Tiffany Eberle Kriner, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of English
On Faculty since 2005

Office: Blanchard Hall 309
Phone: (630)752-5783


Carey Research Fellow, Erasmus Institute, University of Notre Dame

Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2005

M.A., University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1999

B.A., Messiah College, 1998

About Tiffany Eberle Kriner

Tiffany Eberle Kriner is writing a theology of reading.


One of the great pleasures of teaching at a liberal arts institution is the opportunity to teach broadly. I love walking with first-year students as they develop skills in composition and research; I love encouraging my students to consider their improvement in composition as a discipleship issue—a way to love their neighbors as themselves.  I am honored, too, to be able to introduce general education literature students from a wide range of majors to a wide body of world literature in widely varying genres—and to consider how that literature may speak across national, religious, and aesthetic divides into students’ lives. In my general education courses, we take the question “Why Read?” very seriously.

The particularities of teaching advanced literary study in American literature also give me great joy.  In my upper-division American literature courses, students explore the glories, gasps, shadows, sins, trajectories, fragments, and boundaries of American literature.  We consider the historical and social contexts of the literature alongside varied theoretical resources and allow all of them to inform our readings. Students in my courses know that I am particularly committed to an inclusive canon of literature and have a special interest in the intersections of race and literature.  They also find that assisting students in the practice and development of their writing and research skills is a goal not just for my teaching of introductory students, but for my teaching of the most advanced literary scholar.

  • Composition and Research [EngW 103,104]
  • Modern Global Literature [Engl 105]
  • American Literature: Beginnings to 1865 [Engl 341]
  • American Literature: Realism to Modernism [Engl 342]
  • American Literature: Modernism and Beyond [Engl 343]
  • Women Writers [Engl
  • African-American Literature [Engl 379]
  • Zora Neale Hurston and Langston Hughes [Engl 382]
  • Modern Literary Theory [Engl 434]

Membership in Professional Societies


Over the past several years, my research has turned again and again to the topics of eschatology and hope in literature.  In a series of essays, I have considered the creation and maintenance of hope in the formal experiments of American writers such as Lucille Clifton, Denise Levertov, and Fanny Howe.  The processes and forms of these writers pushed me to more fundamental questions about the theoretical and theological foundations for hopeful reading in the discipline of literary studies. Along these lines, one of my most recent pieces, “Hopeful Reading,” works to offer a methodology for reading hopefully as a literary scholar. My new book The Future of the Word: An Eschatology of Reading, just out from Fortress Press, argues that books have futures in the kingdom of God and that reading allows us to participate in those futures.  


The Future of the Word: An Eschatology of Reading. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2014. Print.

“Wary Grammar: Fanny Howe’s Narrative Bewilderment.” Arizona Quarterly 68.3 (2012): 129-156.

“Hopeful Reading.”Christianity and Literature 61.1 (2011): 101-131.

"Our Turn Now?: Imitation and the Theological Turn in Literary Studies.” Christianity and Literature Special Issue: The Turn to Religion in Literary Studies. 58.2 (2009): 266-272.

"Ascent, Continuance, Immersion: Hope in the Poetry of Denise Levertov.” Literature and Belief 27.2 (2007): 83-110.

"John the Baptist at a Country Tent Meeting, Jesus Comes." The Christian Century 29 Jan 2008. 11. Poetry.

"Conjuring Hope in a Body: Lucille Clifton’s Eschatology.” Christianity and Literature 54.2 Winter 2005. 185-208.


Life on Mars. By Tracy K. Smith. Books and Culture Web.  31 Aug. 2012. 

The Gift of Story: Narrating Hope in a Postmodern World. Eds. Emily Griesinger and Mark Eaton. Christianity and Literature 58.1 (2008): 123-126.

Faithful Vision: Visions of the Sacred, Spiritual, and Supernatural in Twentieth-Century African American Literature. By James W. Coleman. Christianity and Literature 56.4 (2007): 705-709.


"Thine Be the Canon." Western Regional Meeting of the Conference on Christianity and Literature.  Santa Barbara, CA. May 2014.

“For the Future of the Word:  Jesus' Becoming and the Becoming of Literature.” Southwest Regional Meeting of the Conference on Christianity and Literature.  Oklahoma Christian University. Oklahoma City, OK. October 2012.

“’lines of living light’:  Frances Ellen Watkins Harper’s Popular and Political Poetry.” Midwest Regional Meeting of the Conference on Christianity and Literature. Calvin College.  Grand Rapids, MI. April 2012. 

“Pushing Daisies: Henry James and the Mystery of the Afterlife.” CCL Midwest Regional Meeting.  St. Francis University. Ft. Wayne, IN. October 2011.

Imitate Me as I Imitate Christ: Seeking Models in Christian Literary Studies.” Messiah College. Invited Presentation. Grantham, PA. April 2008.

Ascent, Continuance, Immersion: Hope in the Poetry of Denise Levertov” Messiah College. Invited Presentation. Grantham, PA. April 2008.

Literary Studies and the Troping of Religion: The ‘Invisible Domain’ of the ‘Outrageous’ ‘Turn’.” Modern Language Association. Chicago, IL. December 2007.

Submission as Invention: The Other and Research Topic Selection.” College English Association. New Orleans, LA. Forthcoming, April 2007.

The Ladder and the Linebreak: Denise Levertov Looks for Hope.” 2006 Pruit Memorial Symposium and Lilly Fellows Program National Research Conference, The World and Christian Imagination. Waco, TX. November 2006.

Why Bother Where I Went?’Figuring the Self in Spring and All.” Modernist Studies Association Conference 7, Seminar Presentation. Chicago, IL. November 2005.

The 'Inside Search' Outside Church: Zora Neale Hurston and Moses, Man of the Mountain.” American Literature Association Conference, San Francisco, CA, May 2004.

(Inter)facing: Developing Hyper-rhetorical Courses.” Contemporary Literature Colloquium, Madison, WI. Invited presentation. March 2004.

Muse! Drudge!: Harryette Mullen and the Face of the Other.” Thirty-First Annual Twentieth-Century Literature Conference, Louisville, KY, February 2004.

"'to something more certain / than myself' : Lucille Clifton’s Complication of Christian Identity.” Conference on Christianity and Literature, Bluffton, OH, October 2003.

Deity, Decreation, and Defecation: Fanny Howe's Experimental (Un)Knowledge of God.” Forty-Fourth Annual Midwest Modern Language Association Conference, Minneapolis, MN, November 2002.

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