Dr. Sean Keck


Hello! My research and teaching explore connections between literature and other forms of cultural expression (audio, film, photography, and video games). I believe thinking beyond the traditional boundaries of literary studies helps us better understand how poems and stories interact with the larger world, and I frequently incorporate multiple kinds of media into the undergraduate and graduate courses I teach in American literature, African American literature, and creative writing.


American Literature (ENGL 240): This survey course is an introduction to a range of American literary periods and a diversity of perspectives. You’ll definitely encounter some authors you’ve heard of before, but my hope is that you’ll also discover some new favorites among the authors we read who haven’t gotten as much attention yet.

Fiction Writing/Advanced Fiction Writing (ENGL 309/409): These introductory and advanced creative writing courses give you the opportunity to learn and practice the major elements of storytelling (including detailed description, narration, character development, and plot). Whether you’ve always written stories or you just want to try something new, you’ll have fun developing your communication skills and pushing your imagination in these classes.

Early American Literature/American Realism and Naturalism/Modern American Literature (ENGL 442/444/445): These courses offer a more in-depth focus on specific periods of American literature. You’ll gain new perspective on canonical figures from American history and literature and also hear from important African American, Native American, and first-wave feminist voices.

African American Literature (ENGL 449): This class explores the African American literary tradition from its mid-eighteenth-century origins to the present day. Whether you already know a lot or a little about this body of literature, you’ll have the chance to meaningfully examine how diverse voices within this tradition draw on literary, oral, and musical resources to speak to the complexity of Black experiences in the United States and beyond.

Senior Seminar (ENGL 496): This is the capstone class for the English major, an opportunity to take all the knowledge and skills you’ve gained during your time at Radford and develop an original, semester-long senior thesis project on a topic of your choice. I’m always really impressed with these projects, which focus on Salem Witch Trials records, social media poetry, and everything in-between. What topic would you choose?


Studies in American Literature I (ENGL 644): This course focuses on advanced topics in American literature from the colonial period up through the nineteenth century. My most recent version of this class explores themes of industrialism and rebellion in American Realist and Naturalist writing.

Studies in American Literature II (ENGL 645): This course highlights advanced topics in American literature from the twentieth century through the present. One of my favorite versions of the class is “Voices in American Literature,” an exploration of different literary, musical, and political “voices” in works by African American, Asian American, and Latinx American authors.


English Curriculum Committee Chair: I work with my English faculty colleagues to ensure that the courses and programs we’re offering remain innovative and continue to meet student needs.

English Graduate Program Director: I help prospective students figure out if graduate school (and Radford specifically) is a good fit for their goals, and I help our current graduate students navigate the path to their degrees. If you have a question about the English Master’s program at Radford University, I’m always happy to hear from you.

Creative Writing Awards Coordinator: With the help of our fantastic guest judges, I manage the behind-the-scenes work for the English Department’s two annual writing prizes: the Thomas Coleman Creative Writing Contest and the Nan Lacy Poetry Chapbook Contest. I also set up the Spring awards reading where we celebrate the contest winners.

CHBS Community Action Team Leader: I work with a team of multidisciplinary faculty and students from the College of Humanities and Behavioral Sciences (CHBS). As part of Radford’s Realizing Inclusive Student Excellence (RISE) quality enhancement plan, our team coordinates events—film screenings, social gatherings, free weekly breakfasts, and more—to create a stronger sense of belonging among the members of CHBS and the broader university community.


  • “Choose-Your-Own Poetics: Teaching Robert Frost with Video Games.” Approaches to Teaching the Poetry of Robert Frost, edited by Sean Heuston, Modern Language Association. (forthcoming)
  • “‘That Huge and Microscopic Career of Time’: William Carlos Williams’s Time-Lapse Poetics.” Digressions in Deep Time: Ecocritical Approaches to Literature and the Arts, edited by Declan Lloyd and Warren Mortimer, Lexington Books. (forthcoming)
  • “‘Adjusting the Ash Heaps’: Extinction and the Modernist Archive.” Modernism/Modernity
  • PrintPlus 7.2 (Oct. 2022), https://doi.org/10.26597/mod.0237
  • “Uncanny Realism: Stephen Crane’s Phonographic ‘Monster.’” ESQ: A Journal of Nineteenth Century American Literature and Culture 64.3 (2018): 520-61.
  • “Literary Regionalism and Mark Twain’s Telephone.” The Mark Twain Annual 15 (2017): 106-25.



PhD in English, Brown University
MA in English, Boston College
BA in English, Boston College


New York Rangers Hockey
Sharks (the animals, not the hockey team)