A connection: KSU professor bridges faith, Romantic literature and writers

by Sally Litchfield MDJ Features Editor sallylit@bellsouth.netThe Marietta Daily Journal August 31…

Georgia (Aug 31, 2012) —  


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by Sally Litchfield
MDJ Features Editor
August 31, 2012

In “The Marriage of Faith: Christianity of Jane Austen and William Wordsworth,” Dr. Laura Dabundo enlightens her readers about how faith plays a part in Romantic literature. According to the professor of English and interdisciplinary studies and coordinator of religious studies at Kennesaw State University, a writer’s belief often influences literature.

“There are authors whose faith is an important part of why they write, and how they write and what they write,” Dabundo said. “For a long time, it wasn’t popular to talk about an author’s Christianity.”

She has worked at KSU for 25 years. She teaches in the Department of English. Her speciality is English Romanticism, including courses devoted to Jane Austen and Wordsworth. In her studies, she explored the connection between Christianity and Austen’s novels and Wordsworth’s poetry.

“That’s what my book is about — making connections between these two writers who lived at the same time, although in very different worlds,” she said.

While in graduate school, different literature attracted Dabundo, in particular Romanticism. She completed her dissertation at Temple University on Romantic poet Wordsworth. Her book, published by Mercer University Press, begins with excerpts from her dissertation.

Although Austen and Wordsworth both lived in England at the same time, Dabundo suspects they were probably never acquainted. “But (Austen and Wordsworth) were thinking along the same lines and valuing the same things. They have very similar understandings of the Bible and faith and the good life,” she said.

Although the 160-page book is scholarly, Dabundo believes anyone interested in Austen, Wordsworth or Christianity and literature will enjoy it. “We have more intellectually in common with these writers. They’re talking about the same kinds of things that we’re thinking and talking about today. I tried to make (the book) interesting and accessible,” she said.

Meet Dabundo this weekend at the Decatur Book Festival in downtown Decatur. She will signing her book Saturday from 12:30 to 3 p.m. and 4 to 5:20 p.m.; the latter time includes a reading. On Sunday, she will sign books from 2 to 3 p.m. and 4 to 6 p.m. and reading from 3:45 to 4 p.m. Both events will take place at the JASNA tents (101-103, on the plaza by the bandstand).

Her book will be available for purchase at the festival at the booth for the Jane Austen Society of North America or at Amazon and through Mercer University Press at www.mupress.org.




A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu