Ken  Kirby
Assistant Professor, Core Curriculum
Howard College of Arts and Sciences
Communication Arts
307N Divinity Hall

Ken Kirby began working at Samford in 1992 as an adjunct professor of English while working full-time as manager of communications and publications at Birmingham’s Southern Research Institute. He has been an assistant professor and course coordinator of Communication Arts since 2004.

An interdisciplinary scholar and teacher, Kirby teaches American literature, British and Irish literature, Cultural Perspectives and Communication Arts.  In 2007 he piloted the Senior Capstone course for Adult Degree students who were pursuing the B.S. degree. His current scholarship focuses on Husserlian phenomenology as a method for literary criticism and instruction in communications.

Kirby supported environmental efforts on campus when they were primarily student-run and was campus recycling coordinator for several years.  He has been active in Samford’s development of problem-based learning in the humanities and served on two committees promoting the university’s transformational learning abilities(TLA) endeavor.  In 2011 he coordinated, along with Bridget Rose, the Old Howard 100 charity bicycle ride and will be ride coordinator in 2012.

Off campus, he is a member of the Sine Nomine early music consort where he performs on Renaissance and Baroque recorders; he has also served as part-time music director in Baptist and Presbyterian churches and sings in the Alabama Symphony Chorus. He enjoys cycling, bird watching, and classic movies.


Degrees and Certifications

  • Ph.D., Indiana University
  • M.A., University of Alabama in Birmingham
  • B.A., Auburn University


  • "W. B. Yeats, Unity of Culture, and the Spiritual Telos of Ireland."  Analecta Husserliana: The Yearbook of Phenomenological Research, Vol. CIX. Ed. A-T.Tymieniecka. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer, 2011.
  • "'The Limits of Ordinary Experience': A Phenomenological Approach to 'Rappaccini's Daughter.'" Analecta Husserliana: The Yearbook of Phenomenological Research, Vol. CIX. Ed. A-T. Tymieniecka. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer, 2011.
  • "Phenomenology and the Problems of Oral History." The Oral History Review 35.1 (2008): 22-38.
  • "'I Know Everything': The Governess's Failures of Consciousness in The Turn of the Screw." Analecta Husserliana: The Yearbook of Phenomenological Research.  Vol. LXXXV.  Ed. A.-T. Tymieniecka. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer, 2005.  813-829.
  • "Teaching to the Mission Statement:  Using Problem-Based Learning and Reflection to Improve Students' Response to Required Literature Courses."  The Journal of Continuing Higher Education 52.1 (2004): 36-43.


  • "Partnering with an Environmental Consortium: The Five Mile Creek Greenway Partnership."Gulf-South Summit on Engaged and Service Learning.  Baton Rouge, LA. March 24, 2009.
  • "Oral History as Environmental Service Learning Project." Roundtable discussion, North American Association for Environmental Education conference.  Albuquerque, NM.  October 29, 2005.
  • "Literature and Life Mission:  Using PBL and Reflection in General Education Literature Courses."  University Continuing Education Association South regional meeting.  Montgomery, AL.  September 22,2003.