Amy King, Ph.D.
For Amy King, Ph.D., teaching is an opportunity to share her love of literature and learning with students, introducing them to new subjects and ideas.
“Many of my students are English majors, but many are not,” she said. “Whether they go on to law school, medical school or to the pursuit of an M.F.A. or Ph.D., the advantages of a liberal arts education—analytical thinking, effective writing skills—are beneficial in almost every pursuit.”
King, Associate Professor of English in St. John’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, has been a source of inspiration and encouragement to St. John’s students since she arrived at the University in 2004. With an M.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard University, she has taught at colleges and universities on both coasts.
At St. John’s, King is dedicated to helping students to achieve their academic and professional goals. “As professors,” she said, “we play a vital role in preparing future generations of intellectual leaders. We have a responsibility to mentor our students, share our expertise and help maximize a student’s potential.”
One such student is Christina Denny ’13G. Encouraged by King, Denny submitted her essay for the 2012 graduate division of the Jane Austen Society of North America Essay Contest (JASNA). Denny’s essay won first place in a pool of 80 international submissions. King attended the award ceremony.
Denny praised the professor’s ability to develop students as independent, critical thinkers, affecting their broad, intellectual pursuits. “Dr. King engages her students by balancing an enthusiasm for text and literature with a critical eye,” Denny said. “She asks questions and gets us thinking, so we can generate our own approaches to the material.”
Widely published, King specializes in 19th-century British literature, with a focus on Victorian fiction. She is the author of Bloom: The Botanical Vernacular in the English Novel (Oxford UP, 2003). She is currently working on a book to be entitled Reverent Form: Natural History and Natural Theology in the British Novel, 1789–1867. King discussed her research in a keynote address at the April 2013 conference of the Victorian Studies Association of Western Canada.
Shaping future leaders is especially meaningful at St. John’s, King noted. The University’s commitment to excellence for all students—regardless of means—provides academic opportunities for those who are often the first in their families to attend college.
“A profound sense of gratitude for their education distinguishes St. John’s students as well-rounded, driven individuals,” she said. “Here, they are exceptionally well prepared for life and work after college.”