poetry Press, 2012), Fierce Convictions: The Extraordinary Life of Hannah More—Poet, Reformer, Abolitionist (Thomas Nelson, 2014), and On Reading Well: Finding the Good Life through Great Literature (Brazos, 2018).
Karen gives frequent lectures and talks on her work. Among the places she has spoken are Wheaton College, University of Minnesota, Indiana Wesleyan University, Northwestern University, Grace College, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, The Gospel Coalition Conference, Redeemer University College, Toronto Baptist Seminary, United Theological Seminary, Festival of Faith and Writing, Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma’s Women’s Conference, Roanoke Regional Writers Conference, The Row House Forum, Q Boston, the Glen Workshop, and the Humane Society of the United States.
She completed her Ph.D. at the State University of New York at Buffalo and her undergraduate studies at Daemen College in Amherst, New York. Her academic focus is British literature, with a specialty in the eighteenth century, a period she loves for its emphasis on philosophy, ethics, aesthetics, and community, as well as its efforts at correcting the universal human impulse to gravitate toward extremes. Her scholarly work has appeared in 1650-1850: Ideas, Aesthetics, and Inquiries in the Early Modern Era; The Shandean; The Scriblerian and various literary encyclopedias.
She is a Research Fellow with the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, a Senior Fellow with Liberty University’s Center for Apologetics and Cultural Engagement, and a member of the Faith Advisory Council of the Humane Society of the United States. Karen and her husband live in rural Virginia with sundry dogs, horses, and chickens.
May 21st, 2021 | “Reading Jane Austen: A Novel Approach to Virtue” an Online Conversation with Karen Swallow Prior
April 27th, 2020 | “On Reading in Quarantine” an Online Conversation with Karen Swallow Prior
September 25th, 2018 | “On Reading Well: Finding the Good Life Through Great Books” an Evening Conversation in Nashville, TN with Karen Swallow Prior
Related Trinity Forum Readings
“A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens, featuring an original introduction by Karen Swallow Prior
“Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen, featuring an original introduction by Karen Swallow Prior
Publications and Scholarly Work
- Booked: Literature in the Soul of Me (2012)
- Fierce Convictions: The Extraordinary Life of Hannah More: Poet, Reformer, Abolitionist (2014)
- On Reading Well: Finding the Good Life through Great Books (2018)