Dr. Kathleen Verduin

Professor of English
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Dr. Kathleen Verduin started teaching at Hope in 1978, was tenured in 1985 and became a full professor in 1991. She teaches a range of courses: American literature and modern fiction, both surveys of the European literary classics and Modern English Grammar.

Kathleen worked with her husband, Leslie J. Workman, from 1982 until his death in 2001, to establish medievalism — that is, the post-medieval idea and influence of the Middle Ages —as a recognized area of academic investigation. Together, they established the book series Studies in Medievalism and the annual International Conference on Medievalism. They also organized two four-week summer programs on medievalism, held at the University York, UK, in 1996 and 1998.

Kathleen has published scholarly articles on American literature and a range of modern writers, especially John Updike. Her continuing project is on the interest in Dante shown by American literary figures from George Ticknor to Ernest Hemingway.


  • American literature, seventeenth century-present
  • Modern fiction
  • Dante
  • Medievalism


  • Ph.D., English, Indiana University, 1980
  • M.A., English and American literature, The George Washington University, 1969
  • B.A., English, Hope College, 1965


Kathleen has presented papers at numerous conferences, most notably at the conference on Dante in the Nineteenth Century, held at the University of York, UK, in 2008. In 2014, she was the plenary speaker at the International Conference on Medievalism and was presented with a book dedicated to her. 

She served as co-editor of Studies in Medievalism from 1992 until 1999, and edited two memorial collections: A. James Prins: A Life in Literature (2007) and True Things: The Writings of R. Dirk Jellema (1996).


  • “Gestures of Reflection,” The John Updike Review, winter 2015
  • “Dante, Emerson, and American Nationalism,” in Dante in the Long Nineteenth Century, ed. Aida Audeh and Nick Havely, Oxford University Press, 2012
  • “Bread of Angels: Dante Studies and the Moral Vision of Charles Eliot Norton,” Dante Studies CXXIX, 2011
  • “Interpreting Mortality: Updike Reading Books,” Modern Language Quarterly 71.3, Sept. 2010
  • “Grace of Action: Dante in the Life of Longfellow,” Dante Studies CXXVIII, 2010
  • “The Founding and the Founder: Medievalism and the Legacy of Leslie J. Workman,” Studies in Medievalism 17, 2009
  • “Updike, Mythologized Sexuality, and Women,” in the Cambridge Companion to John Updike, ed. Stacey Olster, Cambridge University Press, 2006
  • “Dante's Inferno, Jonathan Edwards, and New England Calvinism,” Dante Studies CXXIII, 2005
  • “Edith Wharton, Adultery, and the Reception of Francesca da Rimini,” Dante Studies CXXII, 2004
  • “Medievalism,” Dictionary of the Middle Ages Supplement, ed. William Chester Jordan, Gale, 2004

In progress:

  • “The Serene Air of Letters: Dante, George Ticknor, and American Literary Culture”
  • “Medievalism in the American Renaissance”
  • “The Gorgeous History of Feudalism: Medievalism and Walt Whitman”
  • “Why Do You Rend Me? Dante and the Pain of Lowell”

Outside hope

Kathleen is a a member of the Sanctuary Choir at Third Reformed Church. For several years she assisted as a reader at the Ottawa County Juvenile Detention Center. She also has a background in journalism.

Profile photo of Dr. Kathleen Verduin
Dr. Kathleen Verduin

Phone Number616.395.7609

Lubbers Hall-Room 316 126 East 10th Street Holland, MI 49423-3516
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